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Floating Rock - Whew!

The Crew* had a feast at Floating Rock - Others will pitch in with pics and descriptions. (We'll try to include English menu names, as some of the menu listings are very basic.)

Started off with appetizers (which are the size of entrees at many places) of Tiger's Tears - a board favorite, beef with other goodies and bird chilis - and squid salad - very fresh and nicely complex. Moved onto two lovely bowls of soup (combination soup, with lots of veggies, tasty broth, herbs, and beef(?)) and another. (Galangatron - Help! Thanks!)

Main dishes: spicy pork w/chilis - looks like sauted ground beef, but take a mouthful, and wow! Spicy and again, not one note but interesting. A beef salad - quite different from the Tigers Tears although it looked similar; noodles (like at Gitlo's - fat in the middle) w/pork or chicken (simplest dish we had) a larb-like beef sald (also different in flavoring), chicken with ginger - LOTS of ginger and delicious, and...what am I missing? And our generously shared jackfruit shake was refreshing and sweet.

Galangatron - Could you help with descriptions (herbs, etc. ) and menu names? Thanks so much!

Finished off the adventure with a visit to the market next door and cateycorner across the street - People bought fresh keffir lime and curry leaves, fresh turmeric (still in rhizome form, to be peeled and grated) fresh lemongrass, savory fried banana, fried sesame balls, fresh bird chilies (a large package for a dollar) - and more! Pork belly, fresh tamarind in the pod, all kinds of things were oohed and ahhed over.

Pls. note, also, that Floating Rock is closed on Tues., and a 5 minute walk from the T (Revere Beach/BlueLine)

*Quick note: Our Crew has gotten too unwieldy to offer an open invitation, but here's a link for creating one of your own: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/559556 Please free to send me a note if you have any questions, just click on my screenname.

Floating Rock
485 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

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  1. Nice review! Darn it, I have to get back here soon. This has to be the closest really good Cambodian food to Boston, yes?


    1. the other salad was "beef salad with mint" (pleah saiko). minced beef, lemongrass, basil, mint, red onions, and bean sprouts tossed with a lime juice and prahok dressing

      the two soups were "combination vegetable soup" (somlah kako) and "sweet and sour soup" (somlah machoo yuon). combination vegetable soup was pork and assorted vegetables (squash, green beans, thai eggplant) in a lemongrass and prahok broth thickened with ground toasted rice. sweet and sour soup was chicken, tomatoes, pineapples, and lotus rootlets in a sweet tamarind broth

      we also ordered "curry pickled fish with coconut milk" (prahok k'tiss) and spicy beef (cha krueng saiko). curry pickled fish with coconut milk was a dip made of creamy prahok mixed with coconut milk, ground pork, and chilies served with raw vegetables (cucumber, cabbage, thai eggplant) for dipping. spicy beef was sliced beef stir-fried in a paste of lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galanga, turmeric, garlic, shallots, and chilies

      another wonderful meal at floating rock. made even more enjoyable by the lovely company and being able to introduce cambodian cuisine to others

      2 Replies
      1. re: galangatron

        Thx for the reminder. I have to get over there again soon..long overdue.

        Here's a few pics from an old trip...


        1. re: galangatron

          Never noticed the Prahok k'tiss on the menu; maybe becasue the English translation sounded weird to me; I love that stuff! Til now, I've had to go to Mittapheap or make it myself....I do like their version, tho, served warm....

        2. Highlights for me were the tiger tears salad (wonderful blend of flavors and textures, similar to Thai yam nua, but with some additional taste I wasn’t quite able to identify, vaguely reminiscent of betel nut, and garnished with toasted rice); squid salad (similar ingredients to the beef salad, but to very different effect); the spicy pork (satisfyingly addictive, though most of us mixed it with rice to cut the heat); and the chicken soup with lotus stem (an intriguing assortment of flavors).

          A memorable meal, indeed. Props to Galangatron for ably guiding us through the extensive menu, as well as through the various goods on offer at the nearby groceries.

