Our pick of Phnom Penh’s premium restaurant choices
The Tiger’s Eye
The latest incarnation of chef Timothy Bruyns’ culinary adventures in Cambodia, the Tiger’s Eye remains the capital’s go-to spot for serious foodies. The slick, contemporary space creates a laid-back atmosphere in which to sample the most daintily presented food in the country. With each dish delivered personally by Bruyns, the five-course tasting menu is definitely the way to go, as this is where the South African chef whips off his gloves and gets truly creative. Pig’s head terrine and seabass with a local spice mixture known as kroeung are two stalwarts on the frequently changing menu.
Tel: +855 (0)17 876 382 Website: thetigerseye.asia
It is difficult to pin down exactly what the highlight of Chinese House is: the inventive and constantly evolving menu of exciting young South African chef Amy Baard, or the exquisite old Chinese merchant’s house, dating to the first few years of the 20th century, that the restaurant is set in? Expect fusion food that draws influences from all four corners of the globe, from okra lamb kofta and Thai fishcakes to laksa and wagyu beef, as well as creative cocktails and a popular brunch menu at weekends.
Tel: +855 (0)92 553 330 Website: restaurant-phnompenh.com
Having chosen a name that translates as ‘remover of sorrows’, the team at Quitapenas are obviously rather confident in the charms of their creative Spanish cuisine. And so they should be. Set in a pleasantly restored villa not far from the Royal Palace, Quitapenas offers both traditional and contemporary fare, with highlights including the Spanish classic of paella and the goat cheese balls with caramelised onion, the latter almost guaranteeing an eye-widening moment of surprise and pleasure when the first one bursts inside your mouth.
Tel: +855 (0)88 822 2880 Website: quitapenas-restaurant.com
There is a great deal of competition for the title of Phnom Penh’s best Cambodian food, but we think Kravanh just about edges it. The restaurant is simple yet elegant, with high-powered politicians and businesspeople regularly discussing the issues of the day over the restaurant’s extensive menu. Cambodia’s national dish, fish amok, is on point here, while any of the fabulously rich curries are also a good choice. For something a little different, we’d recommend the nataing, a warm, prawn-based dip served with rice crackers.
Tel: +855 (0)12 539 977
Besides being one of the best places in the capital to test your tastebuds with creepy-crawlies – try the crunchy tarantulas for an eight-legged treat – this perennial star of the restaurant scene offers up contemporary Cambodian cookery. Spoil yourself with five-spiced pork belly or coconut-scented red sticky rice with mango in the vibrantly adorned eatery, which is run by Mith Samlanh – an organisation that has worked with former street children and marginalised young people since 1994.
Tel: +855 (0)92 219 565 Website: tree-alliance.org/our-restaurants/romdeng