Tag Archives: food

The Forbidden Meat

“There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable”

Mark Twain

A DISCLAIMER FROM THE WRITER: We have obscured the identities of all parties in photos and names have been changed to preserve anonymity and confidentiality.

The horror....

We set out a couple of weeks ago to a group of restaurants located near Wat Ounaloum after reports from local media along with friends about a ban on a certain dish that had offended the sensibilities of the local clergy in the area.

Eating kor dut= youths drinking beer????

The dish in question is kor dut and consists of a young calf that spit roasted over coals, and sliced to order. Doesn’t sound offensive enough to ban right?

I guess the offending bit was that the calf was in plain view in front of the restaurant, enticing people (and possibly wayward monks) to come have a taste. The restaurants still serve kor dut but have been told by the municipality to move them inside the restaurant.

Relegated to the backroom

Relegated to the backroom

All the restaurants on the block all looked the same so we had a bit of trouble making a decision on which one to eat at. Luckily, the enterprising proprietor of one grabbed one of our group by the arm and said, “You eat here! ”

Simple enough

We initially ordered a tower of Anchor and a couple plates of the beef. I ended up following the waiter and watched the preparation of the plate. After slicing, the tender beef gets placed on some seriously hot coals for a couple of minutes to crisp up the skin and served with some lime pepper sauce.

Mmmm.... Beef.....

Mmmm.... Beef.....

It is probably the most tender beef I have had in Cambodia and mixed with the lime pepper sauce, makes for a very tasty plate. There is an ample amount for the price (10,000 Riel) and is definitely something I would order again.

Dropping off a plate of pork disguised in some fried rice

We ordered a bunch of food that is in the general Nyam M.O. and though it was normal beer garden fare, there was ample amounts of it.

Flaunting all sorts of sin

It was a great experience as we had a great time chatting with the proprieter and of course, having some great barbecued meat. If you have a chance, definitely try out kor dut even if you have to get it from the back room.

Binh

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Dolce Italia

Condiments at Dolce Italia

Condiments at Dolce Italia

There’s something about a wood fired pizza that gets me well, a bit fired up.  I think that it’s the crispy, yet chewy crust that only a stupidly hot wood oven can create. I also love the visual aspect of a pie with blistered, almost burned edges and taking that first bite, burning the roof of your mouth and not caring.

That’s why my wife and I ended up at  Dolce Italia: Pizza Napoletana Da Giorgio after a hearing from a friend about the pizzas. The menu is a mixture of antipastas, sandwiches, pastas and of course, wood fired pizzas. We ended up ordering a classic Pizza Fresca ($9.50) and the Ripieno Classico ($11.50).

Another great aspect of wood fired pizzas is that they take no time to cook so from the time we ordered to the time we got our pizza and calzone was under 10 minutes.

Pizza Fresca at Dolce Italia

Pizza Fresca at Dolce Italia

The Pizza Fresca is sheer simplicity; consisting of tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes and  basil. It’s this simplicity that allows the high quality ingredients to shine.  The crust was superb with just enough charring to give it that taste only a wood fire can give.

Just enough char

Just enough char

We also ordered the Ripieno Classico or Calzone Napoletano which consisted of ricotta, shredded mozzarella, salame Napoli and basil.

Ripieno Classico at Dolce Italia

Ripieno Classico at Dolce Italia

The crust for the calzone wasn’t as crisp as the pizza but still managed to have that great wood-fired taste and there was ample amounts of goodness inside that made it gut-bustingly delicious.

There are about 10 pizzas on the menu which range from $6 – $15 which is very reasonable considering the size of the pies. Also, they do not deliver and only do pick up orders.

Vinh

Dolce Italia
#96 Sothearos Blvd
Tel: 012 562 892
Just across the street from the Vietnamese/Cambodian Friendship Monument

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Feature in Lifestyle & Travel Magazine

We’ve been featured in the November/December issue of Lifestyle & Travel Magazine.

Check out the article below:

The Buzz - Blog Appetit page 1

The Buzz - Blog Appetit page 1

The Buzz - Blog Appetit page 2

The Buzz - Blog Appetit page 2

 

The Buzz - Blog Appetit page 3

The Buzz - Blog Appetit page 3

If you are interested to see the article in the flesh, just head to a newsstand in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indochina, Hong Kong or Bali and pick one up.

Actually, can you pick one up for me too?

Vinh

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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.

 

 

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Come for the food at Paddy Rice

Paddy Rice

A few weeks back Vinh and I met for lunch.  It was Superbowl Monday here in Cambodia so we wanted to get some bar food and decided to try the food at Paddy Rice, a cool Irish pub that opened last year.  It’s been a great addition to the bar scene in PP but I didn’t realize they had a decent kitchen as well.

 

Club sandwich at Paddy Rice

Although not the most exotic item on the menu I went for the solid club sandwich which was a pretty good value for around $5.  The club was really well done, turkey is pretty rare out here so they had breaded and fried chicken instead which was a great addition.  I like way too much mayo on my clubs which you really only get in NYC bodega’s  so I won’t hold that against the PR club.  The fries were way too big for me but I guess this is the Irish style.

The rest of the meal was pretty good.  The onion rings were great, if a bit greasy, and the apple pie was pretty amazing.  The meal did take almost 2 hours due to the slow service which was starting to kill me towards the end.  But it was a nice day and we had a nice table outside on the river so it was alright.  — Bryse

 

Onion rings at Paddy Rice

We ordered onion rings for starters. A decent amount came with the order and were cooked to perfection.  Another plus was the thai heinz ketchup. The only problem was the pools of oil that pooled at the bottom of the plate. I just wished they would have placed them on some paper towels before sending them out.

