Phnom Penh- Chicken Wings, Butter Beef, MSG Overload ~ Eating With Kirby

21 January 2012

Phnom Penh- Chicken Wings, Butter Beef, MSG Overload

Phnom Penh has been on my food radar since FOREVER and I have tried numerous times to go but it just never ends up happening. Luckily, Janice (goodeat) and Steph (krispybites) also have not tried this ever-so-famous restaurant yet so all three of us decided to go on a chilly Sunday afternoon.

Phnom Penh is located in a kind of sketchy part of Chinatown so you may want to bus instead of drive. Or if you are going to drive, don’t park too close to this area.

We purposely tried to go early to avoid long line-ups, but we still ended up waiting 10-15 minutes for a table.

Right when we sat down, we were given a huge textbook-like menu. They have some interesting items like frog legs but since we already knew what we wanted, I’ll keep it in mind for next time. First came a side of bean sprouts and dipping sauces.

The Phnom Penh Dry Egg Noodle ($6.00) was quite good but it didn’t really stand out to me. 

The egg noodle dish comes with a side of clear broth. This broth may look clear and refreshing to you, but boy did I taste a truckload of MSG. It was incredibly flavourful and delicious, but all three of us became thirsty after drinking the soup. Not a good sign.

Whenever people mention Phnom Penh, they always talk about the chicken wings and the butter beef. They are pretty much the two most popular items on the menu so I highly recommend ordering these if you are going to come here. So anyways, the Butter Beef ($12.85) was SO RAW. Not that it’s a bad thing. But it did look a little frightening when I first saw how red it was, especially in the center.

Even though I started off with scepticism, I actually ended up taking quite a liking to this dish. By the end of the meal, I deemed it my favourite dish of the bunch. :D But ladies, if you are going to eat this, you can’t think about calories or how fat it is, or else it will ruin the experience. Just look at that hunk of butter right there, you know it ain’t gonna be nice to your thighs.

Now time for the famous Deep Fried Chicken Wings ($7.95/ half order)! I feel like it's the most famous, or at least the most talked about dish in Vancouver. I hear nothing but praise about these wings so I came in having very high expectations.

It comes with a dipping sauce made from lemon juice, salt and pepper. I thought the dip was interesting and it added another dimension to the wings.

After having tried these famous wings, I feel a little disappointed that it didn’t live up to my expectations. The wings were no doubt very crispy, flavourful, and on the whole, tasty, but it didn’t blow my socks off. In fact, I’d be lying if I say these were better than the chicken wings from Wo Fung (Aberdeen food court). These wings were good, but not THAT good.  The massive amounts of MSG was also too much for me to handle.

Last came the Filet Beef Luc Luc on Rice with Egg ($9.50) and it was really good!

The beef was very tender and the runny egg was a nice complement to the dish. Furthermore, since MSG was probably oozing out of our pores by now, the plain steamed rice was a good break.

It kinda looks like this when everything is mixed together.

All in all, Phnom Penh is a restaurant worth checking out at least once, especially if you live in the Vancouver area. However, (and maybe this is because of all the previous reviews I read prior to going) it didn't live up to the hype. Especially the chicken wings. Also, I think the overload of MSG turned me off because my body felt really nasty afterwards.

Based of these reasons:
  • butter beef, deep fried chicken wings, and Luc Luc and egg on rice are their most popular dishes
  • long line-ups during the weekend so either make reservations or come during down time
  • warning: may feel puffy and bloated afterwards from all the MSG and salt 
Service Rating: 1/5
Food Rating: 3.5/5
Price: $$ ($10-20)

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

 Happy Eating!

Phnom Penh ้‡‘้‚Šๅฐ้คจ on Urbanspoon

3 reacties:

  1. Your Phnom Penh post is finally up! Maaaaan... you know what? I've been feeling bloated/nasty since that meal. I still haven't recovered. Gosh... all these Dine Out dinners aren't helping either. And our fried pork breakfast this morning... Time to make Kirby's healthy green smoothie!

    But seriously I doubt I'll go back to Phnom Penh. I was so tempted to vote "don't like" on Urbanspoon, but I didn't because I can't deny the food tastes good. It just makes you feel so horrible after though.

  2. I felt EXACTLY the same! I have felt bloated and gross ever since our lunch at Phnom Penh! Haha yeah I so have to work out and drink my green smoothie to cleanse my body of all that MSG and grease. :P

    Me too, I don't think I'll say I don't like it, but I don't think I would recommend this place either.

  3. Omgggg I love Wo Fung's chicken wings too!!!! Me and hippoCHAN go there all the time! :D


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