Translated to English as “Fresh Evening”, 54 Langeach Sros is set in a great location on Street 178 in between Norodom Boulevard and Street 51. Set in a former French villa, there is outdoor seating under a tent and some seating upstairs which can get a bit hot so make sure to grab a seat in the patio. Upon first glance, it looks like your typical beer garden in Cambodia but great food, cheap beers and a lively atmosphere are a few reasons why I have been frequenting this restaurant for the past 6 years (in 2 locations).
For the review, we ordered a few beer garden staples: Fried Rice with Pork, Fried Whole Quail and Grilled Pork Ribs. We also ordered a dish which I have seen at several other beer gardens but is a specialty here. It even comes with a nifty name: Fried Fish on the Fire Lake.
The Fried Rice was pretty tasty as I didn’t need to add copious amounts of soy sauce which is a plus. The grilled quail came next. I didn’t really care for it. Too stringy for my tastes.
The Grilled Pork was the polar opposite of the Quail. Awesomely seasoned, there was plenty of it. Come to think of it, I like any type of piece of pork char grilled in Cambodia. So let’s just call this a given recommendation.
Lastly, Fried Fish on the Fire Lake showed up. Placed on a fish shaped metal dish on a burner, the already fried whole fish has a curry coconut sauce placed on top at the table and left to simmer while you make pleasant chit chat about such mundane things as “man drought” and the proper squatting technique. Garnished on the side with some cabbage and herbs along with some rice noodles, the fish was cooked perfectly and the mellow coconut curry sauce was a great in keeping the fish moist along with cooking down some of the garnishes we placed in the sauce.
A great restaurant to check out and try some traditional beer garden food.
4 out of 5 Nyamies
We ended up at 54 Langeach Sros when our first choice was closed so I was pretty damn hungry and devoured the first couple of dishes that arrived. It was probably my hunger but their bai chaa (fried rice) was some of the best I’ve had in PP. We ordered the fried quail because it would come faster, probably not the best choice. But as soon as I tried the bbq pork ribs, we immediately ordered another plate (I probably could have gone for two more orders). Really good seasoning and not too boney like a lot of bbq pork rib dishes around town.
I’m not the biggest fan of fish but the Fried Fish on the Fire Lake has an amazing name and the sauce was really tasty. Just the right amount of spiciness. The dish comes with a plate of veggies and the platter is served on a burner so it’s kind of a sloppy hot pot style. Overall, the pace has a cool, lively atmosphere but not crazy chaotic like some of the other beer gardens. Definitely one of the better spots in town.
4 out of 5 Nyamies
Every time I go to 54 Langeach Sros I wonder why there aren’t more foreigners there — the place embodies everything that is good about Cambodian food. And yet, somehow, there are never any foreigners when I show up and I get to feel like I’m in on some big secret that white people don’t know about yet.
54 Langeach Sros is a beer garden, but a non-offensive beer garden. No annoying music, good lighting, not sleazy. But still inexpensive, delicious food and cheap jugs of beer that seem to somehow refill themselves. The fried rice which was plain but good. Next came the grilled quail, which I notice that Vinh slyly refused to eat, possibly because he was scared of their eye-socket-y heads and sad little curled-up toes [Any aviary dish involving attached heads are a no-no in my book. Comes from being pressured at the tender age of 6 to eat duck embryos by the Family. Vinh] . I ignored this evidence of their prior lives and gnawed on a few. Not bad, but not as amazing as I had heard from various sources that it would be — it was a bit dry and un-exciting for my palate.
Next up was the grilled pork ribs. Generally, I am not a ribs person. I do not care about ribs. But when I come to 54 Langeach Sros, I always end up ordering at least two plates of ribs. They are that good. Seriously.
The final dish was the fish on the lake. This is something that I would never pick on my own. The whole fish buzz is no one that I usually get into because it involves a lot of work and bones and head-wrecking, but I think this one was worth it. I liked that there were substantial vegetables included as part of this dish, because beer garden eating can sometimes be lacking in the leafy greens and fiber department, and the pink gravy-curry-sauce that the fish was bubbling away in was delicious. Served with rice noodles it ticked all of the boxes for me.
Tucking in to the Fried Fish on the Fire Lake
4.5 out of 5 Nyamies