- Mario Ng
Phnom Penh Food Guide - Where and what to eat in Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh has lots of affordable and delicious food for everyone.
As a former French colony, it is not too difficult to find French cuisine in Phnom Penh. The food taste really good as well! There are really good, and accordingly expensive, French dining scattered throughout the city. Frankly speaking, some of them taste as good as the real deal back in Paris!
Affordable local food is of course readily available, with many eateries throughout the city vying for business from locals and tourists alike. Sisowath Quay is where you will find the most eateries, though the quality varies since it is a tourist hot spot. Venture out further, and you are likely to be in for a treat! Take your time to explore the city, and we guarantee that you will be richly rewarded, culturally and gastronomically!
Check out below for more information on the attractions Phnom Penh's got to offer!
For your convenience, refer to this list of places you should head to for a meal while in Phnom Penh!
3. Romdeng Restaurant
4. Raffles Hotel Le Royal
5. FCC Phnom Penh
Khema is a beautiful restaurant that has two locations in Phnom Penh. Its first, and original, restaurant is located in a building that is also a hotel. Since late 2017, a second location was added and is situated just opposite the eye-catching General Post Office. Depending on your preference, you should choose which restaurant to head to. The original location gives a very posh feel, with a certain fancy impression. The second location seems more family-friendly, with bright lights shining through, and appears to be the place to go for some brunch. However, do note that both restaurants serve the same food!
As with most restaurants in Phnom Penh, Khema has options for breakfast, lunch, high-tea, dinner, or just some desserts. The best part about this restaurant is that while it appears particularly classy, the amount charged for a meal is pretty reasonable.
If you are an early riser, we highly recommend Khema’s free-flow breakfast. At only US$10.90 per person, you get to order any and every dish on their breakfast menu. And that says a lot. From a variety of western eggs dishes, such as the unmistakable Eggs Benedict, Eggs Florentine, or English Breakfast, to local Khmer options, such as the signature Kuy Teav Phnom Penh, you really are spoilt for choice. An array of yoghurt choices are also available, in case you wish to have a healthy start to your day. Failing which, you still have freshly baked pastries to choose from. Drinks are of course included, and you get to select from the usual coffee selections, including the cappuccino, latte, and americano. If you are a tea person, you will be delighted to know that they procure their tea leaves from the renowned Harney and Sons. Fresh juices and hot chocolate are also available! Can’t decide? How about getting some latte, followed by a fresh cup of orange juice? Go for it!
If you happen to be around the neighbourhood during tea time and are feeling a little hungry, we suggest heading to Khema. Famed for their desserts, some people come to Khema just for their sweet options! Beautifully done, their desserts leave you wanting more!
The profiteroles taste as good as they look, where you get to pour the sweet chocolate sauce all over the dessert. If you want something with a kick, a lemon tart will be good. Sweet with a sourish kick at the same time, this tart is the bomb!
If you want something more than just some sweet treats, we propose ordering a high tea set for one person, along with a few desserts. At only US$6 per set, you get a pot of freshly brewed Harney and Sons tea, freshly baked scones, and a special selection of savouries and sweets by the chef. We chose this option, and turned out satisfied customers! If you are fortunate enough to come in a group, a great idea would be to order as many different types of desserts as possible, and share them all!
Khema La Poste: House 41, Street 13 Oknha Santhormok (St. 98), 12201, Cambodia
Khema Pasteur: Corner of Street 228 & Street 51 Phnom Penh, 12211, Cambodia
Khema La Poste location: 6.30 am to 10.30 pm daily
Khema Pasteur location: 6.30 am to 10.30 pm daily
Website (includes menu): https://www.khema-restaurant.com/
Touted as one of the best restaurants in Phnom Penh, Malis does not disappoint. Specialised in Khmer cuisine, one simply needs to come to this restaurant to experience what local food taste like!
Malis offers a wide range of breakfast options for customers, and this can be seen in their lovely menu.
Surely, one needs to go for their signature Pork and Prawn Noodle Soup (Kuy Teav Malis). Honestly, words cannot do this dish justice, but we will try. The broth tastes so rich, and the prawns taste so fresh! The pork is juicy, with the rice noodles having the spring, to sum up a delicious meal. Please order this dish!
Having said that, please note that there are also other local options, which are also delicious!
For those who may wish to have a western breakfast, Malis does it too, and boy, do they do it well! Choose your style of eggs to be done, be it poached, scrambled, fried, soft boiled, hard-boiled (you get the picture), they will do it. It is also good to know that each egg option comes with other sides, be it sausages, hash browns, bread, or tomatoes.
For those undecided due to the many options available, you can also order their set options, which generally comes with a juice, coffee/tea, the main dish, and a light dessert.
Oh, did we forget to mention that they serve a variety of drinks as well? From different types of coffee and tea, there are also juices, shakes, smoothies, and frappes. Enjoy!
For lunch and dinner options, you cannot really look further than Malis for some authentic Khmer cuisine. Their take on the legendary Fish Amok is superb, with three individually plated bowls served together. Marinated in a lemongrass curry paste, huge chunks of fish fillets are in each bowl. Tasty! If you happen to be an expert in eating fish heads, you should probably try their fish head amok instead. It’s an Asian thing…
If you are looking for some comfort food, perhaps while it is raining cats and dogs in downtown Phnom Penh, we recommend their Bamboo Shoots and Smoked Fish soup. At first look, the soup looks quite plain and probably filled with some vegetables and pieces of fish. However, after taking the first sip, you realise that quite a lot of effort went into preparing this soup. It tastes rich and a little sweet at the same time, a testament to the chef’s skills. Because each soup is meant for one person, it is quite fast before it is all gone. Lesson learnt: order one portion for each person (unless the group consists of small-eaters, of which we recommend one portion for two persons).
