Very seldom do I travel down to Chinatown, not for any particular reason. But tonight, Brian wanted to try out Phnom Penh. Hearing such rave reviews of this place, we just had to check it out.
As always, there is a lineup – I hear that no matter what time of day, there is always a lineup. This evening we waited about 45 minutes for a table. Since there was two of us, I thought for sure we would have to share a table but we ended up getting our own. Nice.
I already had an idea of what I was going to order based on recommendations friends and other foodies have left, but we also ordered two extra dishes on top of that.
We started off with the Jumbo Prawn on Rice ($11.50). Brian ordered this by mistake, thinking it was fried rice. Not a problem for him, he ate it and was almost done before the next dish came. The jumbo prawn was indeed jumbo and was a tad on the rubbery side. It was spicy and tasted better when you add the sauce given to you and mixed it with the rice (much like a lot of Vietnamese dishes).
Next dish is probably a dish you recognize if you frequent Phnom Penh often – the Marinated Butter Beef dish ($12.95). This dish served similar to beef tataki (seared on the outside and raw on the inside) reminded me a lot of a dish my dad makes at home which is a combination of cilantro and fish sauce. This is a combination of cilantro, peanuts, soy sauce, fish sauce and lemon juice. When you order this dish, mix it up and eat it quick, the tangy flavour can be overpowering if you let it sit for too long.
We ordered the large size of the chicken wings ($13.25). These are the selling factor and why there are lineups out the door, so I went in with high expectations. The chicken has crispy skin and for the most part, quite juicy in the middle. It’s coated with salt, pepper, garlic and green onion. It’s got a great flavour on it’s own, but of course there is also their famous dipping sauce.
The dipping sauce is basically lemon and black and white pepper. It definitely gave the chicken wings a kick, but they’re good enough on their own as well. The portion in a large is good.
Brian was still hungry (yep!) and so he ordered the Prawn Fried Rice ($11.95). It was delicious! There were big shrimp tossed in this deliciously greasy dish. Out of all the items, I think this was my favourite.
We also ordered some drinks, the Mango Moo Shake and Lychee Slush (both are $4.35).
The Mango Moo Shake is delicious, has the taste of Philippine mangoes and is not milky but has a smooth taste to it.
The Lychee Slush was good too, with most of it being actual whole lychees. Brian thought it was a little too sweet, but I have a horrible sweet tooth and loved it.
Between the both of us we spent $65.35 before tip, which is a little on the pricier side but the food and experience (minus the wait of course! hah!) is worth it.