Grocery store finds: Patak’s curry paste

In one of our grocery trips, my husband got excited when he saw this familiar name: Patak.

I heard from my in-law that they always have this in their cupboard!

Patak’s is a household name in England and was a mainstay in the cupboards of most English families. My husband was happily surprised to find it here and so we tried it at home. It’s the bomb!

Found it at One-and-One Grocery Store, in front of Hope International School in Phnom Penh.

A jar of Patak’s costs $5.20. We got the Madras and Vindaloo pastes variety.

Food Trip Friday 104: Okoy-okoy!

This plateful of okoys I saw by the road made me drool. I love okoy.

Shrimp fritters. Okoy in our dialect.

Shrimp fritters. Okoy in our dialect.

My aunt, may she rest in peace, makes the best okoys in the whole wide world. Shrimps mixed in shredded wintermelon or cassava, flour, eggs and seasoning and fried perfectly crispy. Yes, they’re oily but – the hey – dipped in vinegar with chilli, it’s finger-licking good!

This Khmer-version of okoy is a staple street-food – and cheap, too – is mixed with flour and eggs only but still very tasty. I also love the salt-pepper-lime-combo dipping. They’re best eaten while hot and only with fingers! Now I am craving for some. I want to reach that pair of thong on the yellow plastic basket and get me some shrimp fritters.

Food Trip Friday 103: Nom banchok, Vietnamese version

Howdy, friends.

Bringing myself back into the FTF groove again. This week, I’m posting this photo of nom banchok, Vietnamese version. I didn’t exactly understand why this noodle soup is named as such when I asked my officemate who brought it. As it was the first Vietnamese nom banchok I had seen, I wasted no time in tasting.

Very tasty nom banchok.

Very tasty nom banchok.

This is actually different from the Khmer nom banchok that I’m used to where the rice noodles are gloriously slathered with a mild Khmer green curry sauce. Instead, this is a clear soup with very nice textures from the beef prahat (meatball), fish fillets and vegetables – sprouted beans, shredded banana heart (puso ng saging), morning glory stems (kangkong), lovely thai basil and fiery Khmer chillies for that spicy oomph! There is a strong fish sauce (patis) and preserved shrimps (kapik) which might offend the nostrils and taste buds of our foreign friends, but not me.

I don’t normally see this dish sold around, compared to its cousin the Khmer nom banchok. However it is a very filling breakfast fare that can tide you over till lunchtime. It has noodles (made from rice) and meat (protein) and a host of vegetables to keep your tummy happy.

Food Trip Friday 102: Sesame Noodle Bar’s Cold Noodles


A hungry stomach has led me and my constant partner to many gustatory adventures, Manay of PinayWifeSpeaks, to discover this recently opened noodle shop. It is called the Sesame Noodle Bar and they offer a simple menu of noodles and side dishes inspired by Japanese, Chinese and American cuisines.

On one very hot Wednesday afternoon in March, Manay and I found Sesame Noodle Bar south of the Russian Market. On our first time at the noodle bar, I ordered this set lunch:

food trip friday sesame noodle bar cold noodles gyoza and tahini dressing

The noodle dish topped with caramelized pork was superb! What’s more, this set dish cost only $4.75.

The noodles is served ice-cold – which was a pleasant treat to quench the summer heat- and topped with a healthy pile of fresh veggies and a side of tahini dressing. More than anything, it felt more like eating a salad with noodles, and I say that in a positive way. The gyoza, or dumplings, was hand-rolled and pan-fried perfectly. Of course, not to be outdone, I also had a refreshing mint-passion fruit shake. All in all it was light but very filling meal.

Of course, I won’t stop at the food. The place is worth mentioning!  The lighting is also unique – check out the light bulbs when you go there – and the the decors are interesting; the posters and figurines are all so kawaii. The atmosphere is very nice and friendly, and their menu is a cute DIY. One would think they’re straight off the pages of Pinterest or Etsy. You don’t believe me? Just look at some of the photos I took. Please click the photos for a larger view  🙂

[easy-media med=”977,976,973″]

Sesame Noodle Bar
Address: #9 Street 460, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Phone:+855 89 750 212

Food Trip Friday 101: Fresh garden salad with lemon-mustard vinaigrette

This is the longest I have been away from blogging so far. Although not totally off the grid, I just stopped updating for various reasons. Life sometimes throws a curve ball at you every now and then that you never anticipate. It’s a major adjustment for everyone concerned but I just had to roll!

