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3
  • Food4
  • Service3
  • Value3
  • Ambiance2.5
  • Reviews109

Phnom Penh Restaurant

244 E Georgia St
Vancouver, BC V6A1Z7
Tel: (604) 682-5777
Neighbourhood: East Side

Reviews

Displaying 41 - 60 of 109 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Here's the beef!
By Von_Delroy of New Westminster (31 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, September 7, 2007 - 10:45pm [Dine in]

Due to the outstanding reviews, we decided to try this place when some of our family members were visiting from out of town.

We went around 1pm on a Saturday, and the place was absolutely packed to the brim, with around 10 people already waiting. Considering that, we waited 20 minutes for a table for 5, which wasn't too bad.

We ordered the famous chicken wings, the luc lac beef, lemongrass chicken, beef with noodles, shrimp fried rice and the fried pomfret. It was a little hard for us to order because some people in our party didn't eat pork, and almost everything on the menu had some form of pork in it.

The luc lac beef was phenomenal! It was so tender and juicy, and had a delicious flavour that we had not previously encountered in any other dish. We were still raving about it long after we left.

The lemongrass chicken was delicious, with a nice charcoal-grilled flavour. Everything else was good, but the beef was really the star and kind of outshone everything else.

As for the famous chicken wings that everyone here seems to adore... Well. These ones were hot and crispy, but absolutely chock-full of MSG. We usually love chicken wings cooked in any style, but these were not our cup of tea.

The service was pretty non-existant. The servers looked tired and there were far too few of them to handle the overflowing restaurant. We asked for water refills and napkins from our waitress several times with no results. Finally the bus boy helped us out at the end of the meal.

As for the ambiance, you could barely hear yourself think, much less hear the person across the table say anything. It was just that loud. The decor leaves much to be desired, but this place is really all about the food so that's not really a problem.

Despite it's flaws, this is a good restaurant and definitely worth a try. We'll be back!

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just gotta love it
By bigfatty of East Vancouver (5 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, May 15, 2007 - 10:20pm [Dine in]

the food here is AWESOME. my favourite is the chicken wings. although it gets TOO busy TOO crowded or TOO loud. the food is worth it. i recommend take out. faster easier and you can eat without having ppl rush you.

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what the deuce?
By smarven of vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 12:26am [Dine in]

bad noodle soup.
ordered the "special" that they have on the sandwich board outside. also had a strawberry moo shake, which was decent at best. the soup smelled great, but was bland and colourless. they may have received a lot of awards for best restaurant, but i know asian food, and this wasn't it. very disappointing.

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very good Asian food !!
By finni of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Saturday, December 2, 2006 - 10:09pm [Dine in]

We always go to Phnom Penh fornoodle dish and appertiser !!
Always oder > noodle no. 2 with soup on the side. It come with ground pork, shrimps , veggi and homemade sauce. Chicken wings is very crispy, pan fried veggi dumpling is also very good with hoisin sauce and chilli sauce. Lots of good dish over there. The price is inexpensive at all. So overall is worth to go there !!

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yummy durian sticky rice!
By mizthang of west end (3 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, November 5, 2006 - 6:21pm [Dine in]

I ate here today for the first time...damn the chicken wings are SOO GOOD! The place was packed for sure and almost every table had wings.

I was in heaven while eating the stinky durian sticky rice =)

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Disappointing
By geoffbil of new westminster (24 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, April 18, 2010 - 12:23am [Dine in]

We were in search of something unique in Vancouver and, being partial to Asian cuisine - Vietnamese and especially Japanese - decided to give this place a shot.

The wait to get in at 6pm on a Saturday night for us two was approximately 20 minutes, which wasn't bad, and we were seated at the end of a larger table, so we were spared sitting directly beside a noisy group. Unfortunately, the extremely crowded, noisy ambiance was off-putting, as was the lighting. I felt more like I was at work, or perhaps in a soup kitchen, rather than sitting down to enjoy a restaurant dinner. McDonald's offers a more relaxing atmosphere.

The butter beef was far too salty and sweet, though the meat itself was quite tender. The papaya salad was way, way too sweet, and tasted like it was 80% sugar cane juice, though the sweet beef jerky on top was kind of a nice touch. The frog legs, the first I'd tried, were tender, but far too greasy and salty. The highlight of the meal was something that consisted of shrimp paste and pork on a rice patty. It was a tad bland, but pleasant enough with the addition of some chili paste.

