Tag Archives: japanese

Osaka Ya

So it’s been over 8 months since I have moved to the homeland and a couple things have happened.
I have started a blog here and it is going pretty well. I have also discovered that I can actually write something other than food stuff! So I am now a writer here when I am not taking photos around Vietnam. But it has been a while since I have been to Phnom Penh so when a 5 day holiday came up, I took the opportunity to head back to the old stomping grounds.
I let Bryse know so I can see what’s new in Phnom Penh and he suggested we head off to a new Japanese place on the riverside. He also asked if I wanted to Nyam this. Why not I said!
grilling at Osaka Ya

grilling at Osaka Ya

Osaka Ya is a pretty simple restaurant in terms of decor. When I walked in, I noticed Lina and was glad to see that Bryse invited her! So we had a bit of a catch up and let the waiter know that we will call him when we were ready. Bryse arrived a few minutes later and we started perusing the menu. Typical of Japanese restaurants in Phnom Penh, there was ngiri rolls, rice bowls and set lunches. Lina asked what was in the Japanese lunch set and the waiter replied ” Rice and food”.
Bryse and I went asian style and shared a few dishes and Lina threw caution to the wind and ordered the Japanese lunch set.


We started out with some yakitori. Chicken to be precise. They were really good. The chicken was tender and had a great sweet-spicy marinade. We also ordered some chicken wings which had the same marinade. Dusted those off with no problems.
We had to wait a bit for our mains even though there was just one more table in the restaurant. Maybe it’s due to me getting used to Vietnam’s one hour lunches (Oh Cambodia, how I miss you for the two hour lunches) but I was seriously wondering where our food was.  From what seemed like an eternity but was actually only 10 minutes, we got the rest of our mains.


We ordered an okonomiyaki and a oyakodon bowl. The okonomiyaki was a gut busting disc of goodness. Potatoes, cabbage, pork belly and octopus were fried on a griddle then covered in a pancake like batter. Mayonnaise and okonomi sauce was drizzled on top and a heap of bonito flakes. Despite the fact that the oyakodon bowl looked like one of the chefs puked onto the rice, I gave it a go and found that it was fantastic! Tons of chicken and egg covered a gigantic bowl of seasoned rice. 

It was about this time that Lina got her rice and food lunch set. The food consisted of a grilled fish fillet, steamed pumpkin, some pickled cucumber and a small bowl of rice.

I had a taste of the fish and it was pretty delicious. Each of us also received a small bowl of clam soup which was pretty tasty. Prices weren’t that bad and though we got some tasty food, I don’t think I would go back as the service was something to be desired.

 2.5 out of 5 nyamies
 – Vinh

food (Japanese lunch set)

I had tried Osaka Ya a few months back, pretty soon after they opened, and they were still working through some kinks with the staff and the power cutting out every 10 minutes. But the restaurant owner was really nice and the food wasn’t bad so I wanted to give them another shot.  When we arrived, the owner wasn’t there and the staff was definitely struggling. When Lina asked what was included in the Japanese lunch set the response was “… food.” Not incorrect, but not too helpful. I felt a bit bad for the guys waiting on us. They were really trying but were clearly in over their heads without the Owner. 

oyakodon bowl

Despite these issues, we were able to get our order in and soon after the Owner arrived to help put together our lunch. The yakitori arrived first and the first thing that arrives always seems to taste the best but these things were pretty amazing. Lina had said that this is what Osaka Ya was known for and it’s well deserved. Really nice mix of chicken meat with cartilage. My favorite dish of the meal.


The wings came next and I was expecting the same really delicious sauce as the yakatori but they were a bit different and not quite as good. The oyakodon bowl was really good. As Vinh mentioned, not the most appetizing looking dish but it was a great mix of eggs and chicken piled on Japanese rice. Okonomiyaki isn’t my favorite dish but this one was actually pretty good. But this may be because they placed the dish in front of a fan which blew most of the bonito flakes off of the pancake and all over our table. Overall, Osaka Ya is not bad but not the best Japanese place in Phnom Penh. I would recommend checking it out for a few yakitori skewers and their “Happy Time” beer special.
3 out of 5 nyamies
 – Bryse
Osaka Ya
River Side close to Street 130

1 Comment

Filed under Japanese, Uncategorized

New Nyamers / Sesame Noodle Bar

Hello again! After spending the past few months slacking / being sad about Vinh moving away (and starting a new blog in Vietnam), I was given a kind kick in the butt to start posting again. This friendly kick even made introductions to a new crew of folks that will help posting new fun places to try. So I’d like to introduce the new nyamers (borrowing Corbett’s introductions):