 

Steak and Guinness Pie at Paddy Rice

The good was a tasty Steak and Guinness Pie. One thing that I noticed right away was that this was a no nonsense meal. All you get on the plate is the pie and some thick chips on the side. I looked at the other two dishes that came out and saw some nice presentations.  I guess you don’t need to pretty up something that tastes this good. A nicely browned puff pastry covered the goods inside which comprised of steak, carrots and onions in a rich gravy.

I had a bite of Bryse’s club sandwich and was very surprised at how fresh it tasted. The only problem I had with it was it was a bit dry. Luckily, I ordered some garlic mayonnaise to dip my fries in and that definitely helped moisten things up for me.

 

Apple pie ala mode at Paddy Rice

Lastly, we ordered the apple pie a la mode. It was a bit odd looking as there were some crusty bits in which the ice cream sat on. The pie itself was nice and warm with lots of apple filling. Paired with the crusty bits and ice cream, it was a great finish to the meal.  — Vinh

3 out of 5 nyamies – Vinh

3 out of 5 nyamies – Bryse

Paddy Rice

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Nyam BKK

Krispy Kreme vs. Dunkin Donuts

Please forgive the worst pic on the blog (shot from my cell phone) but I just got back from a short trip to Bangkok and had some really great food.  This shot is of the least amazing food, a Krispy Kreme vs. Dunkin Donuts taste test (KK won in texture and DD on flavor and we all felt horrible after).

Burgers – Garage , 2nd Floor of All Seasons Place on Wireless road – Really tasty bacon cheeseburgers at an American themed restaurant in some huge office building mall.

Vietnamese – Xuan Mai, 351/3 Sukhumvit 55 – Absolutely amazing food, a bit pricey for Vietnamese but wow.  Some highlights were the honey suckel flower with pork and shrimp and a creme brulee desert served in an empty coconut.  Also, the Owner of the place was Miss Siagon in the 70s and apparently worked for the CIA.  Really great dinner.

Street food – Sukhumvit Soi 38 night market – Crispy pork wonton soup + too much chili pepper = delicious

Italian – Bacco, 35/1 Sukhumvit Soi 53 – Nice wood fired pizza with some interesting topping choices.

Bryse

UPDATE: the “bun in the oven” shown in the photo above has been born!  Sunday morning happy and healthy but still no name …

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Ngon Restaurant

Ngon is a restaurant that I have been obsessing over for the past month or so. I have been to both locations in Vietnam and am wholly impressed with them both. Which led me to organize a party of 12 anonymous reviewers on opening night to sample as much of the menu as possible. This was probably my first mistake to review a brand new restaurant on opening night. But lets get to that later.

The atmosphere of Ngon is fantastic. The setting is reminiscent of the imperial Vietnam of old with a hutong inspired entrance which leads to a open floor plan dotted with food stations on the sides of the building.The menu is 70% Vietnamese and 30% Khmer with very reasonable prices (most items at 9,000 Riel). After getting everyone in and with a beer in hand, we ordered 10 dishes to share.

Unfortunately, Ngon hasn’t worked out the kinks of running such a large operation and it took a half hour for us to get our first dish. After several inquiries and direct intervention by the GM, we managed to get three other dishes in a timely manner. We were also told that 6 of the ordered items were out and we had to reorder another dish (Ga Chien or fried chicken wings) to get some more food in our stomachs.

In the end, we received the Banh Xeo, Goi Bo Tai Chanh, Bo Nhung Dam, Banh Hoi Thit and Ga Chien. All the dishes were great with the Banh Hoi Thit being my favorite. The fat on the pork belly had a great crust which gave a crunchy texture to a normally chewy piece of meat. The Bo Nhung Dam had ample amounts of onion which once stewed a few minutes in the vinegar broth were heavenly.

During the meal, I  walked by the order station which is located very close to the toilets. I stood by and watched over half the waiters in the restaurant relaying orders to two employees at computer terminals. As a former waiter, I could see this was disastrous. Total mayhem was erupting right before my eyes and I felt a little pity for the waiters. I hope that the management work this situation out, if for the sanity of the wait staff.  In all honesty, this review could have waited a month to give Ngon a chance to work out the kinks so there will be another follow up in the future.

— VinhThe food we did receive was overall pretty great but it was hard to enjoy the experience when it was clear that the management of the restaurant was not yet in order.  From taking over an hour to get our first drink to the blank stares of the staff when we ordered, they were clearly overwhelmed with this new restaurant.  Vinh even broke out his Vietnamese language skills a few times which helped discussing our orders with the management but not so much with the Khmer staff that was actually bringing the food.

Banh Xeo

But it was opening night.  The idea of the restaurant is great, the building, the furniture and fixtures are absolutely beautiful and the food was pretty solid.  Once they work out the kinks in the service, this place will be really great.  The banh xeo was really tasty and crispy and the bo nhung dam was amazing.  The only other time I’ve had bun nhung dam was my first night in Saigon at a street stall with a group of friends so I have very fond memories associated with this dish.  It will probably be a while until I head back and it will probably be with a slightly smaller group but I’m really hoping they get this place sorted.  — Bryse

Bo Nhung Dam

After tallying the votes of the group, the Goi Bo Tai Chanh was the favorite of the crew, garnishing a 4.6 out of a possible 5 nyamies.
Banh Hoi Thit – 3.75 Nyamies
Banh Xeo – 3..5 Nyamies
Ga Chien – 3.6 Nyamies
Bo Nhung Dam – 3.55 Nyamies

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