new Things I Ate in Cambodia: Pho 24: Upscale Phnom Penh Pho, Pretty Tasty

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Pho 24: Upscale Phnom Penh Pho, Pretty Tasty

Pho 24
Phnom Penh Center, Building A, Sihanouk Boulevard

Pho 24 is a smallish international chain of Vietnamese beef-noodle soup slingers, and they've got an outpost right here in Phnom Penh.

It's Nice inside, which is kind of a refreshing change from the majority of cheap pho slingers in the city. I liked the aggressive air-conditioning and the serene character of the dining room. No violent movies playing here, I'm afraid, but sometimes it's a refreshing change to eat pho without a side dish of entertainment. A lot of business types from the monolithic office block next door eat here—there were a couple of lunch-meeting gatherings going on around me when I stopped by.

The menu has pho - all the beef pho variants, pho ga (chicken), Vietnamese curries with baguette, spring rolls, broken rice plates, and a couple of other rice-noodle centric dishes. Like all self-respecting Vietnamese restaurants, there's a big selection of mixed fruit shakes and coffee beverages.

I am no pho expert, and I am certain my Vietnamese friends/associates would be able to evaluate pho better then I can. The house special pho here suited my needs: a big bowl, a pretty good, if not spectacular, amount of beefy, herbaceous flavor, and a good assortment of mixed cow parts - beef balls, tendon, and brisket, with sliced onions on top. Wish the assortment o' greens brought to the table was more extensive, though they were fresh and appeared to have been recently washed, which is always a comfort. I ordered a side of kimchi for kicks and was somewhat surprised when I was given, instead of a small dish, a plate of kimchi large enough to feed a small Korean family. I love kimchi, but eating an entire plate of it presents difficulties. Share with your friends?

I am somewhat befuddled by how bad the hoisin sauce used in Cambodia is - the stuff used at the pho restaurants in Sacramento is a helluva lot better. It's tolerable mixed with the ubiquitous Khmer Golden Mountain chili-ketchup stuff, but only just. I am considering carrying around a bottle of good hoisin with me for use whenever I eat pho, which is often. Though that might be construed as creepy.

1 comment:

Marlon said...

I haven't gone to Cambodia yet but my family is planning to go there late this year. I will include visiting Pho 24 in my itineraries.

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