          1. Yes, this was a truly memorable outing, first of all discovering a wonderful little neighborhood full of good things, then being introduced to a really new (to me) cuisine, one made of tastes and textures that really wake you up with their blending of HOT, sweet, sour and salty. Prowling through the grocery stores was fun too--now what am I going to do with all of these exotic ingredients? Thank you, Galangatron, for leading us there--I am already planning a return visit.

            2 Replies
            1. re: cassis

              Adding to Cassis, Galangatron et al, Floating Rock was a wonderful example of the most humble cuisine, elevated by the freshest ingredients so that they positively explode in your mouth! I should add that 11 of us ate heartily and with tip, it came to a mere $16.50 per person. I especially loved the POW of the beef salad appetizer and I admired the gumption of many in our crew who dug into the truly funky "curried pickled fish with coconut milk" --an acquired taste. Elephant Walk in Waltham does a similar kind of dish - less funky - more of a sweet and sour seasoned ground pork that it serves with fried rice crackers that look like fried rice crispies in a block. Great for dipping. Thanks to Galangatron for his deep knowledge of this Cambodian food and for generously sharing it with us and guiding us along the way.

              1. re: SuzieCK

                the dish at the elephant walk is nataing. ground pork, coconut milk, crushed peanuts, and chilies. served with crispy rice crackers for dipping. it's milder because there is no prahok in it

            2. My 1st trip there was w/Fredid & Galangatron some 2 yrs ago, just the 3 of us, when we 1st started our crew. What a beautiful day w/like-minded DC's at FR and being able to try so many more dishes. The beef salad w/mint & the sweet & sour soup were my favorites. Kudos to Galangatron for leading us through the markets - I now have keffir lime & curry leaves, Thai basil, lemon grass & bird chilies in waiting.

              1. Sorry to miss this. It sounded like a great feast. Floating Rock is one of my favorites and is so quintessentially chowhound. My particular favorites are the squid salad and spicy pork. It would have been nice to go with group especially led by folks who know the cuisine like Galangtron. The market that you went to has these shrimp fritters for less than a dollar that i recall are really good right out of the fryer.

                1. Ahh before my boyfriend moved away, we used to go there at least 1-2 times a week, and the sweet grandmother in the kitchen began to recognize us. It's a tiny kitchen, but you can walk back there and see the food preparation - nothing pre-made.. sometimes, they even go across the street to the market to buy more fresh ingredients. I love this place, and if you're close to route 1A, it's really not that bad of a drive! It definitely has a special place in my heart.

                  1. This sounds fantastic! I was wondering what the scene was like up in that neighborhood these days, I used to go to a little hole-in-the-wall style place for the most unbelieveable green papaya salad. Will definitely check this out.

                    1. <"Finished off the adventure with a visit to the market next door and cateycorner across the street - People bought fresh keffir lime and curry leaves, fresh turmeric (still in rhizome form, to be peeled and grated) fresh lemongrass, savory fried banana, fried sesame balls, fresh bird chilies (a large package for a dollar) - and more! Pork belly, fresh tamarind in the pod, all kinds of things were oohed and ahhed over.">

                      OMGoodness. Those ingredients are just what I've been looking for. I'm so glad I opened this thread. Does anyone know if a wheelchair could fit in there? Or should I just send DH with an explicit list? Is this market on Shirley Ave. or Beach St.??

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Gio

                        unfortunately the markets aren't very handicapped accessible. the aisles are narrow and there are lots of twists and turns. you might have better luck with angkor thom market but, in my opinion, angkor watt market is the better of the two. although both are good for different reasons. they're located diagonally across the street from each other on shirley ave

                        1. re: Gio

                          If they are recommending the market that I used to be familiar with, Angkor Thom, the aisles are wide but boxes of produce and similar sometimes partially block aisles... you could probably manage with a friend to help in any tight spots. If there are stairs or obstacles I don't remember, someone will probably chime in.

                          1. re: Jardinia

                            galangatron and Jardinia, thank you for that information. I'll just send DH in with a list. I can wait in the car if there are any questions. That's always the easiest thing to do. Thank goodness he's agreeable. I haven't been down there on Shirley Ave in years....

                            (BTW: I love both your names!)