Monthly Archives: July 2011

Interview in Le Petite Journal

Nyam Penh has been featured in a Le Petite Journal article on their website! Click on the link to read it in French or just read below for the translated version.

Never go to a restaurant with Vinh! Or so expect that he pinchs from your plate… This American in his thirties has created a foodblog where he reviews institutions phnom penhois. Bryse with his friend, he eats all the racks to find the addresses which will tickle the expatriate palates

Vinh sits down at the table and takes a little black notebook out of his bag. He is there for lunch but, unlike other customers, he will make a note of all his impressions during the meal. Bryse sits in front of him and they both plunge into the menu.

The two Americans met in Phnom Penh four years ago. Vinh is a freelance photographer for the past eight years. Arriving in 2009, Bryse works in civil engineering.

“I think our first conversation focused on the burgers,” recalls Vinh laughing.

In September 2010, their shared passion for good food caused them to open their food critic blog, “Nyam Penh.” Three times per month, they publish their impressions of restaurants in the capital, always accompanied by attractive photos.

That day, they have an appointment at a new restaurant on the street 282. Far from the traditional riverside, they want to know what is behind this establishment that does not see.
“I spotted it in a passing car,” said Vinh. “From the outside it looks like a bakery, that’s not the kind of place to which the expatriate would head to spontaneously.” It is the concept of the blog: to discover the places outside the box.”
The thirty eight year old of Vietnamese origin has invited his sister to “nyamming” of the day. “The more people, the more stomachs and therefore the more dishes to try!” Plates pass from hand to hand and Vinh photographs the dishes under the gaze of startled waitresses.

Opinions, not awards
With Lina’s site My Big Fat Face, they are the only ones blogging on the cuisine of the capital. For both boys, Phnom Penh is the ideal playground. “Since my arrival in 2003, it has evolved tremendously,” said Vinh. “Restaurants have multiplied in the city and there is now a great diversity of establishments.” A diversity and proliferation that may confuse some. The Nyam Penh blog is intended as a guide for expatriates who would not know where to put their forks.

But no way to kill a particular restaurant. Both bloggers are honest and try to highlight the positive points of each institution. “We do not want to be gurus to say where to go eat and where you should not go,” says Vinh. “I almost want to tell people:” Do not listen to me, that’s just my opinion. “But it’s true that it is always nice to have help to choose.” A subjectivity that would nevertheless asserted its independence. Bryse and Vinh refuse to be sponsored despite proposals from several restaurants and do not prevent institutions they criticize.

They choose one at random, on the advice of a friend or strolling in the city. Tired of beer gardens, they have burgers and Chinese restaurants for their favorite fields. “We have nothing against Khmer cuisine but we’ve been here for a long time and we do not necessarily want to eat all year round in Cambodia,” said Bryse. They plan a series of forthcoming reviews in search of the best burger in Phnom Penh. “Sometimes I think that the blog is really a good excuse to eat!” says Vinh.

But a sin confessed, even on-line, is half redressed!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Fisherman Quay

Hanging Peking Duck

Hanging Peking Duck

We came here for one item and upon walking into Fisherman Quay, you can see the goods proudly hanging behind glass where cooks slice and prepare the duck to order.

Peking Duck and pancakes at Fisherman Quay

Peking Duck and pancakes at Fisherman Quay

The menu at Fisherman Quay is very standard for a chinese restaurant and is reasonably priced. Along with the Peking Duck, we also ordered a humungous plate of fried rice and chinese broccoli with garlic and washed it all down with some frosty Tsing Tao beer.

Tsing Tao beer at Fisherman Quay restaurant

Tsing Tao beer at Fisherman Quay restaurant

The Peking Duck was served with a saucer of hoisin sauce, pancakes and a garnish of spring onions, cucumber and pickles.

Garnish for Peking Duck

Garnish for Peking Duck

I have seen Peking Duck served with green onion and cucumber but the pickles were something I had never seen served before and was hesitant to try it in my duck wrap. I was surprised to find the pickles offered a great counterpoint to the fattiness of the duck and ended up eating the duck with the pickles and leaving out the hoisin sauce!

Peking Duck wrapped goodness

Peking Duck wrapped goodness

The chinese broccoli was bright green and was a great dish in itself with a great garlicky taste permeating throughout the dish. The fried rice was average and definitely needed some soy sauce and chili.

All in all, the Peking Duck excursion was successful and definitely makes me want to come back for more.

3.5 out of 5 nyamies

Vinh

From the fisherman name and the gigantic lobster statue hanging off the side of the restaurant, the first time I came to this place I was expecting nothing but seafood.  I was with a Khmer friend and didn’t really pay attention when he was ordering then, suddenly, a wild peking duck appeared.  I proceeded to ignore all other food and focus entirely on the greasy duck tacos.

Peking Duck is one of my favorite Chinese food dishes.  I haven’t tried many duck places in Phnom Penh but from what I have had, this place is the best. Wraps, spring onions, duck sauce, and properly cut duck (pieces of skin only).

The duck is great but it could be fresher.  When done well, the skin is still crispy and adds a great texture to the wraps whereas these have likely been hanging in the window for a while and the skin was a bit chewy by the time it reached our table.


The rest of the menu is standard Chinese food; good, not great but reasonably priced. We had fried rice and chinese broccoli which was tasty.  We didn’t order any seafood on this visit but the whole back of the restaurant is filled with tanks of live fish ready to be picked out, cooked and served.

