The Kandal House Restaurant
No. 239BEo, Sisowath Quay
Phone 016 800 111
Not all restaurants on Riverside in Phnom Penh suck. Yeah, it's backpacker-ville and views of water tend to lead to mediocre food, I get that, but Kandal House is one of the exceptions. A small joint with a menu curiously divided between home-made pizza and pasta and standard Khmer dishes, it's one of my favorites for a quiet and inexpensive week-night dinner.
I usually get the cheese and spinach ravioli with Bolognese sauce, though you can get it with a cream sauce if you so desire. There's also beef and four-cheese ravioli on offer. The sauce is a vegetable-heavy Bolognese, which may bother the picky bitches among you but is a non-issue with me. The main thing here is that the home-made pasta is very light and delicate and the filling is fresh and tasty - no chewy, pre-made stuff here. One benefit of eating Western food in Phnom Penh is that restaurants have to make a lot more stuff themselves, meaning you're eating considerably less Sodexo-vintage food than you might be in the USA. I'm OK with this.
Fettucini with bolognese is what my boyfriend always gets (yeah, we get predictable sometimes) and that's home-made and good too. My carb addicted signifigant other likes that Kandal House piles enormous quantities of lightly toasted sesame baguette onto the table whenever you order an entree, complete with butter.
Curiously enough, Kandal House also has awesome chicken nuggets, which we discovered inadvertently as they're called strips on the menu. Circular, fried pieces of white meat chicken with sweet chili sauce are, insofar as I can tell, a huge hit in every culture (barring vegetarians, I guess) everywhere world-wide and these are really good - light batter, perfectly snack-able.
OK, it's a salad, but it's got a light vinegary Thousand Island dressing on it that I go nuts for for reasons known only to myself, and there's a lot of it for $3.00. I find it difficult to consume pasta without salad on the side - and if I knew why, I'd tell you - but this hits the spot.