In the hope of salvaging some much-needed vegetable nutrition from this sugar- and salt-infested meal, I was in the midst of eating the lettuce from my frog leg plate, when the waitress promptly took the plate and stacked another on top of it. I vocalized my discontent, saying "I suppose they don't expect their customers to actually eat the vegetables," or something to that effect, but got no response. Likely as not, she probably didn't speak English, which would be understandable. If you love sugar and salt, I suppose this is the place for you, though - be warned - pub fare is a detoxifying experience by comparison. As for me, the meal cost a little over $50, which I would love to have back.

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This place never disappoints
By foodie57 of Vancouver (21 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, February 2, 2009 - 6:52pm [Dine in]

I have been coming here for years, and there is always something new on the menu to discover. Most people mentioned the best dishes, lemon garlic squid with dipping sauce, chicken wings and butter beef. The place could do with a refresh of the carpeting and a new coat of paint. Will still come back.

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still consistent
By luigi of richmond (26 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, January 7, 2009 - 1:33pm [Dine in]

Returned to the restaurant after a long period. The food is still good.We always have the hot and sour soup with prawns,the crab rolls and any of the crispy dishes,wings or calamari. The place was very busy at Sunday lunch.Food was served unbelieveably fast maybe a little to fast as our table was overcrowded with everything at once. The servers could be a little friendlier.Over all a good experience

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Tasty and Unique
By tango of van (20 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, August 28, 2008 - 1:18am [Dine in]

Great food if you're looking for something Asian but different from your standard Thai, Chinese or Japanese fare. Good portions, decent prices.
Recommend: butter beef, lemon-pepper chicken (the best part is the taste of the lemon-pepper marinade to dip the chicken in), hot & sour soup.
Proof that it's good?? Absolutely busy 7 nights a week so best to make reservations :)

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OK...
By Pengdio of Vancouver (20 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, June 22, 2008 - 11:54pm [Dine in]

So it makes you wonder whether there are different dishes for non-Asians because everything...the hot and sour soup...butter beed with cilantro...pork chops, egg with rice (not fried), salad rolls was passable but very, very mild, and I'm not an aggressive spice junkie. The ambiance in places like this is always bad and although the service was criticized in other postings, I didn't find it bad given that it was its usual busy place. I can't say that I'll be back and it seems that it's trading on its rep more than anything. UNderwhelming all around with the tea being a rare highlight. Hot and sour soup was sweet and sour and unique and was the top food choice of the night.

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Many people come here for food
By occdiner of Surrey (25 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, June 4, 2007 - 10:04pm [Dine in]

This is a small restaurant. This doesn't have any fancy decor. This is in a rough part of the city. Yet, on a Sunday evening, there is a crowd in the door from 6pm to 8pm. It just tells you the only thing that people willing to wait for their food and service.

Even with a busy restaurant, service is friendly. Tea are refilled.

The chicken wings are still the best and looks like all table ordered that. The fried rice is tasty.

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Phnom Penh-nomena
By dineoutburnaby of Burnaby (20 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 11:54pm [Dine in]

Our party of three went to Phnom Penh on Valentine's Day and it was like going there on a weekend. However, we were seated within 5-10 minutes so the wait wasn't too bad. Judging from the number of awards on their walls and the number of people there, this restaurant must be pretty popular.

Food: We ordered chicken wings, butter beef, filet beef with rice, fried rice, and a combo entree that had a beef brochette, sugar cane prawn and deep fried spring rolls. Wow! This is really good food!

Service: Pretty good, but it could be improved by expanding the restaurant and having more staff during peak periods to reduce the wait.

Ambiance: Looks like they recently renovated so it looks bright and clean. I also like their pictures of Cambodia as well as their Chinese New Year decorations.

Price: Big portions and everything we ordered were $10 or less.

Overall: Great value and tasty food. Two thumbs up!

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incredible value!
By ting of Richmond, Vancouver (29 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, February 26, 2005 - 8:50am [Dine in]

Yes, even though I still couldn't differentiate between Viet and Cambodian cuisine after eating here, I thoroughly enjoyed the Chicken Salad. Dinner came to $11 pp (incl tax and tips!), and we even had leftovers. Way more interesting than going to a typical diner.

