Tag Archives: fries

The Exchange Burger

The Exchange

The Exchange

The Exchange is one of a number of high-end restaurants that have opened up in Phnom Penh in the past 6 months. I tend to wait a bit to let the restaurant get on it’s feet a bit and sort out the niggly details that comes with opening a restaurant.

After hearing that Al formerly of Sharky’s was running the food side of things, I excitedly threw out this rule and showed up on opening day. Unfortunately, in my excited state, I forgot to bring my camera.

Interior at the Exchange

Interior at the Exchange

The interior of the Exchange exudes class and was very well designed. Also, I really enjoyed the open air feel of the place with lots of windows let in the breeze and light. I ordered the burger and my wife ordered the braised lamb shank. Both were excellent and the service was impeccable. The only issue was my burger was dripping with juices which made it nice and juicy but turned it into a soppy mess.  Al came over after our meal and I mentioned the juiciness. He winced and mentioned that the staff isn’t properly resting the burger before serving. I didn’t think anything of it as it was the first day.

Fast forward to a week ago where Bryse and I headed back to the Exchange to have one item and one item only: the cheeseburger.

The cheeseburger at the Exchange

The cheeseburger at the Exchange

It’s advertised as the Flame-Grilled Black Angus Beef Burger on the menu and was definitely worth it a second time around. The menu is a mix of  pan-asian and western grilled plates and prices range from 8.00 to 16.00 dollars but we didn’t bother with anything else.

Perfectly cooked cheeseburger at the Exchange

Perfectly cooked cheeseburger at the Exchange

Perfectly cooked to a rare temperature, the burger comes with extremely fresh tomatoes, crispy lettuce, an onion confit and swiss cheese on a not-too sweet sesame seed bun. A side of fries with a garlic aioli and ketchup round out the plate. Not too bad for $7.50. I mentioned in an previous post that T-Bone had the best burger in town but after this one, I have to take that crown off T-Bone and place it squarely on the Exchange burger. The high quality of the imported Australian meat shines through and the fresh garnishes make it the complete package.

Just a little juice

Just a little juice

So next time you are fixing for a burger and are willing to dish out a little more loi, then you can’t go wrong with the burger at the Exchange.

Vinh

Perfectly cooked cheeseburger at the Exchange

Perfectly cooked cheeseburger at the Exchange

A big old flag at the Exchange

A big old flag at the Exchange

The Exchange
#28 Street 47
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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Fast Food Burger Off

One of the best aspects of living in Cambodia is the extremely civilized 2 hour lunchtime. Combined with the relatively compact size of Phnom Penh, it is conceivable to go home, have lunch, relax or take a nap and get back to work in time. Not a bad way to live if you ask me.

But there are days where you just don’t have the time for civilized.

And that’s where this post is headed. We took that very civilized 2 hour lunch and hit up 4 different fast food burger joints in Phnom Penh to see if there actually is a decent fast food burger in town. Our criteria was simple.

It had to be fast so we set a time limit of 5 minutes from ordering to the time the order arrived for the restaurant to qualify. Now off to the judging!

Lucky Burger

Lucky Burger Meal

Lucky Burger Meal Deal

We first started off at Lucky Burger. With 5 locations in Phnom Penh, and 1 in Siem Reap, Lucky Burger was the closest we had to a western fast food restaurant.

We ordered the basic lucky burger meal which consisted of a cheeseburger, fries and a coke. I don’t know if I should consider this a plus but upon ordering our meal, we were asked it we wanted to up the size of our fries and drink for an extra charge. We declined but I think Lucky should be given some props for maintaining the western fast food mentality of upselling to the customer. After ordering, we got our order number and found a place to sit. 5 minutes later, we received our meal. My initial impression of the burger was positive.

All that cheese!

All that cheese!

Along with the normal LOT (lettuce, onion, tomato), there was an ample slice of american cheese, a tangy, not too sweet sauce and pickles. The sauce wasn’t cloyingly sweet and the pickles made for a great tang that was missed on the other burgers we tried. The fries were just okay and definitely needed some dipping in the accompanying catsup bowl for some extra flavor.

Lucky burger offered the best tasting burger but taste came with a price as it came dead last in order time.

2.5 out of 5 nyamies
Vinh

Lucky Burger

Lucky Burger

I had tried Lucky Burger before and it wasn’t too bad. The day we went, it kind of reminded me of the cheap burgers in the elementary school cafeteria. Probably grade F meat but definitely eatable. Nothing special but just a cheap fast food burger.

Lucky Burger cut in half

Lucky Burger cut in half

We stuck with just the basic cheeseburger but what I was surprised about was the variety on the Lucky Burger menu. They have the typical fast food menu but also pizza, fried chicken, rice, etc. We were trying to pace ourselves for the following spots but some of the other items looks pretty interesting.

