Last night I was completely famished and could not face another bowl of prahok, noodles or soup if my life depended upon it. A colleague in the office who shares a similar penchant for Japanese food had mentioned a great sushi restaurant where the Khmer chef has been trained by a Japanese master and apparently it was also reasonably priced. So with my girlfriend eager to join me, we headed for Ko Ko Ro at #18 Eo Sihanouk Boulevard (St 274).
Celebrating nationalism with cheese
For those of you not well acquainted with the minutia of fine Canadian cuisine, one meal stands above the rest: a dish beloved by all as a symbol of our fair land. The Scots have Haagis and the Australians have Vegemite. We have Kraft Dinner, or, to use the the parlance of our times, KD.
Now we have our own Espressamente Illy Coffee shop in Phu My hung. It opened last Saturday. A quick review.
What I like:
The design is awesome. It's a modern and clean design, mandatory for all Illy Coffee shops all over the world with just adjustment to the local shop sizes. The armchairs are real leather and comfortable, the lightning is not to bright, and the close the curtains when too much sunlight comes in.
When was the last time you actually wanted a tour of a restaurant before you ate?
Le Liban is the newest Lebanese cuisine in town and it is set in a huge ex-embassy compound that has taken the owners a year to renovate. What they have created is an amazing testament to what you can achieve if you have vision. Is that a Bedouin tent in the middle of Phnom Penh? Yes? Is that a traditional Khmer wooden house (painted funky purple) really a sheesha bar? Yes. Are those immaculate outside gardens with fountains really that immaculate? Yes. Is that plain concrete wall really painted with a trompe d'oeil that makes it look like an ancient, ivy covered sandstone wall? Yes.
On the site of the old ‘Talking to a Stranger’ bar at 21B Street 294, partners Sophea Touch and Siem Reap-based designer Theam have opened Villa Khmer, which comes described as a Restaurant|Lounge|Boutique. It’s a striking creation, all clad in bright red and dark hues. That's just the wait staff. The restaurant is similarly attired, too, and furnished in the minimalist Zen style popular with classy joints here in Phnom Penh.
I am a bit addicted to coffee shops. The reason is that I like coffee and I like to sit in a Cafe. Since many coffee shops are offering Wifi, they became a workplace for me. What sometimes sucks is the management. You seldom see the owner or manager at the front desk, they leave all the work to the mostly untrained stuff. So some advice for coffee shop owners and managers:
1.) Your customers are important, not you and your balance sheets. If there is any trouble, get your ass off your office and assist your staff
Baithong Restaurant took the first place during a simple pleasure competition searching for that perfect pastry that we indulge most of the time. The panel of judges from various groups such as Jerome (Cellier D’Asie), Chef Takashi (La Residence), Chef Ludo (French Embassy), Guillaume (F&B Consultant), Dara (Sundara International) and of course myself felt that the competition was interesting as all of us came from different background and taste.
There's no shortage of restaurants around the Russian Market. You'll find quite a few western cafes, like Café Yejj and Yellow, as well as the cheap market stalls in the market and plenty of off-road local spots dishing out the ubiquitous rice and soupy meat.
But the new Vitking House vegetarian restaurant seems to be one of a kind in this neck of the woods. It possesses the western amenities of air-conditioning, comfortable seating and free wifi, but is priced like a local eatery..
The Living Room Cafe provides a great family friendly atmosphere. Sunday brunches. It has 6 eating areas – 2 outdoors and 4 in (2 with air-con, 2 with ceiling fans) - all with a mix of seating arrangements,
in the comfortable yet stylish feel of a modern chic home. There is an excellent play room downstairs, great bathroom facilities (including a change table and bath/shower for toddler accidents) and air-conned rooms that can be hired for meetings. The food. I have to confess up front that I'm not an organic eater at the best of times, but this was wonderful.
THE BALCONY Gastropub opened its gates just in September 2010, but has quickly gained a reputation for great food, very reasonably priced drinks and a great atmosphere. As proof of this, the place is packed every night! Very popular among local and foreign business people working in Makati, the mainly young crowd keeps this place busy, often until the wee-hours. Try their CREPES!
THE BALCONY GASTROPUB
100 C. Palanca, Legaspi Village
Makati City, Philippines
Republished with the kind permission of