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Cambo Mambo
By Miles of South Granville (27 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, November 15, 2004 - 7:09pm [Dine in]

Order dry noodles with the works. If you happen to be caucasian and enjoy liver make sure you're not a victim of racial profiling and stress beforehand that you actually enjoy it. The chicken wings with lemon pepper dipping sauce, seasoned with garlic and chilis is a perfect side car to share with a buddy. Try the durian sticky rice if you're down with the stinkiest of fruits.

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A Flawed Staple
By saintvlas22 of Vancouver (downtown) (18 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 2:56pm [Dine in]

I have been going going here since I was little - I have fond memories of fighting over the pork bone in their accompanying bowls of broth soup with my sister.

Ambiance: The decor is full of Cambodian/Vietnamese art, and has a definitely dated look. The same carpet, chairs, pink topped tables and even menus from when I was a kid. Also, the bar shelves full of liquor behind the service desk that I am sure have NEVER been even opened. If you've never lived near Chinatown, the location and entrance might seem a bit sketchy - for me though, I just shrug it off.

Service: Don't expect gushing service here. You order, and then get your food. The waitresses will be brusque, and there probably won't be smiles. Make sure you know what you want - the staff don't really know English, so having them explain the menu items to you will just be a hassle for all involved. Also, don't belly-ache about not having been 'checked up on' throughout your meal - Asian places almost NEVER do that. If you need something, flag down a server.

Value: I find it odd that their famous chicken wings are more than $12 - and are actually cheaper than their butter beef which is about $9. Anyways, some menu items are overpriced for what you get, like their curry with baguette. Most menu staples though, are quite reasonable and won't burn a hole in you pocket. The dry noodle dishes always include a bowl of broth soup, so these are the most bang for your buck items.

Food: Their menu is a hodge-podge of Cambodian, Thai, Vietnamese, French fusion and Chinese dishes. Famous items include their mixed dry noodles w/broth soup. It's egg noodles tossed with fresh herbs, soy sauce and other seasonings, fried garlic, ground and sliced pork, heart and liver, as well as exactly two prawns. Fresh and with a little of everything, you can get a big or small order. Their deep fried chicken wings are marinated in herbs, garlic and pepper, and comes crispy hot with a lime dipping sauce. Butter beef is thin slices of rare beef with loads of fresh herbs, fried garlic and a soy dressing. Very delicious! Their take on pho noodles has a very different tasting soup - its a lot lighter, with a more pronounced star anise and pepper flavor, and is a lot less savory. I don't recommend it, as it can be weak in terms of flavor. Their Vietnamese fare of spring and salad rolls, lemon grass chicken and curry isn't the best. Go with it if you aren't adventurous, but their more exotic fare is the way to go. Their pan fried frog legs, though, are disappointing. They have a variety of mixed drinks, like fruit slushes, grass jelly, lime soda and red bean ice. These aren't really worth their price, but are refreshing. I have to admit, I have never tried their desserts...

Their original owners have retired, and the quality of their food has become less consistent. Their broth soup no longer seems to be a slow simmered treat, but something made with instant broth granules. Their dry mixed noodles skimp on the ingredients, the butter beef no longer contains anchovy fillets, and the MSG seems to run high in their chicken wings. Even with these changes, I still find myself coming back. Maybe it's because I can still taste the echo of what their food used to be like, but Phnom Penh is still a restaurant staple for me.

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So so
By i only work for food of Vancouver (15 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 9:06pm [Dine in]

We there on the weekend for lunch and after a 30-min wait, we were seated. That was great since the waiting area and restaurant was packed and there was nowhere to sit or stand. We were also getting a bit frustrated as two couples who entered after us were seated before us. I ordered the filet beef on rice with egg, and deep-fried chicken wings. After a short wait, our food was served but they didn't serve our table's order all at once. Since there were two of us that ordered the filet beef on rice, the other couple had to wait another few minutes for their food. I should say three of us had to wait because we had to send back a filet beef on rice since a small portion of it was undercooked. Anyway, the server didn't complain after noticing it and returned the plate to the kitchen. Well, my order turned out to be pretty tasty, maybe because I was getting hungry. When the deep fried-chicken wings were served, I had a few pieces of wings with and without the dipping sauce. It was good, but I got really thirsty after eating it. I'm not sure, but I suspect MSG. Oh yes, I should mention that a full order of their famous wings were $12. Overall, the meal was really mediocre, but I might return for some butter beef next time. As others have mentioned, service is ok as the servers are quite attentive and helpful. However, try not to use the washroom if you can avoid it. The hallway and stairs to the washroom doesn't look clean.

