new Things I Ate in Cambodia: Chinese Noodle Restaurant, Phnom Penh, Monivong Boulevard

Friday, February 04, 2011

Chinese Noodle Restaurant, Phnom Penh, Monivong Boulevard

Chinese Noodle Restaurant
Location: Street #278, Monivong Boulevard, Phnom Penh (Past the Caltex station. Keep your eyes open. You can figure it out).
Vegetarian Friendly: Enh. Sort of.

Chinese Noodle Restaurant is kind of a Phnom Penh institution. It makes sense: take a budget-fixated community and some cheap, good Chinese food and you've got true love. It's open pretty much all the time, is casual as anything, and attracts an interesting assortment of Chinese-Khmers, locals of all varieties, and the occasional tourist who thinks they are being edgy. It's good people-watching.

The menu is simple and, shockingly enough, revolves around noodles. The noodles are of the justly-beloved hand-pulled variety, and you'll see a somewhat disgruntled looking kid doing the pullin' near the doorway while you eat.

There's vinegar, soy sauce, and Beijing-style chili oil on the table for constructing your own dipping sauce. They will bring you free, tasty iced jasmine tea in an indifferently clean mug while you wait for your food. Everything in here is indifferently clean, but such is the nature of Chinese resturants. And much of China, if we're being brutally honest here.

A bowl o' duck noodles will set you back $1.50 and will fill you up for a while. The noodles taste fresh and are offset nicely by the broth, which has a good rich flavor this is even better when perked up with chili oil and some black vinegar. The duck is fine, albeit a bit sparse. If you're into duck skin, like most rational humans, you'll be satisfied.

I am a huge fan of Chinese stir-fried greens. This will become apparant if you read this blog. They make up about 80% of my daily diet. I am shockingly healthy. These are really excellent - they chop them up in into manageable pieces so I don't have to perform Hilarious White People With Chopsticks tricks for an appreciative audience, which often happens with immense and slippery chunks o' bok choy. (I am good with chop sticks, real good, but even I occasionally encounter unclimbable peaks).

$1.20 for a plate of dumplings? Yeah, I can do that. We went boiled this time. They are pretty good: plenty of leek and pork filling. I thought the wrappers were a little thick and chewy, though. I'd rate Zeppelin's delicate little pork n' leek dumplings higher. The pan-fried variety may change my assessment. Next time.

And there will be a next time, for I am impoverished, like this kind of food a lot, and the restaurant is really close to my place of employment. There will be many next times.


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KirkK said...

Hey Faine - Did you check out the restaurants on Street 136? There were a bunch of restaurants run by Chinese ex-pats on that street when we were in Phnom Penh.