La Patate is one of the longest running restaurants on Street 5, a small side street that runs parallel to the riverside. It’s known by expats as the best place in town to get Belgian fries so we decided to stop on by to see if the reputation holds.
The interior is covered in Tin Tin posters which gives it a nice retro feel to the place. They serve all sorts of belgian beers there so if you were looking to try something a bit different than your typical Cambodian lagers, this is the place to go.
In typical Nyamming form, we ended up ordering way too much food which consisted of a couple bazooka’s, a jumbo order of Belgian fries, a slew of dipping sauces and an order of mussels.
Encased in a crusty baguette, the Bazooka is definitely a meal that can be shared and in typical Nyam fashion, we ordered two. We ordered the burger and sausage bazookas which were very reasonably priced at $5.50. The sausage was a much better choice with the burger patties being a bit too mushy for my tastes. The sausage casing gave it just enough bite for texture and had just enough heat to perk up my taste buds.
The mussels were the highlight of the lunch. Mixed in with the herby lemon butter broth and large mussels were an ample amount of calamari and shrimp. It was so good that I threw caution to the wind and dipping the accompanied bread in the sauce until it was all gone (I am allergic to shrimp).
I have had the fries before and they are definitely worth a visit. Fried twice in true Belgian fashion, the fries have an amazingly crisp exterior while retaining a light and fluffy potato texture on the inside. If having some of the best fries in Phnom Penh wasn’t enough, they have now added several dipping sauces to accompany the fries! You get Ketchup for free but an extra $0.50 gets you Mayonnaise, Aioli, Barbecue, Sriracha (hells ya!) or Samourai Hot. Definitely spend the extra loi and try some of the sauces.
All in all, the mussels are to die for here and you can never go wrong with an order of jumbo fries made better with some fun dipping sauces (get the Samourai Hot).
4 out of 5 Nyammies.
While walking into La Patate we were greeted by a jolly Belgium who turned out to be the owner of the place. In addition to the Tin Tin posters everywhere, there are several photos of him with Matt Dillon and Gerard Depardieu from the City of Ghosts filming in Phnom Penh back in the day. So before even trying anything, you get the impression that if La Patate was good enough for Depardieu it’s probably pretty legit.
We ordered the signature fries with all of the dipping sauces, a couple of the bazooka’s and for some reason, everyone else wanted to try the mussels. The fries were pretty good but I’m not a big fan of places that don’t salt their fries. I assume this is so that customers can salt to their taste but in my opinion, if a restaurant named after a potato, they should have these things arriving at your table ready to go.
The dipping sauces were all pretty great. The bazooka sandwiches was served on sliced baguettes which was really nice for the spicy sausage but just didn’t really work for the burger. The bazooka burger was more of just a kind of weird beef sandwich than a burger. I’m not a big fan of mussels so I tried to avoid eating them but was forced to try the sauce towards the end of the meal and was surprised at how good it was. Mussels not being my thing, I probably wouldn’t order it again but I would recommend it to seafood lovers and would probably steal a few bites.
Overall, the atmosphere was cool, the spicy sausage bazooka was delicious and the fries pretty solid. The owner laughed as us when we were finishing and said if we ate 3 bazooka’s, the 4th one would be free. No way that was happening that day but I might take him up on the offer next time.
3.5 out of 5 nyamies
La Patate – No. 14 street 5 between streets 110 and 118