4 out of 5 nyamies

Bryse

Fisherman Quay
No. 84Eo, Street 214
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Map courtesy of Cambodian Yellow Pages

Map courtesy of Cambodian Yellow Pages

7 Comments

Filed under Chinese

Ribs Ribs Ribs

A very happy EJ

A very happy EJ

I think everyone who reads this blog knows how fanatical we are about meat on the bone. So when I found out that  Sharky’s was running their 1st ever ribs cookoff, it was an easy decision to join the masses for some meat.

9 competitors vied for the “Piggie” award and with three professional palates taking care of the judging, it was going to be a tough competition!

We were getting hungry and a bit impatient for the ribs to come out, so we ordered some nachos to stave off the hunger until the main event. I have always loved the nachos at Sharky’s. I think it has to do with the copious amounts of cheddar cheese sauce and jalapenos on the plate.

Demolished nachos

Demolished nachos

The judges got their portions of ribs all at once which made practically everyone in the bar (well at least at my table) stare hungrily at all the white styrofoam boxes littered on the judging table. What made it even worse was the announcement from the management that turnout was larger than expected and they may not have enough to go around!

The judging table

The judging table

Fifteen minutes later, the all you can feast of coleslaw, corn on the cob and potato salad was unwrapped, ribs started coming out in white styrofoam boxes and we finally got to eating!

Ribs contestant number 1: Conner

Ribs contestant number 1: Conner

Ribs contestant number 2: Rory's Restaurant

Ribs contestant number 2: Rory's Restaurant

Ribs contestant number 3: Jake from Sharky's

Ribs contestant number 3: Mike from Sharky's

Ribs contestant number 4: Ebony

Ribs contestant number 4: Ebony

Ribs contestant number 5: Chona Correa

Ribs contestant number 5: Chona Correa

Ribs contestant number 6: Lone Star

Ribs contestant number 6: Lone Star

Ribs contestant number 7: Rusty Keyhole

Ribs contestant number 7: Rusty Keyhole

Ribs contestant number 8: Ross

Ribs contestant number 8: Ross

Ribs contestant number 9: Dallas from Alley Cat

Ribs contestant number 9: Dallas from Alley Cat

Ribs contestant number 10: Al from Sharky's

Ribs contestant number 10: Al from Sharky's

I don’t want to go into detail about the ribs except that they were all very good and portion sizes were ample. Also, number 10 was not given to the judges but given to the crowd for the People’s Choice vote.

We were completely stuffed and totally ribbed out when number 10 rolled out. In our group of 10, 8 picked the ribs from Rusty as the clear winner with one vote going to Number 3 and to Number 9 respectively.

In the end, the People’s Choice Award went to Rusty Keyhole in Kampot.

And the winners are:

3rd place: Number 9 which came from Dallas at Alley Cat Cafe

2nd place: Number 3 which came from Mike who owns Jake’s BBQ restaurant located in NYC

1st place: Number 4 which were beef ribs that came from Ebony (no restaurant affiliation)

I have to admit that when I tasted the ribs from Ebony, they were impressive. I  thought they were lamb ribs and the sauce was excellent. Not too sweet and had a subtle roasted garlic taste to it. I tried to get the recipe from Ebony but I think she is keeping it secret for next year!

Many thanks to the Sharky’s crew for organizing this event and I hope to see more of these cookoffs in Cambodia!

Just some more images from the night.

Jake dishing out the goods

Mike dishing out the goods

Bringing out the next contestant

Bringing out the next contestant

Ribs from Dallas

Ribs from Dallas

Someone came prepared!

Someone came prepared!

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

3rd Annual Lonestar Chili Cookoff

The 3rd annual Chili Cook off at Lonestar

The 3rd annual Chili Cook off at Lonestar

Lonestar Saloon ran their 3rd annual chili cookoff yesterday and Nyam Penh had the honor to be one of the judges. Which really meant that we paid 6 dollars more than everyone else and got a t-shirt. Not a bad deal considering how great the entries tasted!

It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, meeting new people and eating 12 different chilis. Notably absent was a submission from  Alley Cat Cafe which had won the first 2 cook offs.

The prize was a $75 bar tab to the owner of the first place chili and $25 for the second place chili.

Now onto the winners.

3rd place: Buenos Noches by Sharky Al.

2nd place: John’s Famous Cambodian Chili

1st place: Texas Rojas by Lonestar Saloon

As Lonestar can’t really drink their own bar tab, Greg from Lonestar gave his $75 bar tab to John and Al got the $25!

Many thanks to Greg from Lonestar for organizing this event and I am definitely going to be there next year!

More photos:

 

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Nyam NYC

I was just back in NYC for a short visit so my brother and I went and checked out a Cambodian sandwich shop in Greenwich Village called Num Pang.  While there is not much about the place that feels like Cambodia, a tiny shop with white hipster kids at the counter and loud hip hop playing, the food is great.  There are quite a few different sandwiches to choose from, all on homemade bread with a great chili mayo sauce.  We tried the fried catfish and a beef brisket. The flavors of both were great but the beef brisket had an amazing spiciness, definitely the better one.  They tasted more like Banh Mi more than any Cambodian sandwich I’ve had but that shouldn’t hold people back.

Bryse

The food at Num Pang was definitely more like fancy Banh Mi than any food I’ve ever had in Cambodia, but it was definitely delicious and not too pricey. The bread for each sandwich seemed freshly made and had a slight sourdough tang to it. The fish and brisket were both tender and well prepared, and the mayo sauce complimented both sandwiches well. The only other Cambodian I’ve had in NYC was at a food cart by NYU that was less than stellar, so I’d recommend this for some tasty if not entirely authentic eats.

Jacob

(photo taken from the Num Pang site)

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

4th of July in Phnom Penh

Completely stuffed from the Fourth of July family celebrations at the U.S. Embassy. Lots of great food and company.

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized