Location: Phnom Penh (Wat Phnom)
Cuisine: European Continental
Rating: 4.6 out of 5
Seating: Indoor & Outdoor
As my friends and I continue our tour of the premier dining spots in Phnom Penh, we embarked upon The Shop located inside the Central Mansions Hotel. As we walked in toward the restaurant we first get a glimpse of their beautiful swimming pool. The restaurant itself is quaint and has the atmosphere of a bistro. We came in for lunch into a bustling and busy crowd, signifying the popularity of this eatery. The menu is simple, focusing on the classic offerings as opposed to one that was too large and cluttered with unnecessary items.
I started the meal with a tomato basil soup as I usually like to begin with some sort of appetizer. It was a cream based soup rich with flavor, but perfectly cut with the slightly pungent taste of the basil. The soup was accompanied by shredded cheese, chopped bacon and a large crouton covered in parsley butter. My friend began his meal with a moussaka which I was surprised to learn later was a vegetarian offering. I could not tell as the combination of vegetables and the chickpea puree gave it an earthy texture and flavor that made it one of favorite dishes of the day.
I wanted to go with a simple main so I ordered the classic burger. The quality of the meat revealed itself from the first bite as the patty was moist, juicy and perfectly ground. It was of course cooked to a perfect medium rare and did not need any condiments as it was served with a homemade tomato jam. And topped with bacon because everything is better with bacon. My friend went with the grilled salmon served on a bed of mashed potatoes and vegetables on the side. I did not sample this dish but it cut perfectly, flaky on the fork and cooked to a perfect medium.
The service at The Shop is impeccable with all of the servers taking great care of each table. They were very friendly, competent and knowledgeable of the menu and this week's specials. The menu includes items for all meals of the day so be sure to make The Shop your next stop on your culinary journey.
Cambodian Food Scene
Cambodia is surprisingly filled with many great restaurants, from inexpensive to those closer to Western prices. These are just a collection of my favorite places to eat throughout the country.