We have covered Phnom Penh on VS already so when I made a return visit, I asked my friend to write her thoughts about it.
On a busy Friday night, my family and I ended up at Phnom Penh for dinner. It was crowded, busy and noisy but it smelled delicious and I was excited for some chicken wings.
Phnom Phen's reputation precedes it as a hidden gem of Cambodian and Vietnamese Cuisine and the first few times you go, you are charmed by the seeming authenticity of the setting and the food that comes out of the kitchen, but each time I go, I get less and less excited about going.
We ordered Phnom Phen's signature dishes - the deep fried Garlic Chili Chicken Wings and the deep fried squid. Both stood up to their reputations and were the perfect combination of sweet and salty and deep fried to perfection.
We also ordered the oyster omelette which was I found to be too heavy and not the most appetizing combination. We ordered their dry noodle special, a popular traditional Vietnamese dish, with a mix of egg and rice noodles, prawns, strips of barbequed beef (which were too dry) and bits of fried garlic and green onions mixed with their house sauce. I quite enjoyed this dish, though my sister thinks the one at Lemongrass is better.
The fried rice and the sauteed greens in garlic were both good, but they are not dishes that I would come back for especially. I will say that the service was good; the gentlemen serving us was helpful with the menu and happy to answer our questions. The food is also pretty reasonably priced, and you can get your fill for under $20 per person.
Overall, I think there is too much MSG in the food and I still maintain that the dish they are famous for is really the only reason to come back. Phnom Phen, whatever you are doing to those chicken wings - keep on doing it.