Sunday, June 19, 2011

PHNOM PENH










We have covered Phnom Penh on VS already so when I made a return visit, I asked my friend to write her thoughts about it.
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On a busy Friday night, my family and I ended up at Phnom Penh for dinner. It was crowded, busy and noisy but it smelled delicious and I was excited for some chicken wings.

Phnom Phen's reputation precedes it as a hidden gem of Cambodian and Vietnamese Cuisine and the first few times you go, you are charmed by the seeming authenticity of the setting and the food that comes out of the kitchen, but each time I go, I get less and less excited about going.

We ordered Phnom Phen's signature dishes - the deep fried Garlic Chili Chicken Wings and the deep fried squid. Both stood up to their reputations and were the perfect combination of sweet and salty and deep fried to perfection.

We also ordered the oyster omelette which was I found to be too heavy and not the most appetizing combination. We ordered their dry noodle special, a popular traditional Vietnamese dish, with a mix of egg and rice noodles, prawns, strips of barbequed beef (which were too dry) and bits of fried garlic and green onions mixed with their house sauce. I quite enjoyed this dish, though my sister thinks the one at Lemongrass is better.

The fried rice and the sauteed greens in garlic were both good, but they are not dishes that I would come back for especially. I will say that the service was good; the gentlemen serving us was helpful with the menu and happy to answer our questions. The food is also pretty reasonably priced, and you can get your fill for under $20 per person.

Overall, I think there is too much MSG in the food and I still maintain that the dish they are famous for is really the only reason to come back. Phnom Phen, whatever you are doing to those chicken wings - keep on doing it.

They do take out as well, so anyone living near by should consider a pairing of beer and chicken wings for a nice night on the many stoops and patios and parks around the neighbourhood to celebrate the warm weather, whenever it shows up.

Phnom Penh
244 East Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC


Phnom Penh 金邊小館 on Urbanspoon

Gyromite Web Developer

6 comments:

  1. I think their 'Rare Butter Beef' is a must order for me (like the wings); it has a really wonderful, complex combination of flavors. It might not have the same universal appeal as their wings/squid (some people have an aversion to super rare beef), but the combination of the thin-sliced, bright red rare beef (the edges barely cooked and permeated by butter) with the vinegary, little sweet/salty sauce just balance out and work together so well. Garnished with copious cilantro and garlic chips, best with a bowl of rice.
    I think it is a hidden gem of a dish in Vancouver.

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  2. Do you know the name of the dry noodle dish? I see it on tables at Vietnamese restaurants but never got the name.

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