Phnom Penh

A long long time ago, I caught drift about their Phnom-enal butter beef and chicken wings. Of course, I’m talking about Phnom Penh in Chinatown! For over 30 years, it’s been running and gunning strong. Now that I have a bit more time on my hands, I finally made my way down to the ghetto-looking restaurant with Shrimpo and JackAttack.

We went around 1:30PM and it was absolutely packed to the brick! Undeterred, we shoved our way through the crowd to put down our names. For the brief minutes we were inside, the aroma of spices and seasonings wafted under our noses, kickstarting the cephalic phase in our digestive systems.

Grilled Lemongrass Chicken

Since there were three of us, we decided to get three dishes to match. Besides the butter beef and chicken wings, we ordered the Grilled Lemongrass Chicken on Rice ($8.25).

Grilled Lemongrass Chicken

The serving size is roughly a quarter of the chicken. To my surprise, it was very moist and packed with lemongrass flavour. Similarly, the rice was perfectly prepared; you could differentiate each grain in your mouth.

Butter Beef

After a while of waiting, the Butter Beef ($13.25) finally arrived. To be honest, I didn’t even know it was served raw! Nevertheless, I quite enjoyed this dish even though it didn’t have any butter.

Butter Beef

The sauce had a harmonious balance of sweet and tart notes, similar to that of tataki dressings at Japanese restaurants. The beef had a soft-chewy texture to it, which paired well with the crunchy cilantro and fried garlic. Interestingly enough, the cilantro didn’t overpower the dish.

However, like Shrimpo recommended, try to eat this with rice as it can get a bit salty.

Fried Chicken

I don’t know if it was just too busy or something, but it took super long for our large-sized Deep Fried Chicken Wings ($12.95) to arrive. Oddly enough, even the take-out chicken wings that JackAttack ordered came earlier than our dine-in dish. It took roughly 45 minutes for them to successfully serve us our highly-anticipated wings.

Fried Chicken

The dry-style wings were nicely fried; my fingers were not left greasy after transporting them from the dish to my mouth. They’re served with a liquidy lemon juice & black pepper sauce and lightly sprinkled with sugar, which made it more interesting to eat. However, I felt that this dish was extremely hyped up… While the wings were adequately moist, it was mostly crispy skin to eat. Also, they weren’t that huge on flavour; topping off the wings with fried garlic did help though.

Overall, it was a good experience. I guess I had pretty high expectations for the wings due to all the hype. I mean, they’re okay – just not as spectacular as I imagined.

Final Bytes

  1. Try to come at 2:45PM! Times before and after are packed!
  2. Accepts credit and debit cards!
  3. You might have to share a table with other people, which isn’t that big of a deal. You might even make a couple new friends!

Foodobyte’s Rating

Phnom Penh 金邊小館 on Urbanspoon