To help your trip easier and more convenient, in this post, we will give you a list of top 5 restaurants, which shows off Phnom Penh’s range of dining experiences.
Although one can find Khmer, French, American and Japanese cuisine pretty much anywhere in Phnom Penh, a good Indian dish can be hard to come by. Dosa Corner is the best in Phnom Penh for seriously cheap, fast and tasty Indian food. Situated in the bustling and aptly named ‘Golden Street’ (inspired by the number of hotels featuring the adjective ‘Golden’ somewhere in the title) opposite Wat Lanka sits a small cafe, serving dosa for lunch and dinner.
For the uninitiated, dosa is a bit of everything Indian cuisine has to offer on one dinner tray. No cutlery required, just tear off some potato pancake and dip into the dollops of curry and pastes in any number of combinations. At as little as $2 for a meal, and with a waiting time of three to five minutes, the dosa at Dosa Corner gives the Vego’s wraps and bagels next door a run for their money.
Address: Wat Langka, Phnom Penh
Brohet, Psar Orussey
Orussey is the most densely populated market in Phnom Penh. It’s not a place you would stop off for a quiet coffee and piece of cake, but don’t think that means you can’t get them there. It’s especially worth a visit if you fancy fried crickets as a side dish. Brohet stalls are situated on the west side of the market: pork (or crab) comes wrapped in a green coating, which, when fried, becomes crispy and brittle; the traditional British rhubarb sweet seems to be the inspiration for one stick of rolled red and white meat and of course, the platter wouldn’t be complete without the Angry Bird kebab. It may look strange and vaguely dangerous, but the pork (or crab) balls are delicious, no matter what shape or color they come in. At $1 for three kebabs and two fried vegetable sides, it’s a dish worth experimenting with.
Address: Sangkat Ou Ruessei 1, Phnom Penh
Psar Kab Koh Restaurant
Psar Kab Koh literally translates as Killing Cow Market. Water (recently inhabited by fish and shrimp) trickles down the corridors in rivulets; customers and children of stall-owners nimbly navigate their way through the dark, trying not to get their feet wet. Opposite sits Psar Kab Koh Restaurant. It’s a family-run business, which has been there for as long as anyone seems to remember.
The staff are quick to serve, but bear in mind this is a local Khmer restaurant, with mostly Khmer clientele. It’s worth brushing up on a few phrases before you arrive. For the not-so-adventurous but nonetheless curious, Khmer curry with chicken is a staple dish. It’s filling and nutritious. No, they don’t fish out the bones for you, but it’s a good way to practice your chopstick skills. No matter what, rest assured what you order will be done well. They’ve been doing it for years.
Location: Psar Kab Koh Restaurant, Street 9 (opposite Psar Kab Koh), Phnom Penh
Otherwise known as Green Gates, Samnang (Lucky) Kitchen is the most expat-friendly Khmer dining experience to be had. Bring your intrepid backpacker friend and your nervous parents: the former will devour the daily special, for the latter, there’s the chicken wrap. The staff speak good English, are patient, and are never to be overbearing in their friendly service.
Not only has the owner of Samnang Kitchen managed to cater for Western and Khmer diners alike, but she has alsi created a cool, peaceful restaurant complete with working wifi next to one of the most hectic markets in the city – Psar Toul Tom Poung. Some customers choose never to leave: the man you saw picking up his iced coffee at 8am has established himself in a corner and won’t leave until 8pm, when the seafood barbecue is over.
Location: Street 155, Psar Toul Tom Poung, Phnom Penh
Bokor, Psar Toul Tom Poung
Down a side street, a few steps away from the maddening crowd of Psar Toul Tom Poung (the Russian Market) is a warehouse; the former contents unknown. What it contains today, only a few expats know, though the front entrance is crowded with SUVs and motos at breakfast and lunchtimes. The warehouse is now the best bobor restaurant in the city.
Bobor is a traditional Khmer dish, which is testament to the economizing nature of the post-war Khmer culture. The dish is made up of staple ingredients: rice, chicken broth, fish sauce, and some green leaves. The rice is often that which has been left over from the previous day’s cooking, saved from waste and stewed in a generous portion of flavoured stock. The chef adds chicken, and the diner adds whatever they fancy from the sauces laid out on the canteen-style tables. Do not expect anyone to speak to you in English, but don’t be afraid to take a seat and wait: there’s only one thing on the menu, and it’s delicious.
Address: Street 440, Psar Toul Tom Poung, Phnom Penh
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