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.
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.
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:
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 🙂
Check out the light bulbs – cool!
A clever use for a mason jar and an old clipboard.
Sesame Noodle Bar
Address: #9 Street 460, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Phone:+855 89 750 212
One of the most popular breakfasts in Cambodia, kuy teav is a very simple but very tasty pork noodle soup, topped with shallots, toasted garlic, spring onions, collard greens, various herbs and sprouted mung beans. Kuy teav is similar to the Vietnamese pho.
Not the most flattering picture but the broth of this much-loved Khmer breakfast is to die for!
Most Cambodians, in Phnom Penh or in provinces, prefer to eat kuy teav in open-air restaurants rather than make this at home. Rice noodles are mostly used for kuy teav and, depending on the customer’s preference, the soup also features liver, intestines, meatballs and local pate. A bowl is served with a side sauce of red chilli sauce, preserved soya bean paste and a slice of krochma (lime). I prefer mine with flat egg noodles without the extras, as in the picture above, for breakfast. A bowl costs between 4,000-6,000 riels (US$1=4,000riels) and best to finish off with iced coffee with milk.
Went on another food-trip with PELUKA sister, PinayWifeSpeaks, to D’ Restaurant Nyonya last week. It was our second time there after our pleasant experience the first time. We planned on having the Penang curry laksa, both our favourite.
That's my order of Penang curry laksa and a refreshing soya kincang.
The soya kincang is very refreshing although I would love it even more if it were sweeter and creamier. It’s somewhat equivalent to our samalamig gulaman-sago. The black bits you see on the glass are gulaman. Flavour-wise, the laksa was really good – creamy and with moderate heat and spice – but I was disappointed that the slices of chicken and other bits were swimming in the bowl. It was too soupy. PinayWife and I had to “arrange” the pieces in the bowl to make it look good on pictures. But that being said, I would still love to go back there. There are lots more worth coming back to, I kid you not.