Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Eating out

The Ngon Restaurant in Phnom Penh
I turned up at Brasserie Durga tonight expecting to listen to a presentation on the cave temples of the Kampot and Kep region only to find it had been cancelled at the last minute. It was the 2nd time I've done the same thing, there won't be a third time. So instead I went to see what all the fuss is about at the new Vietnamese-infused Ngon Restaurant on Sihanouk Boulevard, that has been packed to the rafters since it opened a couple of months ago. Offering refined street food, as it does at identical establishments in Saigon and Hanoi, the prices are resonable and the eatery has been pulling in the customers, sat at tables surrounding an open central courtyard with frangipani trees, lanterns and cooking stations dotted around the place. The food was acceptable, if rather bland, the service was pretty slow despite hordes of waiting staff running around catching their tails, which didn't exactly add to the experience. It was clear from the clientele tonight that the restaurant is cashing in on the local Vietnamese population as well as Khmers keen to see what all the fuss is about. My eating partner tells me that 'ngon' translates as delicious. I wasn't as knocked out by it as the name suggests and won't be busting a gut to revisit anytime soon. Saying that, I dined at Malis recently to specifically try their fish amok and that didn't blow me away either. The portions were too small and I like my amok creamy, and it was anything but. Maybe my palate is playing tricks on me or I'm getting too fussy in my old age.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ngon is awful. Service is terrible and food revolting in comparison with most other Vietnamese places in town. Visit the branches in HCMC to see how it can be done properly. I went to the PP one once and will never return.

April 13, 2011 at 10:04 AM  

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