  • Caitlin – Skinny as a whistle but a foodie none the less, Caitlin did the typical blog thing– started off strong, and then it sort of let it linger. Never let it linger. The thing is, she’s got a great voice, and I think dangling a bit of food in front of her is just the right thing to get her inspired again. To see her writing chops, visit some of her past posts at: http://limeandpepper.wordpress.com/ 
  • Robert – He is the counter for anyone else you’ll find. He’s a glass is half empty type of guy when it comes to food, but like a stale beer at 4 am, he’ll drink it anyway.  He’ll bring neutrality to your rating system. Also a good photographer, he’s looking for inspiration to start shooting again. 
  • Justin – Graphic Designer, photographer, tech head and pocket-conscious foodie, Justin tries everything and runs algorithms to cross tabulate delight against price. More about non-foodie Justin at: http://justinpn.com/
  • Roswell – Roswell is our big boy from Boston. He eschews cutlery in favor of  hammers and nails and is the sly, quip master of our dining experiences. As the nerd-in-residence, he analyzes every food adjective before laying pen to paper. Actually, the last part is a lie. He actually writes in the blood of vanquished chefs. Great hair too.
  • Tim –  Cofounder of Co-Lab and all around tech talented despite being Australian. Tim will help out with making the blog look nice, eating and photos. 
  • Ben – Obviously so talented he does not need a last name. Tim’s recommendation but he’s got mapping chops you can see here. Ben will help add some mapping features to the blog so places will be easier to find.

Thanks to Corbett’s help, we have a new crew of nyamers that will be eating, and posting and hopefully we will have lot of new fun places to try this year. And because Corbett has been so nice, we will provide his wife’s new restaurant a shameless plug.

Outside Sesame Noodle Bar

Sesame Noodle Bar

Sesame Noodle Bar is a great new Japanese cold noodle bar just South of the Russian Market. Again, this is a blatantly biased review but Keiko and Corbett have setup a really cool, comfortable restaurant with tasty, cheap dishes.

Inside Sesame Noodle Bar

Inside Sesame Noodle Bar

Things are still getting set up and they are only open for lunch at this point but lunch specials are $4.75 for a bowl of noodles and a side which is a pretty great deal. SNB is also probably the only restaurant in Cambodia with Edison bulbs which is pretty awesome.

The noodles at Sesame Noodle Bar


The signature cold noodle dish is served with a ton of veggies, a small bit of pork, hard boiled eggs (which I pick out) and a side of tahini sauce so it’s more of a salad then a typical noodle bowl. The lunch special also comes with a side of either gyoza, pork bun or a passion fruit, mint fruit shake. It really does make for a perfect lunch. Not hot, not too heavy but plenty to walk away full.

– Bryse

The noodles at Sesame Noodle Bar

more noodles

Justin: Thanks for the warm welcome to Nyam Penh Bryse! I’m looking forward to finding some great new places to add to the site… and to my waistline.

Speaking of great new places, SNB certainly is. I think Keiko and Corbett have developed a great idea that will be a real winner in Toul Tom Pong. It would be nice to see more places trying out creative new ideas like this.

Pumpkin Sesame Balls at Sesame Noodle Bar

Pumpkin Sesame Balls at Sesame Noodle Bar

I have to admit, I’ve been through the doors of Sesame more than a few times since they opened but I keep coming back to two dishes. The aforementioned noodle bowl is delicious and is like you say, a little salad-like in its freshness and healthy serving of veg. And that lightness is oh so well balanced by the sweet and rich pork that goes along with it.

Sriracha hot sauce at Sesame Noodle Bar

Sriracha hot sauce at Sesame Noodle Bar

But for me, the real treat at Sesame is the pork buns, or rather ‘Thor’ buns. Grilled pork belly with a little bit of pickle and some sauce inside a perfect little pocket of steamed bun. Damn it’s good. I could eat like forty of them and then wash them down with Sriracha.

Overall it’s turned into one of my fav places to get lunch and it’s a must to try for anybody in the area.

– Justin

Sesame Noodle Bar
(the real) #9 Street 460




Filed under Japanese, Lunch, Uncategorized

Ku Kai

Getting ready for the best meal in town

Getting ready for the best meal in town

“If I had one night in Sihanoukville, I would go here. If I had two, I’d go twice”

One of my dinner mates uttered this comment after finishing a meal in Ku Kai. Considered by many Sihanoukville locals as the best Japanese restaurant in town, it is definitely a place to check out when you are done sunning yourself silly on the beach.

BTW, sorry about the poor quality images. I took these on my iphone as I didn’t bring a camera to the beach.

Queenfish and kingfish sashimi

Queenfish and kingfish sashimi - $2.75 per order

Run by a husband and wife team (he cooks, she takes care of the front of the house), the restaurant exudes a warm, inviting vibe and has some of the friendliest staff I have experienced in Cambodia. Ku Kai offers 2 types of fresh sashimi every night (except for Monday when they are closed) and it is best to call ahead to place an order as it tends to run out very fast. The restaurant also offers set meals (which come with rice, salad and miso soup), rice bowls (comes with miso soup) and various a la carte items.

Sliced rare roast beef

Sliced rare roast beef - $2.50

The prices are very reasonable considering the quality of the dishes and the size of the portions but it is a tough place to find a table after 7:00 so it is definitely recommended to book a table.

Prawn and Vegetable Tempura - $4.75

Prawn and Vegetable Tempura - $4.75

Ku Kai
144 7 Makara St
Head down Ekareach from Serendipity Beach towards Victory Beach. When you see the 333 KTV building on the right, turn left. It is about 200 meters down the road on the righthand side.
Tel: 012 593 339

The red X marks the spot

The red X marks the spot


Filed under Japanese