Posts in category "- Chinatown"

Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh has been written up and down by most bloggers by now. Its immense popularity stems from an extensive menu that caters to any tastebud, consistent quality to their dishes and big portions at a decent price. Plus, it does help that Anthony Bourdain made a quick visit to dine at this Chinatown gem.  Phnom Penh is a Vietnamese – slash – Cambodian restaurant which means many cooked dishes with rice, noodles and noodle soups, and curries. Most dishes are fragrant, savoury, and spicy but not as spicy as Thai cuisine, and with lots of use of garlic, fish sauce, ginger, lemongrass, kaffir lime, garlic, cardamon, tumeric, and cilantro. I’ve been going to Phnom Penh for a number of years and I can say that their bullet proof menu hasn’t changed much over time.

If you arrive later than 6pm, expect at least a 20 minute wait..which we did and everyone else around us who was standing near the door. When it was our turn, we were quickly ushered to our table which was unfortunately near the entrance.

The dish that literally every table orders is their very famous fried chicken wings.

They have other deep fried goodness that’s worth getting deep fried frog legs, squid and prawns. But the chicken wings are a good start if you’re new to the restaurant. The pieces are lightly battered so when you bite into it, it’s still meaty and juicy while crispy. They’re is a strong hint of salty peppery with minced garlic and green onions all over it. The wings are served with their signature salt, lime and lemon juice (I think), and white pepper dip.  The only rival, and Church’s Chicken and KFC doesn’t even compare, wold be the ones from Wo Fung Aberdeen Centre in Richmond.

Next we shared the Phnom Penh Dry Egg Noodle

What makes this a ‘dry’ noodle is because soup is not added to it and in this case the soup broth is an accompaniment. It’s a mixture of bouncy egg noodles, shrimp, ground pork, sliced pork, liver and a sweet soy sauce base.  I usually just mix it all up before eating.

To add some vegetables to our dinner was a simple stir friend ong choy

It’s more of a Chinese vegetable but I don’t fault them for using it as they are right in the middle of Chinatown with an abundance of fresh produce around them.  It was simple stir fried with chilli pepper and garlic.

And lastly my favourite dish the steamed rice rolls

It’s steam rice roll with a minced Asian funghi and pork filling, topped with Vietnamese ham and fried onions with a side of bean sprouts and shredded cabbage.  I love the fresh simplicity of it without any sauces to cover the tastes.  It’s my healthier alternative to a spring roll.

It was another good dinner with a variety of dishes to share and the undeniably good deep fried chicken.  Like the many patrons, one trip is not enough and make sure you bring more than one friend so you can have an epic dinner.

Phnom Penh
244 E Georgia St
Vancouver, BC V6A
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Two Chefs and a Table

The cutely named ‘Two Chefs and a Table‘ restaurant is right on edge of ‘edgier, fringier, and cooler to be here’ part of Chinatown/Gastown. It’s sweet quaint decor reminds me of a low key romantic verson of Finch’s.

When we got there around 7pm, it was surprisingly quiet for a Friday night. We were done our dinner around 9pm and we were pretty much the only diners there. That night’s lack of patrons was not a reflection of their food though…which was pretty amazing.

We first whetted our appetites with blue crab tartare

It was a mix of blue crab meat, avocado, red pepper, cucumber, and citrus zest. Each bite was filled with the delicate flaky crab meat. In its delicateness, it was decadent too.

And we had the best looking and tasting spinach salad

The salad was better-than-salad-bar with prosciutto, warm wild mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and candied walnuts. Even though the ingredients sound pretty simple and basic, it was nicely put together with a slightly sweet balsamic vinaigrette.

As my main, I ordered the Coq au Vin

It was polderside farms redbro chicken which has been red wine braised, baby zuchinni on top of braised white beans. Unfortunately, I found the flavours lacking. I expected a stronger red wine flavour and the chicken wasn’t as tender as I like it to be.  It seemed like it should have been braised a couple of hours longer. The whole dish was more like light chicken stew.

My dinner partner in crime ordered the steak frites

It was nicely prepared triple A sirloin, addictive shoestring fries, tarragon aioli, and butter braised tomatoes. I only nibbled at the fries but here’s a picture of the plate.

The restaurant has one of the best warm intimate rooms this side of Vancouver. It was unfortunate that it wasn’t busy at all that night. Our waitress was attentive but the rest of the staff seemed despondent because of the lack of business. I’ve heard great things about brunch here so definitely look forward to coming back to this cute little spot. If you don’t mind checking out this part of town, it can also serve as the scene of a quiet romantic date.

Two Chefs and a Table
305 Alexander St
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