So anyway, now that I’m back in the mainstream I am slowly creeping into the blogging vine. My comeback post is here… my favourite garden salad with the mustard dressing from Nature and Sea Restaurant:

garden salad lemon-mustard vinaigrette

Nature and Sea’s Garden Salad. Julienned cabbage and carrots, sliced beets, tomatoes, and cucumber laid on a bed of lettuce. Colourful and delicious.

The serving was huge (good for two, actually) and served with a crusty French baguette on the side. The veggies were so colourful. They were fresh and crispy and dressed with a tangy lemon-mustard vinaigrette and served with a crusty French baguette on the side. My only complaint is that the vinaigrette is too thick/dense which is so unlike the consistency of other vinaigrettes I know. Other than that, it was oozing with flavour. It had a pleasant bit of sweetness to it, perhaps, sugar was added to temper the acidity of the lemon juice. Two thumbs up.

Food Trip Friday 100: Italian-style fish and chips

After several months of absence, I’m back again here at FTF. And guess what, it’s my 100th post, an auspicious number if I may say so.

So here’s my entry:

italian style fish in olive oil

Nature and Sea Restaurant’s Italian-style fish and chips. Fresh and delicious.

Nature and Sea Restaurant sits on the rooftop of a corner-building in the lively Golden Street, aka, St. 278, just across Wat Langka in Phnom Penh. It’s a nice little restaurant, with a view of the wat and the Independence Monument. It is a health-food shop of sorts and all the dishes are prepared using the freshest and pesticide-free ingredients.

In my opinion, they have the best fish-n-chips in town in variety of styles –  Australian, Italian, French, Baltic, and English (of course), just to name a few. A set meal of fish-n-chips will set you back at $6.50 but it includes a serving of fresh garden salad (I prefer the mustard dressing every time) and French fries. I also ordered a glass of mango and passionate fruit shake, a very refreshing and healthy drink to complete my meal, for only $1.75. Oh, and if you still have room for it, don’t forget to order crepes for dessert. Highly-recommended.

Food Trip Friday 098: Sfiha

The other night my husband and I found ourselves without dinner again. There are stuff inside the fridge but, you know, it’s one of those nights when I just could not be bothered to cook. I hope I don’t look like a bad wife at all. I had a cold and a splitting headache, a little compassion here, please.

So yeah, we ordered pizza for delivery. Again. But different this time. It was pizza with exotic middle-eastern spices… they’re called sfiha.

Sfiha, the Lebanese pizza, from Le Cedre Restaurant in Phnom Penh.

They are delicious, exotic pizzas that are made from minced moutton and mixed with various heavenly spices. They look like open-faced minced pies on soft dough (crispy on the sides) but, according to Le Cedre’s menu, they’re actually pizza that are traditionally eaten in Lebanon and other Arab countries.

I’m not a fan of lamb meat at all but this one I’m happy to make an exception as this dish is a tummy-pleaser! I googled for recipes and I’m pleased to know that it’s not that difficult to make. I think I know now what I will try to do in my kitchen next time.

 

Food Trip Friday 096: Secret Recipe’s Curry Mee

I’ve always been a laksa lover and I had been craving for it recenlty. When a friend suggested we do lunch at Secret Recipe, I immediately said yes to finally satiate my craving.

Mmmmmmm. The best curry mee ever! Curry mee is one of the iconic hawker’s food in Malaysia and Singapore.

Yes, this Malaysian-grown franchise has already entered the Kingdom of Cambodia earlier this year and opened not one but two branches in the capital alone. One is situated in the busy Monivong Boulevard where my friend took me. Inside was so cozy and pleasantly cool, a welcome refuge from the searing heat outside.

As a lover of anything noodles, my order, of course, had to be curry mee and it came in a large bowl with an okay serving of sambal on the side. Curry mee is just  basically spicy curry noodles but the sauce — the sauce was creamy and oh-so-tasty. The curry spices weren’t overpowering either so it’s all good. As you can see in the picture above, it’s not all sauce – you can see the ingredients – fish cake, tofu, and clams – weren’t swimming in the sauce.

For sure I’ll be coming back to try out the other dishes in their menu.

 

Food Trip Friday 092: Pizza-perfect!

Too lazy to prepare anything on a rainy night, we opted for pizza (yay!) tonight.

Imported pepperoni and black olives, our favourite toppings. Pizza perfetto!

So I excitedly called Sarpino’s in Tuol Kork. It is close to our neighbourhood and their delivery service is great. True to their promise, a large, pan-crusted, double-pepperoni pizza with black olives arrived within thirty minutes!