Category Archives: Korean

Mallrats at Sorya Shopping Center

Mallrats at Sorya Shopping Center

Mallrats at Sorya Shopping Center

I can’t resist a good mall. Heck, I can’t really resist a bad one. And there have been many.

Most notable has to be the Plaza Carlos III in Havana but hey, it was a good effort and had a decent chinese restaurant on the ground floor. Which brings us to our next Nyam excursion to the Sorya Shopping Center located a stone’s throw away from the art-deco masterpiece, Central Market.

Five floors of shopping fun, Sorya has a little known food court on the 4th floor that caters to a more local crowd. It also has a few restaurants that dot the various floors of the mall. We started at the food court to see if there was anything tasty to try out.

Panorama of the 4th floor food court at Sorya

Panorama of the 4th floor food court at Sorya

First thing to do was to buy some food coupons at the coupon center at the front of the court. No cash is accepted at the stalls.

Where to get the food coupons

Where to get the food coupons

The coupons come in 1,000, 2,000, and 5,000 Riel notes and there is no service charge to worry about.

Bryse rollin like a big baller

Bryse rollin like a big baller

After getting our coupons, we (Bryse, Lina and I) went our separate ways to see if there was anything tasty to report. A good ten minutes of inspecting every food stall later, all I got was quite a bit of offal soup/fry/steamed rice stalls with only one exception.

In all honesty, I got to thinking of scrapping the whole review and head to the nearest burger joint to wash away the images of offal floating in my brain. Bryse decided to get drinks and came back with the sweetest lemon tea drink I have had in Cambodia. Lina reported that she saw a stall that had filipino food which was promising.  I also saw a japanese noodle stall so we decided to hit up these two places.

Serving up some soba noodle soup

Serving up some soba noodle soup

I ordered the made to order Soba Noodle Soup which looked amazing when it came out. The soup came with a couple pieces of fried shrimp on top but didn’t have the soba noodles as advertised.

Soba Soup

Soba Soup

It was ramen instead which didn’t bother me but I can imagine purists causing an uproar about it. It was great value for money (8,000 Riel or $2.00) but I have had better noodle soups in town.

"filipino" food at Sorya

"filipino" food at Sorya

Lina came back with a sizzling hot plate from the filipino stall which had rice, an over-easy egg and what looked strangely like fried beef with basil.  Which it was. Naming aside, this was a pretty good plate of food. The sizzling hot plate gave the rice a great crunchy crust and the beef was full of flavor. All for $2.00!

We decided we had enough of the food court and headed downstairs to the BBQ Chicken restaurant which is Korea’s #1 Chicken Restaurant.  When perusing through the menu, we noticed that there wasn’t too many grilled dishes for a place with the initials BBQ in it. Upon some research, I found out that the BBQ doesn’t actually stand for BarBeQue but Best of the Best Quality. Those crazy Koreans!

Hot Hot Drum at BBQ Chicken

Hot Hot Drum at BBQ Chicken

We ended up ordering Korean Charbroiled Chicken Thighs ($4.90) and the Hot Hot Drums ($4.90). The Hot Hot Drums had quite a bit of breading on them which soaked up the sweet and spicy sauce that they were drenched in. The chicken thighs were a little better in terms of actual meat and had a great soy based marinade to it.

Charbroiled Chicken Thighs at BBQ Chicken

Charbroiled Chicken Thighs at BBQ Chicken

If I had to choose between the two, I would have to go with the Hot Hot Drums.

Along with these places mentioned, there are several other restaurants to check out. Let us know if you do so we can add to this list of places!

Vinh

Sorya Shopping Center
No. 13-61 Street 63 (Just south of Central Market)
Phnom Penh

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Filed under Cambodian, Korean

Lunch at La Korea

The lunch specials at La Korea

The lunch specials at La Korea

I am a big fan of Korean food. Maybe it’s the copious amount of meat that is involved. Or the great sides that you get with every meal. Maybe it’s just value. Back in the land of Disney, you can go to a plethora of all you can eat Korean restaurants for under $20. My favorite has just raised their prices a whopping $3 to $16.99. And that’s just for dinner!

