The first item to come were the wings. Now, remember Phnom Penh calls their wings Garlic Chicken Wings. Here, they are called Garlic Butter Chicken Wings. And that is the first difference you taste. The aroma of the butter hits you in conjunction with the fried garlic chips. You either like it or you don't. The texture of the wings (batter and crunch) was very similar to Phnom Penh's as is the lemon pepper dipping sauce. One other thing I noticed here is that they don't serve the wing tips, which is too bad, because I really liked them, and they serve to make the whole dish seem larger.
We tried a few other appies too, two of which had bacon as a key ingredient. The first was the Bacon Wrapped Prawns. These were decent, but a bit salty. The bacon had a great crisp to it though, better than the slightly softer Bacon Wrapped Unagi at Ki. I would have like to see the prawn skewered straighter, but that's purely aesthetic and has nothing to do with taste.
The next Bacon Wrapped item was the Bacon Wrapped Enoki Mushrooms. Pairing a vegetable with the bacon would make it healthier, don't you think? Again, four pieces to an order, but these weren't quite as good. The stringiness of the enoki made the pieces hard to chew through, it became a knife and fork item.
We had a non-meat (and yes, non-bacon) lover amongst us, so we decided to try another Seafood/Vegetable based appetizer, namely the Crab Stuffed Portobello, which was a whole baked Portobello stuffed with crab, cheese and green onions. A few pieces of baguette helped to make this easier to eat.
There was a lot of crab in the filling and the cheesiness factor was definitely present, with the slightly burnt cheese on top being the best part.
And to inject some non-bacon meats into the meal, we also got their BBQ Beef Short Ribs. These are marinated in a Vietnamese style dressing, with strong hits of fish sauce and soy. I sometimes find these ribs a little tough to eat, but was happy that these were quite tender and the bones came apart quite easily.
For our mains, we decided against their noodles dishes, one of with was a Ramen Bolognese. I might have to come back and try that. They only had one noodle soup (Chicken Vermicelli) that seemed comparable to Phnom Penh's, since the last of the third noodle soup was a Singaporean Laksa. So we opted for two rices. Here is the Lemongrass Pork Chop with Rice. Served with the usual lettuce/cucumber/tomato salad you find in most places, I was delighted to see the fried egg on the rice, since it wasn't listed as such on the menu. The pork was juicy with lots of grill marks on the pork itself, and the portion was quite large too. The smokiness was really good with this dish. I can't say if it's better than Phnom Penh's because I rarely order this there, but this was a good dish all on its own.
One dish that is straight off the Phnom Penh menu is their Beef Luc Lac Rice. The meat portion is quite large, and super soft. The marinade is very similar with a blend of both light and dark soy, and hints of oyster sauce as well. The tomato rice was interesting, without any discernible tomato taste, other than the colour. I would have liked a fried egg on this too, though!
All in all, I think the dishes here are reminiscent of Phnom Penh, but I don't think they are trying to copy them in anyway. They have lots more creative appetizers and have successfully tried to make their dishes stand apart from them, making a straight on comparison impossible.
- Closed on Mondays
- Tends to get rowdy late at night, so go early and enjoy a quieter atmosphere
- Progression of courses are quite random, we got the pork chop rice second and the short ribs last