For desserts, there are only four options, although that does not mean Malis chose to neglect this important aspect of a meal. Rather, we believe they decided to focus on serving the best desserts they could think of. Try their Kampot Pepper Brulee, which is their take on the famous creme brulee. Alternatively, since you are in Asia, you should take a challenge and go for their Durian Delight! A word of caution though: you either love it or hate it! Beware of the smell!
Address: Phnom, 136 Norodom Blvd, Penh 12301, Cambodia
Opening hours: 6 am to 10.30 pm daily
Website (includes menu): https://www.malis-restaurant.com/phnompenh/
3. Romdeng Restaurant
Created as a social enterprise, Romdeng is a restaurant that serves mainly local cuisine at reasonable prices. It is also part of Tree Alliance, an organisation that provides training and support to youths and individuals around Southeast Asia. Romdeng is one such restaurant under Tree Alliance’s wing! Find out more about them here!
The menu offers quite a few options for customers, so visitors can have a hard time deciding what to eat! The Duck Spring Rolls are also pretty good, with the unique sauce providing a sweet finish to this appetiser!
Their Fish Amok is pretty amazing! Wrapped in a banana leaf to enhance the taste of the dish, this does not disappoint. It tastes creamy and fresh, with the curry complementing the fish very well. This is a must-try when at Romdeng! However, note that the serving is really only for one person. So, make sure to order one for each person in your group!
Vegetarian options are also available, and they sure look tasty! Go for their signature Pumpkin and Zucchini Amok with Tofu, created so that vegetarians need not miss out on their famous Amok!
That’s not all! Feeling adventurous enough and want to try something wild? Go ahead and try their tarantulas, which is expertly cooked in black pepper and lime sauce! Want more options, go for the snack platter, which consists of grilled buffalo jerky, crickets, silkworms and pickles! Bon Appetit!
Address: #74 Oknha Ket St. (174), Phnom Penh 12210, Cambodia
Opening hours: 11 am to 11 pm daily
Website (includes menu): http://tree-alliance.org/our-restaurants/romdeng.php
4. Raffles Hotel Le Royal: Afternoon Tea
Located in Elephant Bar, guests can enjoy the Le Royal Afternoon Tea daily between 2.30 pm and 5.30 pm.
Packed into three tiers, the standard sweet and savoury options are part of this high tea set, which includes coffee or tea. The size of this set is also just nice, meaning you will not get too full or bloated from this meal, which is perfect since this is just tea after all.
For those looking for a more localised version of an afternoon tea, you will be pleased to know that at Hotel Le Royal, they also serve a Khmer Afternoon Tea set, which comes with local Khmer savouries and sweets. Instead of the usual cakes and pastries, this set serves an assortment of Cambodia’s most famous desserts, such as the pumpkin custard and Khmer layer cake with coconut cream, otherwise known as Num Chak Kachan. Savouries include the unmistakable shrimp, certainly a testament to Cambodia’s Tonle Sap, the lifeblood of many Cambodians.
In the event you are just too full for even an afternoon tea, feel free to order some scones and a cuppa. On one afternoon, we did just that, and the staff happily obliged our request. Freshly baked scones were served, along with their special orange marmalade, strawberry jam, and clotted cream. We did a check and found out that the orange marmalade was specially concocted to go with the scones. This means that it is not available elsewhere. They do not sell it either. A pity!
Really, what makes this place stand out, in our opinion, is the fantastic service given to customers. Having ordered some sparkling water to cool ourselves down while waiting for the high tea set to be ordered (we walked for some 30 minutes from the General Post Office) to the hotel, we were pleasantly surprised to be served some local snacks as well. As we walked around the Bar to look at the historic photographs hung on the walls, the manager spoke to us about the history of those photos. It was really nice chatting with him, and he provided interesting anecdotes about this historic hotel.
One should definitely come to this hotel, even if it is just for some snacks or high tea, to experience the perfect service and being inside such a historic building!
Address: 92 Rukhak Vithei Daun Penh Sangkat Wat Phnom Phnom Penh, 12302, Cambodia
Opening hours: Afternoon tea occurs between 3 pm and 5 pm daily
5. FCC Phnom Penh
Situated in downtown Sisowath Quay, it is not difficult to find this place. Where it used to be popular with journalists and aid workers, it is now filled with tourists instead. Having said that, it is not another tourist trap, but is in fact a good starting point for travellers to meet, eat, and start exploring Phnom Penh!
Whether you have arrived for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, this place has it covered.
Its breakfast options are just what brunch is all about. Pancakes that come with honey, marmalade, and strawberry jam is a must-have. True breakfast lovers may also opt for the Eggs Ben, which provides the perfect hollandaise sauce. For a more unique twist, try their banana bread that comes with a localised passionfruit sauce. If you are fortunate enough to be here on a weekend morning, you should certainly try their pancakes buffet. For a fixed price, enjoy unlimited pancakes that also come with coffee and orange juice. Talk about stuffing yourself!
For lunch and dinner options, FCC Phnom Penh provides a variety of both western and local cuisine, with usual fares from their Australian steak and Sea Bass to more localised Fish Amok and Steamed Yellow Snapper. Both dishes are recommended, and the food is especially good when they are washed down with an ice-cold beer! If you arrive during their happy hour period between 5 pm and 7 pm, alcoholic drinks are sold at 1 for 1. Arrange your dinner accordingly!
If there’s still room for desserts (which we highly recommend!), we suggest going for their mango sticky rice. It looks deceivingly simple yet tasty. It’s also good to share with your friends, while you can order other western desserts, which includes coconut panna cotta and deconstructed lemon tart!
Address: 363 Preah Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Opening hours: Temporarily closed
Google Maps: List of attractions and food places in Phnom Penh!
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