Apparently, due to my parents unyielding taste in food and dining experiences, Phnom Penh has been visited numerous times by my mothers' side of the family and not us. Phnom Penh serves up Cambodian and Vietnamese fare with the eloquence of a well-oiled machine.
The first time I went, it was a girls night out and really - we ate like pigs. Chicken wings, frogs legs, lemongrass pork on rice, oyster pancake, and some sort of beef soup. Initially, we were planning on packing some to go, but being our mothers' daughters, we dutifully finished up what we could. What we left behind were remnants of salad, rice, and some frog legs, since they were a touch bland and dry.
The second time I went with the intention of stringing together a blog entry was with the great big Portuguese family. You see, the site of the now Phnom Penh used to be one of the last great Portuguese restaurants in the lower mainland. The *other* last great Portuguese restaurant closed up a couple years prior, and was located on the current site of Campagnolo on Main. The one at Phnom Penh was owned by the father of the owner of the Portuguese restaurant at the now-Campagnolo. And the "Portuguese family"? They were eight of the grandsons (and son) of those Portuguese owners. So while my cousin I, M and myself sat in on the cousins going down memory lane about the restaurant, we contemplated what to order.
We tried the green papaya and shrimp salad, which was a nice appetizer - it was served with a dried meat on top and the salad was quite refreshing.
After that, the food, like my photos, was a little bit of a blur. There were spring rolls and rice crepes, calamari and chicken wings. They were all very good, but it was a little bit of a frenzy.
I think the part that stuck out the most was when we were first ordering, we ordered double portions of everything - salad, wings, calamari, crepes - you name it. Then, out of the blue, someone down the table says to the waitress, "Oh yeah, and that egg and beef dish on rice? Let's have eight of those!"
There was a slight stunned silence before everyone snapped around and said, "Whaaat?"
We settled for five of "those egg and beef dish on rice" entrees and that was plenty. Admittedly, the egg and beef dish was one of the tastiest things that night, next to the wings and calamari!
The regular fried rice was just ok. I'm not really a huge fried rice fan unless it's nasi goreng. Then it's bring on the shovel... :)
Looking forward to other return trips to Phnom Penh - I have to figure out what I ate that night, right?
244 E Georgia St [map]