Apsara: The Traditional Cambodian Dance

apsara dance
Apsara: The Traditional Cambodian Dance

No trip to Cambodia is complete without a glimpse of the traditional Apsara dance performance.

Robam Tep Apsara, or the Dance of the Aspara Divinities is the name given to a classical Khmer dance recreated by the Cambodian Royal Ballet, not long after it nearly vanished during the regime of the Khmer Rouge.

This traditional dance originated from the story of the union of the hermit Kampu and Apsara Mera. In Hindu and Buddhist mythology, Apsaras are supernatural female beings of the clouds and waters. They are said to be young and beautiful, and are adept dancers with the ability to change their shapes at will. The Apsara dance is performed by women gracefully dressed in close-fitting traditional costumes known as a Sampot Sarabap, which is constructed from rich silk brocade featuring intricate yet aesthetic details, along with a golden headdress. 

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An Apsara dancer dressed in a Sampot Sarabap and a golden headdress

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An Apsara dancer performing at dinner show

Apsara is performed by a group of young women in a flawlessly harmonized orientation. Every unhurried and deliberate movement is accentuated by a subtle bend in the knees with the heels elevated and lowered to the ground with each beat. A constant smile is attached to their faces, as they graciously flaunt their well-mastered elegance to awestruck audiences. The recurrent hand gestures throughout the performance give prominence to the dance, with each motion and shift denoting different parts of the story.

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free apsara dance performance in siem reap
Apsara: The Traditional Cambodian Dance

Although there are occasional performances held in temples, a more convenient option would be to attend one of the nightly performances offered in restaurants. Pairing your dinner with this traditional dance will surely add zest to your gastronomic experience while traveling in Siem Reap. Remember to book ahead to secure the best seats!

Temple Balcony
Time: 19:30 (Daily)
Address: Street 08, Krong Siem Reap
Website | +855 12 234 565
Price: Free

Apsara Theatre
Time: 20:30 (Daily)
Address: Street 26, Krong Siem Reap
Website | +855 63 963 561
Price: $25 per adult/$12.50 per child

La Noria Hotel
Time: 19.30 (Wednesday & Sunday)
Address: River Rd, Krong Siem Reap
Website | +855 63 964 242
Price: $6 per person

Phare Cambodian Circus
Time: 20:00 (Daily)
Address: South of the intersection with Sok San Road
Website | +855 (0) 15 499 480

Apsara Terrace
Time: 19:45 (Monday, Wednesday & Friday)
Address: Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor, 1 Vithei Charles De Gaulle
Website | +855 63 963 888
Price: $40 per adult/$25.50 per child

Kulen II Restaurant
Time: 19:30 (Daily)
Address: Sivatha Street, Siem Reap
Website | +855 (0) 92 630 090
Price: $12 per adult/$6 per child (free for <3 br="" buffet="" show="">

Alliance Café
Time: 20:00 (Tuesday, Thursday & Satuday)
Address: Wat Damnak, 7 Makara Street
Website | +855 63 760 169
Price: $20 per person (including set dinner)

New Dishes & Omakase at Minori Japanese Restaurant, Royale Chulan Damansara

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New Dishes & Omakase at Minori Japanese Restaurant, Royale Chulan Damansara

A name familiar among local socialites, Minori is a multi-award winning Japanese restaurant catering to fine dining enthusiasts and seasoned businessmen. Having numerous culinary awards under its belt, including Malaysia Tatler Best Restaurant 2014 and 2015, Minori is best known for its exotic specialties such as Fish Sperms, Foie Gras Chawanmushi, Female Koubako Zuwai Crabs and Fish Collagen Mochi.

New Dishes & Omakase at Minori Japanese Restaurant

Minori has recently introduced a range of additions to its menu for a unique Japanese gastronomic experience with a touch of modernity in flavors and presentation:

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Yum Tofu & Grilled Seasoning Eggplant
with crab sauce ginger fervor & mountain caviar

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Steamed Egg on Organic Wasabi Leaf & Asari Shell
"Ohitashi" Yuzu Orange Flavor

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White Miso Marinated Butter Fish "Saikyo Yaki"
served with vinegar tomato, wasabi lotus root, and sweet potato

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Scallop Porridge Minori Style
with fried cherry blossom prawns

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Tender Steamed Beef Tongue
with special sauce

Wide Variety of Sakes

Minori wows its patrons with a wide array of imported Sakes which are uniquely set apart by the aroma, taste, feel and finish. Recommendations by the restaurant include:

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Kikusui Junmai Ginjo

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Kikusui Funaguchi

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Sakamai Kikusui Junmai Daiginjo (left)

The Saikyo Yaki (miso-marinated butter fish) is my personal favorite. Fish is cooked to perfection while maintaining its firm yet flaky tenderness, giving it a melt-in-the-mouth texture. The accompanying sides of vinegar tomato, wasabi lotus root, and sweet potato might seem meager, but every small bite is packed with surprisingly refreshing and intense tastes that go exquisitely with the fish. Each side offers a different flavor - sweet, sour, and salty - and alternating between them is truly a pleasure to the senses.

Additional Information

  • A VIP room which seats up to 30 people is available (no minimum spending required)
  • 20% off Omakase & Chef’s monthly recommendation for Maybank MasterCard & Visa Card holders
  • 50% off Omakase with a minimum spend of RM500 per pax for Maybank World MasterCard & Visa Infinite card holders

Minori Japanese Restaurant
Website | +603 7959 9099
The Royale Chulan Damansara Hotel
1st Floor, No. 2  Jalan PJU 7/3 Mutiara Damansara