Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Burnt Beef Restaurant, Phnom Penh

One late morning I was walking around Phnom Penh, scoping out restaurants as possible lunch and dinner prospects. I passed by one place where I saw two whole steer carcasses out front. I went in and talked to a waiter or kitchen guy, who was able to tell me, "Every night barbecue whole cow." I was there.

I went for dinner at 8:30PM and the joint was jumping, full of people inside and at outside tables, and it was a big place. All Cambodians, I was the only Westerner, and there was a real party atmosphere. Some of the young women were dressed as if this were a big night out. Outside a guy was tending to a steer on a large charcoal grill while another spit held the barest remains of a former steer.

I went inside and the manager showed me the menu. In English, the barbecued beef was called "burnt beef," and there were two sizes of plate available, at 15,000 and 21,000 riel ($3.75-5.25). I ordered the small plate as well as some seafood fried rice. The fried rice was quite good, full of cilantro and garlic.

And the beef was really flavorful, a plate of pieces cut from various parts of the animal. It was accompanied by various dipping sauces, soy, spiced salt into which one mixes lime juice, and a curry that you add peanuts, herbs and red chilies to. I was really glad I had found this place. You don't find places like this in guide books.

The restaurant is located at the corner of 19th and 148th Streets in Phnom Penh.

The Remains of the Day


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