18 Monday Nov 2013

Petra – the middle eastern food of Phnom Penh

Missing falafel and pita bread? This summer, Petra, the new middle eastern restaurant, opens its door right in the middle of BKK1, offering a variety of those hard to find authentic Arab foods.  The restaurant is a conversion of a small villa but with no fence.  There are outdoor patio for those who want to enjoy Hookah (or Shisha) and indoor seatings in the nice air conditioning room.

The food was great. We had some falafel served with pita bread, a bunch of grilled meat – chicken, lamb, and beef, an oven baked pizza, and some very tasty iced tea. This restaurant brought a new look to pita bread. Unlike the usual flat pita bread you used to see in the grocery store, their pita bread was warm and puffy, perfect for the hummus dips.

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Hookak (or Shisha) came in various flavors — green apple, cherry, mint…etc.  The bong itself was large and had more interesting designs than the ones at Harem, the hookah bar next to the Riverhouse restaurant.

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The restaurant also offered traditional arab costumes that guests could use them for dressing up and taking photo.  During our visit, we managed to do it and really enjoyed ourselves.

Overall, I would recommend our readers to check out Petra, if not for the food, at least for the Hookahs.

13 Wednesday Nov 2013

The Common Tiger – restaurant in Phnom Penh

BKK1 is attracting many visitors both locals and tourists.  Restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, pubs, fitness centers, schools and NGOs are just the fews that are sprawling in this neighborhood.  The Common Tiger is just another great addition to our BKK1 neighborhood.

Finding this restaurant is not too difficult.  Street 294 houses Wild Wing, Costa Coffee and Blue Pumpkin.  The restaurant itself is situated inside a small villa in BKK1, with a large garden offering outdoor seating as well.  The interior mimics the atmosphere of a high class french restaurant with dimmed lighting.

The concept of this restaurant is highly unique.  The menu gets changed every 3 days so that frequent diners would not get bored with the same dishes.  The time that we visited the restaurant, here is the menu

1) cured duck breast, avocado and asparagus
2) poached prawns, smoked tomato panna cotta, sauce vierge
3) steamed mushroom creme, mushroom, tofu salad
4) baked seabass rubbed with yellow curry, tamarind and new potatoes
5) fillet and belly of pork with shitake, and cauliflower
6) passionfruit tart, white chocolate and cashew nut
7) frozen mango parfait, coconut sticky rice

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On that particular evening, we ordered all the dishes on the menu.  Each dish was full of surprise.  The savory taste blend between western techniques and khmer ingredients gave the wow factors.  I cannot recall whether any dish was mediocre or less.  It seemed to me that all the dishes were splendid and I am dying to go back there again.

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As you would expect from a high end restaurant, the chef personally stepped out of the kitchen and explained the ingredients and cooking techniques of each dish.  The chef gave his personal presentation on all dishes, making our dining experience even more personal and special.  It gave us diners a sense of overwhelming feeling by his hospitality and attention.

19 Saturday Jan 2013

Deco restaurant in BKK1

A great, some-what new, addition opens its door on the corner of Street 57 and Street 352 in BKK1.  If you’re driving along Street 57, you may not able to tell that this cute little colonial french, in black and white color, house is actually a restaurant born to be awesome.

It was a Saturday evening.  My mom and I were sitting on the rooftop of Eclipse Sky bar that I pulled up the Tripadvisor app for Phnom Penh.  A quick browse through the restaurant list, we’ve decided on Deco, that was listed in the top 3 restaurants in Phnom Penh, as our tonight’s choice to dine at.

As we entered the restaurant, the server seated us to one of the empty tables, not too far from the bar.  The lighting was slightly dimmed, giving the room’s atmosphere a warm and cozy feeling.  To our surprise, the menu wasn’t the traditional pamphlet or booklet but instead was a brown piece of paper laying on top of our table.

For our evening, we didn’t bother to order any alcoholic drink but instead made a few selections of their non-alcoholic concoction.  Our orders of a Jasmine Iced tea and a Raspberry fizz were splendid.  A tangy taste of club soda infused with a citric twist was a great combination for our meals to come.

The restaurant offered a few starter assortments– all sounded very scrumptious.  We placed the order for a Beetroot and Citrus Salad, Walnut Dressing; a Kampot Crab Cakes, Sherry Mayonnaise; and a Whisky Cured Salmon with Rye Bread, Honey Mustard & Dill.   My favorite was the crab cakes.

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For our main course we tried the 136 deg Poached Red Snapper, Potato Rosti, Spinach & Cream Sauce; a Duck Breast with Watermelon, Cashew Nut & Plum Sauce; and an Aussie Steak.   The duck breast was perfectly cooked, showing a slight hint of pink in the middle. The plum sauce was a bit sweet for me but the fresh carved watermelon was just the perfection palette combination as it was so refreshing.

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All in all I highly recommend Deco to everyone.  This restaurant definitely made a great impression and its ways onto my top list of restaurants of all time and not just the restaurant list from Phnom Penh.

Tel: 017577327
Address: the corner of Street 57 and Street 352
www.decophnompenh.com/

30 Monday Jul 2012

YUMI – a small Japanese restaurant in Phnom Penh

Tucked away in the BKK1 neighborhood, YUMI is a new-chic-japanese restaurant in town.  The menu selection is limited to only a few dishes, but you will find yourself wanting to try their special Pork Ribs BBQ or their Fried Crab Wonton.

If you want to enjoy a private ambience, then you’ve come to the right place.   At YUMI, you can feel very at ease and the staff is attentive but you do not have the feeling that they are always at your table side 24/7.

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Before finishing your meal, you must place the order for the chocolate rice pudding with coconut ice cream.  The combination of warm and cold is a perfect ending for a nice dinner.

YUMI Restaurant

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Tips:

+ The restaurant is located on St 288.  Look for a DARA Restaurant sign, and you will find a small black street blackboard with the name YUMI written on it.