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Expected may - that may be the problem
By ratrod of Vancouver (19 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, January 24, 2011 - 2:57am [Dine in]

I heard great things about this place, and while I waited (and you will wait if you show up at a peak times) I read the newspaper clippings and reviews they had tacked up on the wall. I went with these retrogradations, picking up the butter beef and garlic fried squid, along with a bowl of noodles to share with my partner.

I was surprised at the lack of the flavour the noodles carried, which was only lessened by the broth it was coupled with. The meat in the dish was just dry and tasteless. We usually savour prawns, but the pair we got went unfinished.

The butter beef was what butter beef is, but again, rode a middle ground. The garlic was delightfully crunchy.

The fried squid was fried in a matter that created good texture, but the flavour lacked a full rounded punch and the portion was questionable. We ordered a full order and were charged for it, but I can't help but wonder if we got the half order. Either way, it was the only plate at our table that was gone.

I suppose the main letdown was the price. The apparent "value" I've heard coupled with this meal just wasn't present with most dishes passing the $15 price point.

The door staff are overwhelmed, so I forgive them for being short and simply missing taking down our name the first time. The actually table staff were very polite thought. I enjoyed being looked upon as an individual in such a busy establishment.

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Excellent food!
By anticop8 of Vancouver (14 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, May 4, 2010 - 10:10pm [Dine in]

I love going there for the food, love their friend chicken, squid dishes although the portion can be a little bigger for the price they charge.

The noodles were delicious. The rice was decent but portion was very small.

All around their food, service, ambiance and value are solid.

On weekends be sure to make reservation otherwise expect to wait 15-30 minutes...

Weekdays it is less busy and I was able to get a table without problem.

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i use to be a regular
By foodjunkiex of vancouver (10 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, March 28, 2010 - 10:08pm [Dine in]

They have some unique dishes and their chicken wings is probably one of the best in Vancouver. BUT service is mediocre, line ups are usually long. Price has gone up too much and value is no longer there. Management is getting greedy now that this restaurant is getting mainstream attention.

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Go for the food if you can stomach the service.
By maelstrom of West End (10 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, June 25, 2009 - 9:03pm [Dine in]

I had been wanting to check out Phnom Penh for some time as I’ve heard so much about their amazing squid dishes. I was finally able to get there on April 22 and was pleased to see that, for a Monday night, the place was humming. This had to be a good sign. Now I was dining by myself and I soon discovered that Phnom Penh isn’t the place for a solo diner. The prices are somewhat on the steep side and their combo selections were few (three in total) and really quite limited in variety. After reviewing the menu I decided what I wanted and waited and waited and waited before I was finally able to get my order taken. I felt like it was a battle to get my order taken.

I ordered a noodle dish and a squid dish and was able to justify the expensive by telling myself that I would get lunch for tomorrow out of the leftovers. The noodle dish arrived first, but it wasn’t the particular noodle dish that I had ordered. Here’s where it gets interesting. I noticed a waitress approaching with my correct noodle dish, but she saw the other one on my table, looked at me and hastily figured that I hadn’t noticed the mix up so just turned around and walked away with the correct noodles. Unbelievable! Instead of just owning up to the mistake, which wasn’t really even a big deal, they just thought that I wouldn’t know the difference. What a great business model for an eating establishment. Subterfuge dining!

Service is incredibly weak at Phnom Penh and this is largely due to their approach. There are a plethora of servers and you pretty much deal with someone different every time. A different person sat me at my table, took my order, dropped off tea, delivered each dish and brought the bill. A few were friendly, a few were surly and the others didn’t really seem to care too much. Hon’s does this service approach well and does it with efficiency and with a cheerful staff. The management of Phnom Penh could learn a bunch from them.

The squid dish was great by the way and was some of the best I’ve ever had. It’s really too bad that the front of house service blows it for the talented cooks in the kitchen.

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