My big problem with the Korean restaurants in Phnom Penh is that they aren’t cheap. I have been to La Korea several times for dinner and have never spent less than $30.00 on a meal so it was nice to hear that they have a very reasonable set of lunch specials.

For $5.00 you get the choice of:

Kim Chee Stew
Curd Bean Stew
Soy Bean Steew
Cow Bone and Tripe Soup with Rice
Dumpling Soup
Buckwheat Noodles with Cold Broth
Soup containing Shells and Cabbages
Vegetable Porridge

Not bad considering you get water, assorted sides and a complementary glass of cinnamon tea (which is awesome btw) to finish the meal.

I ordered the Kim Chee Stew while Bryse ordered the Bibimbap ($6).

Service is quite fast with the meal coming within 10 minutes from the initial order.

Array of sides at La Korea

Array of sides at La Korea

The food came out on a serving cart and looked absolutely delicious. The Bibimbap had a great sizzling sound due to the extremely hot pot that it was served in. My Kim Chee Stew came out right behind and was also so hot that the stew was still bubbling when served.

Kim Chi Stew at La Korea

Kim Chi Stew at La Korea

Chock full of kim chee, tofu, pork belly and funnily enough, hot dogs, the Kim Chee Stew hit the spot. The sourness of the kim chee was counterbalanced nicely with the fatty pork belly and made for a fantastically filling meal. I asked for a side of gochujang, which is the chili paste that comes with the Bibimbap to use as a dip and that took the stew over the top.

Kim Chee at La Korea

Kim Chee at La Korea

Bibimbap translates to “mixed meal” and this rendition keeps with tradition. Tons of ingredients and extremely filling. One notable aspect of the bowl was the layer of crispy rice that formed on the bottom of the very hot pot which gave a crunchy texture that completely won me over.

Bibimbap at La Korea

Bibimbap at La Korea

All in all, a great, cheap meal that I will definitely come back for.

4 out of 5 nyamies

Vinh

Bibimbap at La Korea

Bibimbap at La Korea

Although Phnom Penh never really has the right weather for Bibimbap, it is one of my favorite lunch dishes so I was really excited when I saw La Korea had a relatively cheap one on their menu.

Array of sides at La Korea

Array of sides at La Korea

First the side dishes. The kimchi is great, nice and sour and spicy but not anything crazy sour. This was my second time for lunch in the past few months and the side dishes were a little bit different this time. The first time there were some really tasty potatoes with sesame seeds which they different serve. Unfortunately, I don’t know what any of it is called so I would recommend the potatoes if they do come out. Also, the green stuff was quite nice (very helpful).

Bibimbap at La Korea

Bibimbap at La Korea

When they serve the bibimbap at La Korea they offer to mix the dish for you which I let them do on my first trip. However, they mixed it a bit to vigorously and the rice didn’t get seared at the bottom of the hot stone pot. So this time I gave it a shot and had better success with the rice searing. But I’m not sure if the bowl isn’t as hot as it is supposed to be because there still wasn’t a ton of seared rice and they don’t serve the bibimbap with a raw egg but a fried one instead. It didn’t change the flavor dramatically but the raw egg is kind of fun. You feel pressured to quickly mix the ingredients and get that raw egg cooked with the heat of the bowl.

Kim Chi Stew at La Korea

Kim Chi Stew at La Korea

I tried a bite of Vinh’s kimchi soup and it was pretty tasty. The hot dogs were a bit weird but everything else looked nice. And for desert they served a plate of watermelon and this really great cold cinnamon tea. Perfect way to cool down a bit after the hot bibimbap.

Bryse – 4.25 nyamies (that’s right, two decimal points)

Cinnamon tea at La Korea

Cinnamon tea at La Korea

La Korea
No 128 C1C2
Sothearos Blvd
Phnom Penh
023 211 013

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Filed under Korean, Lunch