Saturday, March 31, 2012
Angkor - the Phnom Penh of the East Side
I've heard a few things about Angkor and it's hard to miss the constant comparison with Phnom Penh. So one Saturday, we decided to check it out for ourselves.
First thing to come to the table were the cooked sprouts and lime. I like having the sprouts cooked, I feel like it's more sanitary than raw, wet sprouts coming to the table.
And we only got the sprouts because we got noodles, to be specific, the first one we got was the Dry Mix Seafood Noodles. It's shockingly similar to the Phnom Penh Dry Mix Noodles, but I don't believe they have a seafood version. This one came with fish balls, some shrimp and squid as well. I could have done without the pollock, but alas, there they were. These were saucier noodles than Phnom Penh's and the texture of the noodles were just a tad better.
I was craving beef brisket so I decided to get their Beef Brisket & Tendon noodles. In a rich tomato broth, this was just the right amount of spice. Again, the noodles were of a great consistency, but alas, I couldn't say the same for the brisket. The tendon was nice and soft, with a mild chewy texture. The brisket, on the other hand, was slightly underdone. The pieces were very large, about 4 bites to a piece. I think chopping them smaller would have made the whole thing cook faster and resulting in a much tenderer piece of meat. I would probably return to try it again, hoping that I might have just caught the chef on a bad day. Also, we were there early, so maybe going a little later in the day would be better?
One of my favourite things at Phnom Penh is the soup they always serve with their dry egg noodles. See their version here. Buy my, oh my, this soup bone beats anything I've ever been served there! Not only was there plenty of meat on the bone itself, there was marrow inside as well. I was in heaven.
Now I know I've gushed quite about the noodles so far, but what about Phnom Penh's famous chicken wings? Well, they have nothing to worry about. Not to say that these wings are bad, no, not at all, but just not a replacement for the famous Phnom Penh ones. I also liked how the wings were served in two sections, not drum/wing/tip like they do at Phnom Penh. I think the difference is in the breading they use...flour, cornstarch, something about it gives it a nice colour, but the crunch is less crunchy and the flavour is just a bit milder. And they do need to put more pepper in the lemon juice dipping sauce.
So to sum up, if you are in the mood for noodles but not in the mood for the inevitable lineup at Phnom Penh, Angkor is a safe bet. But if it's those wings you're lusting after? Suck it up and wait in line.