Saturday, May 08, 2010
Wings, Dumplings, and more...
When deciding on what to have for lunch and the only limitation is “no burgers”, so many things come to mind. Sushi? Ramen? Pho? And then brilliance struck…Phnom Penh! Ever since I had the wings a few weeks ago, I’ve been craving to return. I brought two PP Chicken Wing Virgins with me…one had tried them long ago and one was from NYC. I knew this was going to make me look like a foodie superstar!
As we waited patiently for a table, (it was 12:30 on a Saturday), we planned our meal. For sure we are getting the Chicken Wings. I am so used to getting a half order that this time, I was so excited that we would get a “real” order! They are also well-known for their Butter Beef, so I pushed for that as a novelty we must try. One person really wanted Dumplings, so we ordered the Trieu Chau Steamed Dumplings, written up as part of a review that was posted on the wall. It is a great way to kill time while waiting for our table too. Next decision, rice or noodles? The best rice is the Lu Lac Filet Beef on Rice with Egg, but we didn’t want to overdose on beef. We settled on another favourite, the PP Egg/Rice Noodle (Dry). Three people, four plates of food, sounds about right.
First to come were the noodles, accompanied by a bowl of Old Fire Pork Bone Soup. The bone is delicious and tender, after hours of simmering. There were both egg and rice noodles in the bowl, as well as thin slices of pork, liver, ground pork and a few shrimps. A generous sprinkling of green onion, fried garlic and cilantro finishes the dish. Note: If you don’t like cilantro, tell the server right at the start, because they sprinkle it over everything…you’ll see. After doling out some for everyone, I added a bit of the blanched bean sprouts and a squirt of hot sauce to my serving and dug in. It was so good. Perfectly cooked noodles and a nice mix of sliced and ground meat.
Just as I finished my noodles, the Chicken Wings came. With a few springs of cilantro and the token tomato and cucumber slice. The crunchy exterior and the juicy ultra-hot interior, it’s perfection every time. Just a quick dunk into the lemon/pepper concoction is all you need. If you over-dunk, it will get soggy (and overly tangy) on you.
The Butter Beef came next, and as I said before, if you don’t like cilantro…you’ve got to tell them. It is essentially thinly sliced marinated rare beef, sprinkled with a mixture of lime juice, soy sauce and fish sauce. More cilantro and more fried garlic complete the dish. Cut it as if it was a pizza, slicing it up into individual portions. The marinade can be a little overpowering if you are not used to the fish sauce flavour, so be sure to mix it up with the less coated sections near the edges.
The final dish was the Steamed Dumplings. Having eaten here for over 15 years, I have never actually ordered this. It was filled with Chinese Sausage (very fatty), mushrooms, jicama, chunks of a hard boiled egg, and firm tofu with yet another sprinkling of the cilantro and garlic. It was really good but I’m glad it came at the end. If you had that first or just after the noodles, you’d be a little overwhelmed by the wings and beef afterwards.
All in all, it was a great meal. When you head to PP, it’s always better when there are more people so you can order more dishes and try new things. When you only go with one other person, you each have your favourites and before you know it, you’re ordering the same darn thing every time.