The Tonle Bassac neighbourhood of Phnom Penh is packed full of eating options, with menus that span the globe. Here are the 10 best restaurants to try.
Run by Cambodian celebrity chef, Luu Meng, Malis serves up fine Khmer cuisine given a contemporary twist, which is dubbed “living Cambodian cuisine” by Meng. With many of Cambodia’s traditional recipes wiped out during the Khmer Rouge regime, Meng has made it his mission to revive the unique flavours his homeland is famous for. A hearty menu is bursting with delicious local dishes, with Cambodian favourite fish and fish head amok featuring on the menu alongside other innovative dishes.
For more than two decades, Topaz has been serving the city with fine French cuisine with creative modern flair. The menu features set lunch and dinner options, as well as à la carte dining. A Sunday brunch is also available, and the restaurant regularly hosts visiting renowned international chefs to cook up a range of special menus in the kitchen. Encapsulating refined modern dining, Topaz is a top choice for elegant eating.
If you’re craving some food from the West in the form of authentic Italian pizzas, then look no further than Piccolo Italia Da Luigi. Without a doubt, Phnom Penh’s best pizza joint, Luigi’s thin-crust options come with a host of toppings, featuring imported ingredients from Italy. Be warned, it gets busy, so it is worth booking in advance.
If it’s an authentic Khmer eating experience you’re after but don’t want to brave street food, then Sovanna is a guaranteed hit. Packed daily with locals, the restaurant — which boasts two branches on the same street — has a hefty menu that spans seafood, fried rice, noodles, soups, grilled and barbecued meats — the pork is a must-try — and everything in between.
Located on the bustling stretch of Street 308, Mama Wong’s serves up a range of fusion Asian tapas dishes, main meals and dumplings. Think grilled duck breast with freshly pulled noodles and prawn and chive dumplings. The restaurant has two floors of indoor air-conditioned space as well as benched seating on the street.
Luna has been providing Phnom Penh with top-quality wood-fired pizzas since 2003. With a range of other Italian delights on the menu, including pastas, small plates, charcuterie and cheese platters, salads and sides, the restaurant takes in a spacious tropical outdoor setting with an open kitchen and bar, as well as a relaxed yet refined indoor space.
A hidden gem in the heart of Tonle Bassac, The Lost Room offers an eclectic menu of creative sharing plates, comprised of fresh ingredients. Dishes range from crispy pork belly braised in dark ale and caramel sauce with broccoli, Australian native bush — AKA kangaroo — spiced Kutjera crab cakes with roast pepper mayonnaise and rocket and parcel falafels with beetroot hummus and tahini dressing. All served in an atmospheric urban space.
Owned by the masterminds behind Cerevisia CRAFT beer, Botanico is a popular spot in Phnom Penh for fans of craft beer. Visitors can sample the rotating six brews from Cerevisia’s lengthy list of options while sitting in the spacious tropical gardens that act as a getaway in the heart of the capital. Food is also served in the form of tapas and sharing plates.
A stalwart on Phnom Penh’s international eating scene, Irina’s is a Russian restaurant spread across two floors, with private dining options for groups. Irina’s serves a range of authentic Russian and Soviet cuisine, such as blini with smoked salmon, pelmeni, vareniki, borsch and chicken Kiev. All of this comes complete with Soviet-inspired decor and plenty of props to guarantee social media-worthy snaps.
Located at the quieter end of Street 308, St 63 Bassac started off life in 2013 on Street 63 but recently relocated to its current more spacious setting. Here, tables dot leafy tropical gardens that surround a large Cambodian villa. The food is cheap and cheerful, with dishes ranging from Khmer classics to Western favourites. A selection of cocktails are also served.
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