Tag Archives: burgers

Fox Wine Bistro

The Bar

Fox is the latest offering by the entrepreneurs who brought Brown to Phnom Penh, and it has a lot of the same things going for it: well-trained staff, great interior spaces, and a mission to make Cambodian clientele feel at home in a typically Western setting. If you go, go at night; take friends or a date, enjoy the wine and the buzz of conversations in Khmer and western languages, and be open to some interesting Asian spins on the kind of dishes you find at Deco or Topaz.

Indoor/Outdoor Seating

But OK, because we were taking photographs, Bryse, Anna, Peter and I went in the middle of the day one Saturday. It was kind of empty, and we didn’t have any wine, so we basically opted out of two of Fox’s top selling points. We also didn’t order any of the over $10 options on the menu. With those caveats, here are our thoughts on some of the dishes as we experienced them in the harsh, sober light of day.

Burger

Fox serves a great-looking “burger”; well-toasted bun (complete with subtle “Fox” bun brand), sloppy egg on top, and with a decent side of wilted greens for a dash of healthiness. However, look under the hood and you’ll discover that this is not a standard ground beef patty, but rather, a small pile of saucy beef cubes. If I had ulterior motives, I could spin this as a groundbreaking Asian fusion burger, but to be honest, it was a little weird and disappointing, particularly compared to other Nyam Penh burger adventures. Also, where are the fries? For $6.50 or less, you can get way better, more traditional burgerage in Phnom Penh.

Mini Burgers

The mini-burgers look adorable and taste pretty good. Unlike the regular sized burger, these have more traditional patty structure and texture. Alas, the truly delightful burger physics of juicy-centeredness and outer-crustiness are rarely found at this quantum level, and even as mini burgers go, these didn’t have that much meat. But Fox mini burgers, how can I look at Anna’s picture of your tiny Fox buns and write you off as not worthwhile? At $5-$6, they are not a bad choice for an appetizer.

Whatever Roswell Ordered

The chicken has a very Western presentation, and yet the flavors are all Khmer. The sauce reminded us of amok, with delicious notes of lemongrass. I could have used some rice, though; like with the “burger,” it seemed conspicuously carb deficient. It was particularly odd that it didn’t come with rice, since, according to the waitress, this is a dish designed for Cambodian diners who aren’t in the mood for our exotically ethnic food (“they say it is too bland,” she explained) and prefer something they’re used to. To a Westerner, on the other hand, it is a very intriguing take on a gourmet chicken dish. A little steep at $8, but worth a try.

Fox Bistro Anna Clare Spelman-8

This is the goat cheese beet root salad with strawberries and walnuts. Unfortunately, there are only two slices of strawberries, very few beet roots, and not a lot of goat cheese — and the goat cheese, unfortunately, doesn’t have that crumble to its creaminess that usually makes goat cheese worthwhile, it was closer to standard cream cheese in blandness and texture. In addition to the vinagrette on the side, the salad leaves came already dressed in oil, making the whole thing unexpectedly greasy.

For the above dishes, we stuck with the under-$10 options. Our waitress, who was very helpful and well-spoken, noted that the more expensive dishes (Australian rib-eye; lamb; etc) were the most popular, and I would spring for those next time I go back. And I will go back. Like I said at the top, it’s a good scene at night, and it’s nice to have a Western restaurant that really feels like it has grown up in the new, cosmopolitan Cambodia.

-Roswell

-photos by Anna.

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Burgers at Tepui

The burgers we sampled

The burger trio

We had a chance to sample some concept burgers at Tepui, a restaurant located on the riverside in Phnom Penh. C0-owners Antonio and Gisella are looking to put these mini-burgers to a brunch menu after the rainy season so we were very lucky to get a chance to try some of their experimental burgers.

Starting from the left, we have the Italiano burger which has a coarse ground chuck patty with some slab of prosciutto, mozzarella cheese,  sun-dried tomatoes and rocket inbetween toasted tomato ciabatta bread with a bit of vinaigrette dribbled on.

The middle burger is the Bunless Chicken Burger. Essentially using breaded sliced chicken breast as the buns, it is definitely something you have to eat with a fork and knife. Smashed inbetween the breaded chicken slices is another slice of breaded chicken, cheddar cheese, tomato and rocket salad. Just to push up the unhealthy factor of this “burger”, they take a fried egg, cut around the white stuff and put the runny yolky goodness on top. Oh yeah, there is a pickle on top.

The Chinese Dumpling burger on the far right is their version of a chinese dumpling. A seasoned ground pork patty is placed with some shitake mushrooms, and caramelized onions inbetween a mini burger bun.

All three were excellent but I found that my favorite was the Chinese Dumpling burger. It is a great take of the classic dumpling and is indicative of the creative mind of Gisella, who creates the menu at Tepui. The two other burgers were also fantastic but in all honesty, I kept going back to the Chinese Dumpling burger.

– Vinh

The Holy Trinity

Before we went over to Tepui to try these burgers I ran into Giselle and she warned me that they were going to get creative and they certainly did.

I tried the Italian burger first and it was really nice. The focaccia bread,  vinaigrette and mozzarella worked great together as a burger. I thought the prosciutto was a nice touch but it didn’t stand out as much as I would have expected.

Next I tried the Chinese Dumpling Burger. First of all, a CHINESE DUMPLING BURGER?!?! Amazing. Ground pork, sautéed onions, shiitake mushrooms, scallions, all on a bun. It actually did taste like a delicious dumpling; it was amazing. We then started talking about sides for this type of burger and Gisella ran back to the kitchen and came back with a spicy soy sauce, sesame oil dipping sauce which just pushed this thing over the top.

Finally, I tried the bun-less chicken burger. I’m usually a big fan of chicken burgers and this was ground chicken with bacon mixed in which sounded amazing. However, the logistics of this one threw me off. I wasn’t a big fan of getting runny eggs on my hand and it was way too big to eat in any sort decent manner. The taste was great and I think Antonio and Gisella will probably tweak this one and it will be great.


Then, a completely unnecessary desert burger came out as a final surprise. It was basically a s’more type burger but a toasted bun instead of graham cracker. Really tasty but one bite and I was finished.

Can’t wait for the new brunch menu at Tepui to start!

– Bryse

Chinese House

Tepui at Chinese House

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