Phnom Penh Restaurant (map, 244 E Georgia St., Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-682-5777) is one of Vancouver’s most praised restaurants by the (very active) local food blogging community.
The blog foodosophy has a really insightful discussion into the nature of the Cambodian/Vietnamese food that is featured at Phnom Penh:
…common to the cuisines is the general presentational philosophy of “fresh” balanced with “savory”. Pho, as an example, will always be presented to the diner with a plateful of herbs and greens as a counterpoint the savoriness of the broth. To indulge the diner further – a wedge of lime of almost always provided to allow for adjustment the sour note. This philosophy lends an appealing “brightness” to the cuisine.
(Read more at their blog by clicking here.)
Most bloggers agree that the “must-order” signature dish at Phnom Penh is the chicken wings. So we ordered them! (See the photo below).
These chicken wings were amazing – remarkable, really – and the reason is that their flavors are multi dimensional. If you enjoy pub food you may find yourself eating piles of wings on certain nights of the week, with a choice of hot, teriyaki, or honey garlic sauce. If you’re used to these style of wings, you’ll soon realize that the wings at Phnom Penh are in a different category altogether.
Prolific food blogger KimHo describes them best on his blog (click here to read his post):
It had some pepper-y and garlic-y flavour at first but, after a moment, other layers of flavours I can’t described started to kick in. And I could stop eating them piece after piece! In the small bowl is a acidic/lemon-y dip which added yet another layer of flavour.
Another one of my favorite dishes to order at Phnom Penh is the traditional Vietnamese gỏi cuốn (Summer Roll), also known as a Salad Roll (also pictured below). I enjoy making these at home – the ingredients are so fresh and I love the combination of the rice paper wrapper with the seafood, vermicelli noodles, vegetables and herbs. Click here to check out a video I made of me and my friends making Vietnamese salad rolls at home.
I’m definitely going back to Phnom Penh to try more of their dishes sometime soon. Hope you enjoy it!