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Spring Vale

Spring Vale

Spring Vale

Tucked around the corner from Russian Market, I had heard of Spring Vale from a couple of friends that live around the corner. After reading Lina’s review of the place, we knew that this had to be the next place to try out.

We were greeted by one of the owners upon walking in and were offered a table outside. Not one to turn down al fresco dining in December, we grabbed the nearest table and were given menus. It’s one of those laminated jobs which doesn’t mess around. All the dishes range from $3 – $6 which is very reasonable for it’s proximity to Russian Market.

Okonomiyaki at Spring Vale

Okonomiyaki at Spring Vale

The Okonimyaki was very tasty and didn’t have an excessive amount of the okonomiyaki sauce which can sometimes overpower the rest of the ingredients.

The gyoza were quite ordinary but what I really loved (and was probably the least appealing looking) was the chicken and egg on steamed rice, otherwise known as oyakodon (thanks Nathan!). I could imagine this meal being something your mother served to you after you scraped your leg while playing in the street. The egg was runny enough to imbue it’s taste onto the rice and was seasoned perfectly.

Fried Tofu

Fried Tofu

The fried tofu was a also a hit for me. The tofu had a nice crisp crust to it and had a great melt in your mouth texture once you bit into it.

The fried pork came with rice and a pretty good side of coleslaw. I thought the pork was a bit overfried and needed the sauce to keep the dish from being too dry. I am generally a fan of anything fried and pork but this one kinda fell flat for me. Maybe I dug the chicken a bit too much.

As Lina put in her blog post and I mentioned before, Spring Vale isn’t a fancy shmancy restaurant serving avante-garde fare. It serves items you would probably find in a home or casual eatery. And sometimes that’s all you need.

3 out of 5 nyamies.




Whenever dumplings are on the menu at a restaurant we order some and use them as a yard stick for the food. Unfortunately, the gyoza at Spring Vale was disappointing. Not that they were bad, we have definitely had way worse chinese style dumplings close to Central Market, but gyoza is usually really great so it was surprising when these were a miss.

Chicken and eggs on steamed rice

Chicken and eggs on steamed rice

Most of the other items were pretty nice. I could see having the chicken and eggs on steamed rice for breakfast. Nothing special, just a solid bowl of good food.

The okonimyaki was also really tasty. It is served fully cooked and it’s always more fun to see it fried on a table in front of you (while the cook is flipping pieces of food into your mouth Benihana style).

Pork cutlets

Tonkatsu - Pork cutlets

A friend had just been talking about homemade tonkatsu so I was really excited to order some when I saw it on the menu. The breading and sauce was pretty fine but the breading to pork ratio was too far in the breads favor. Not much meat in those things.

The folks serving the food were very nice and none of the plates we tried were bad. If I lived close or am in the neighborhood, I would probably check out Spring Vale again but I’m not going to drive down just for this place.

2.5 out of 5 nyamies.


Spring Vale
House 27, Street 450,
Toul Tom Pong I, 27 450,
Phnom Penh, Cambodia



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The Unnamed Restaurant

This is part of a set of reviews taken over a few days in which we gorged ourselves silly at the numerous Szechuan Chinese restaurants located near Central Market. The street is 136 and the best landmark I can give is they are just east of the KFC on Monivong. I have placed a map at the bottom of the review with the street highlighted in red.

Looking for a translation

Looking for a translation

The next place I will call the Restaurant without a Name (or until I can get a translation).  The restaurant is called Zhongqing Xianglaxiang which translates to Zhongqing [Chunking] Fragrant and Spicy. The interior of the place is almost identical of the Sichuan Restaurant. Nothing too fancy. It’s cheap and filling but will it be tasty?

For the review, we had three items. Boiled Pork Dumplings ($1.50), Spring Onion Noodles ($1.50), and Sour & Spicy Soup ($1.50).

Even though we asked for the fried version, I found the dumplings to be quite tasty. I am a bit weird as I like to have my dumplings seasoned enough for non-dunking and these were easily seasoned enough. Also, each dumpling didn’t have the copious amount of green onion that many on this street have. A more meat to green onion ratio is always a good thing.

The Spring Onion Noodles however did need some seasoning. Along with thin noodles, it consisted of green onions and fried egg. After adding some soy sauce, and chili, they were more than passable.

Lastly, we had the Sour & Spicy Soup. Consisting of tofu, egg drop, tomato, wood ear mushrooms and chopped green onions, I found it to be more sour than spicy. That being said, after adding some chili, it was very nice.

I found this restaurant to be a bit frustrating. The one item that you would generally dunk to get more flavor (dumplings) were the most flavorful dish of the three. Considering the non-English sign, I was hoping for a bit more personality out of their dishes.  — Vinh

Always nice to see “thumbs up sauce” (black vinegar dumpling sauce) on the table when starting a meal.  However, this place was not worthy of the thumbs up.

The stir fry noodles were decent but not a whole lot of flavor and a bit too greasy, which is saying something.  Greasy enough to feel like there was a layer of grease covering your face after every bite.  I ended up eating a couple bowls of the soup which wasn’t bad but it was kind of a not quite hot and sour soup flavor.  Or at least the kind I am used to.

Boiled dumplings are pretty much always a travesty in my book.  Especially veggie heavey boiled dumplings with a bad dough skin to filling ratio (way too much boiled dough for these guys).  The fried dumplings may be alright but it’s probably not worth a return visit. — Bryse

Vinh: 2.5 out of 5 nyamies

Bryse: 2 out of 5 nyamies

Szechuan Chinese Restaurants Map

Szechuan Chinese Restaurants Map


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