2.5 out of 5 nyamies
Bryse

Lucky Burger
N0 158 Preah Sihanouk
Total order time: 5 minutes
Total Price: $3.50

Song Tra Ice Cream

Looking at the store front, you couldn’t tell that this place sells burgers. But once inside, we perused through the menu and found a lone cheeseburger in a menu filled with very sweet Khmer food items.

Song Tra burger

Song Tra burger

At 5,000 Riel, it was the cheapest of the bunch and only took 3 minutes to arrive but I think that’s all it had going for it. The burger consisted of a patty of indiscriminate meat, lettuce, a green tomato, catsup, special sauce, cucumber and coleslaw. The patty was a mealy affair and had no bite to it and the bun was the sweetest I have had in a while. I also have to dock off some points for having a barrier of sauce inbetween the (unmelted!) cheese and patty.

French Fries at Song Tra

French Fries at Song Tra

The french fries at Song Tra were the polar opposite of the burger. Piping hot, they were seasoned perfectly and definitely were the high point of the meal.

2 out of 5 nyamies
Vinh

Song Tra burger cut in half

Song Tra burger cut in half

A coworker had mentioned that Song Tra had really good, cheap fries which was definitely true. But how bad could the burger be? umm … pretty bad. We ordered the cheeseburger but whatever they had between the bun was definitely not beef.

Song Tra burger patty dissected

Song Tra burger patty dissected

1.5 out of 5 nyamies
Bryse

Song Tra Ice Cream
No. 17 Sothearos Blvd
Total order time: 3 minutes
Total cost: 12,000 riel for a cheeseburger, fries and a coke

BB World

BB World burger meal

BB World burger meal

BB World is another fast food chain in Cambodia that has 4 locations in Phnom Penh and is described on their parent company’s website as “The Cambodian equivalent to McDonalds but with an element of Kentucky Fried Chicken”. It also has the distinction of being the only one that is open 24 hours a day (only the Monivong branch). We ordered the BB World Cheeseburger Set which was the most expensive of the meals at $3.70.

BB World burger patty

BB World burger patty

The burger came with your typical LOT but also added a lone pickle to the mix. Unfortunately, the greyish hockey puck of a patty destroyed any redeeming qualities the rest of the ingredients could muster. Also, the cheese was unmelted, there was a mealy greenish tomato but on the plus side, the lettuce was crispy and the bun not so sweet. The fries were okay but I think we got a batch that had been left under the heat lamp a bit too long.

1.5 out of 5 nyamies
Vinh

BB World burger

BB World burger

Whenever we take on too many restaurants in a day, the last place definitely suffers from us being too full. However, I don’t think it would have mattered when we went to BB World. These guys take the cake for serving up one of the most unappetizing burgers I’ve seen.

BB World patty for the world to see

BB World patty for the world to see

Simply: no.

0.5 out of 5 nyamies (the only reason there is half a point is because I didn’t get sick)
Bryse

BB World (open 24 hours!!)
No 308 Preah Monivong
Total order time: 2 minutes
Total cost: $3.70 for a cheeseburger, fries and a coke

Ziki’s

I have seen these burger carts around Phnom Penh and have been meaning to actually have one of these burgers. Unfortunately, every time I have wanted one, the cart’s have been closed. Such was the case during the 2 hour lunch excursion. We went the one on Street 294 and 63 at 12:30 and got an empty cart.

We saw another one around 1:30 on Street 184 and 51 which was actually manned by an employee. She refused to serve us so all I got was a photo of her cleaning the cart for I assume would be an eventual opening.

Ziki Burger lady cleaning the cart

Ziki Burger lady cleaning the cart

I had contemplated going to Ziki Burger cart after the review but the main reason why fast food exists is convenience. Granted, only BB World is open 24 hours but in all honesty, if I can’t get a meal from the times of 12:00pm to 2:00pm, there is a problem.

Vinh

So there you have it. Once again, we have risked life and limb by raising our cholesterol levels to unhealthy heights for your reading pleasure! And the winner is…..

Lucky Burger at an average of 2.5 out of 5 nyamies!!!!

Here is the rest of the field:

Song Tra Ice Cream :1.75 out of 5 nyamies

BB World: 1 out of 5 nyamies

Ziki: DQ as they couldn’t even field a burger

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La Patate

La Patate

Mmmm.... Beer....

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.

bazooka burger

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).

Mussels

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.
Vinh

papa fritz

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.

sausage bazooka

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
Bryse

La Patate – No. 14 street 5 between streets 110 and 118

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