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Oct 3, 2012 11:03 AM

Simply Khmer Lowell

This restaurant seems to pop up in every discussion about Cambodian food in Lowell, so I think it's time it has it's own entry here.
I visited for lunch today and was pleasantly surprised by the brightly lit room with a nice interior and nice furniture. From reading other reviews I expected a way smaller place. Another reason for the visit was the their Hot Wings seems to pop up in every wings discussion as well. I tried the Hot Wings from the lunch menu and these was pretty delicious! Crispy, sticky but not very spicy. They where spicy but I expected more.
I tried the Kuy-Tiev Sach-Jrouk Rice noodle, slices of pork meat, bean sprouts, cilantro and scallions in house broth was also pretty good, nice broth, tender pork, beansprouts and a slice of lime on the side. Not a very big bowl but certainly sufficient for lunch and it was a whopping $4.95!
They have got very mixed reviews on the web, especially about the service but today at least everything was very good. They are just off Rte 110 on the edge of Lowell so they are easy to get to, parking can be an issue here.

Simply Khmer Restaurant
26 Lincoln St # 4
Lowell, MA 01851

Hours are 8am to 9pm every day.

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  1. Nice write-up, thanks! But I'm not crazy about the name. If I ever get the money, time, and expertise, I might open a Cambodian restaurant called "Khmer, You".

    4 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      I've been told not too long ago that "Khmer" is actually pronounced more like "Khmai" (rhymes with rye or pie).

      1. re: Prav

        I believe you, Prav, but will note that uBurger was probably meant to be pronounced "ooh-burger" as in "uber", with their motto, "Above all burgers". But everybody says "you-burger".

      2. re: MC Slim JB

        and MC, sounds like a romantic restaurant!

        1. re: justbeingpolite

          opened next to a Viet restaurant called "What the Pho?"

      3. Ferrari,
        Did you get the "hot wings", or the Angkor wings?
        I think there's a difference, and I think the Angkor wings are spicier.
        If anyone knows for sure, chime in!

        1 Reply
        1. re: justbeingpolite

          I got the Hot Wings and really liked them.

        2. Really crummy day today so time for some more soup. Todays choice for lunch was the Kuy-Tiev Special. Rice noodles, beef, beef meat ball, seafood, bean sprouts, cilantro and scallions in house broth. The beef wasn't the most tender that I ever had but it's not really expected for the price. Fake crab and seafood but there were a couple of shrimps in there as well as piece of squid. Left the chopsticks on the bowl to indicate the size. This is a really nice lunch for $6.25 including a $1 tip. Next time I'll splurge and try the Loc Lac ($7.50), the only Cambodian dish that I'm familiar with.


          1 Reply
          1. Decided to try the Loc Lac today.
            Well it was very different from what I remember from the Elephant Walk when they opened downstairs in Union Square. Steak tips served on a bed of lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and onions. The beef was well marinated and and nicely charred and very tender and the fresh lime pepper sauce that was served on the side was tasty as well but I felt that the portion was a bit skimpy and I'm not that big of an eater.


            3 Replies
            1. re: Ferrari328

              elephant walk is vietnamese, isn't it? could account for the difference.

              1. re: Ferrari328

                Ah you got the rice combo $7.50 lunch special We always get the full order which is $9.95 and MUCH larger than that.. You still get the salad but not the rice, a small rice is $2.50.. That would be enough for 2 people easily.

              2. I decided to pay them a visit today for lunch since it has been a while. I was dead set on getting the Crispy Chicken Wing and Rice lunch special but found to my dismay that they don't serve the lunch specials anymore and the prices has also increased.
                I ordered the Bai/Cha Kroung Rice plate with Pork described as steamed rice served with stir fried meat, stir fried in garlic, onions, lemon grass, red/green bell peppers, holy basil, jalapeno, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, and red chillies. There was no traces of either the jalapeno, kaffir lime leaves, galangal or the red chillies so this was another disappointment.


                8 Replies
                1. re: Ferrari328

                  Looks like you got the wrong dish cause that isnt bai cha kroung! I find that at any place where i dont speak the language, it is best for me to order by number or pointing, i never try to pronounce anything cause i always pronounce it wrong. Bai Cha Kroung has finely ground meat.. They have photos of it on their website.

                  1. re: hargau

                    The only time I've been to Simply Khmer was for a late lunch a few months ago. The place was not very busy. I ordered
                    two dishes by their numbers, but one was wrong. I kept it because I liked it, but I asked the waitress, who apologized and confirmed that it was not what I'd ordered. From this thread, it sounds like this happens too often.

                    1. re: greygarious

                      I have eaten there at least 50 times and have never got any wrong dish.. but one thing i always am sure to do is i never try to pronounce any of the names. I open the menu and point to the item i want and let them say it how they want

                      1. re: hargau

                        we do the pointing also. feel like a total gringo but have never been served the wrong dish.

                        i order by the number at viet-thai for this same reason.

                    2. re: hargau

                      that definitely looks like cha kroeung to me. it can be made with ground meat or pieces of meat. you wouldn't necessarily see the lemongrass, galanga, kaffir lime leaves, and hot chillies because they're all mashed into a cambodian spice paste called kroeung. the kroeung is then added to flavor the dish

                    3. re: Ferrari328

                      We've always enjoyed our meals at Simply Khmer. Our dishes have been served as ordered. It is a naughty pleasure, but I love the Angkor Style Shrimp. But really I think its the soups that keep us going back.

                      1. re: qianning

                        i have tried a few of the soups and have not been too impressed. Which do you like in particular.. One thing i think that turned us off is when you go out back to the restroom, you walk thru a stockroom which has cases and cases, stacked shoulder high of Bouillion granules.. which i assume is used for the soup bases.

                        1. re: hargau

                          Could be, but the Ka-Ko Khmer made with pork ribs is delicious, also have much enjoyed the Som-Law K'teeh.