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.
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.
I simply put everything this way: Foods are incredibly outstanding; service is great, clean and well-kept. But the some of the dishes are unreasonably over-priced. For example: A-mok costs 15.50 but comes in small order; Phnompenh style deepfried stuff (chicken, porkchop, squid, etc); well, you can't really tell the difference in sizes but it costs 50% or more for large orders. And, the rare beef plate, well, in San Francisco where living expenses are much higher, the same dish (same size!!!) costs only 7.50 USD, which is about 9.50 CAD but it is 17.70 in this restaurant.
So the owner really needs to think twice and reconsiders the prices...the high prices have drive most of its customer to only either a bow of dried noodle or a rice dish.
My parents used to take us kids to Phnom Penh since my dad knew the owner. They used to have a second restaurant on Broadway near Oak but that one never did well.
Many years later, I've rediscovered a love for this restaurant. Excellent and authentic Cambodian/Vietnamese food... One of the best in town.
Spicy, garlicky, sweet, sour, salty... take your pick. Very authentic and flavourful. Green papaya salad, Chiu Chow fried rice, Hu tieu noodles, deep fried chicken wings or squid are all favourites. My wife and I try to bring friends each time we go so we can get a variety of dishes.
Better than what you'd expect from a restaurant of this price point.
Can't beat it and it shows with the lineups at the door. Over the years, this place has gotten busier and busier.
See service review above.
This is a Vietnamese/Cambodian restaurant. Their menu is a bit exhaustive. It takes a lot of time to read through and while some dishes are great, others are not and you wonder why it is even on the menu.
The chicken wings are a must order. They are 5/5 awesome. I had clams (which were good but a little bit pricey), pork chop on rice (quite expensive compared to some other Vietnamese places) and another dish I completely don't remember. I wouldn't suggest the pork chop dish. I think I chose the wrong thing to order. I would definitely come back to this place though, to try out some other dishes. You have to flag the waitresses down, but when they do come, they are attentive. Decor is old school and the menus are a bit sticky. Looks like a typical Vietnamese restaurant.
Sure, you'll find all the mainstays of Vietnamese cooking here, like spring rolls and lemon grass chicken. But you could go to Pho Hoa for those things. What you come here for are the special menu items, like the fried chicken wings in lemon-pepper sauce. And the butter beef (rare-medium rare slices in a soy-vinegar sauce, toasted garlic, cilantro and some dabs of butter). You will get hooked.
I love the food. The chicken wings are delicious. The butter beef is my new love. Lychee moo shakes are to die for! One of my favourite dishes is #35, the beef and egg over rice. There's plenty of beef, and is so saucy. I always have leftovers to take home because the portion is so big. Some constructive criticism I could offer is to have entree dishes to arrive all at once, rather than 5 minutes after the other. By the time my dish arrived, everybody else at the table had finished theirs! The food keeps us coming back.
Everytime I come here, whether I'm seated right away or whether I have to wait in line for a table, I always see the same two dishes being brought to tables or sitting at tables to be consumed: chicken wings and filet beef on rice.
I've always wanted to try other items on the menu and have sadly wished that I went back for my same two dishes - chicken and filet beef on rice. Why change a good thing? It's that good. You can't find chicken wings like this made anywhere else, so I guess they've got the monopoly on their deep fried chicken wings. I could eat a whole plate to myself if I wasn't too worried about what all that salt, oil and garlic would do to me that evening.
Maybe one time, I should throw in some veggies into the mix - make it a bit more of a balanced meal. I hear the pea tips are pretty good here. Next time!
I'd DEFINITELY take my mom here. She'd love it.
I originally saw the review for the Phnom Penh on this website.
After my first visit to this restaurant, i keep returning for the great chicken wings with the lemon sauce.
The deep fried chicken wings are terrific. They are crispy with a great original taste.
oh my god those chicken wings are to die for ( by the way you can order a half order- give you more room to try everything else). Honestly I haven't had anything bad off thier menu. Their dishes are full of flavour, good portion size, well priced.
I guess I was expecting to be wowed but ended up being mildly satisfied with no major complaints. The interior relatively clean, service was solid and the food was decent. As the dishes came one by one I dutifully made my way through them, all the while quietly looking forward to the chicken wings with such expectation I could hardly contain myself. Finally the wings were the last to arrive and they were supposed to make the rest of the lunch worth while. Well, they were good. The price makes them especially a good value. They are quite tasty but they have a strange sweetness to them like they added sugar to the coating or something. I’ve had better, namely my moms. I guess she’ll have to teach me how to make them. They have a relatively large menu so I’m willing to go back again to try other dishes but I probably won’t go out of my way anytime soon.
For the $100 I spent at Kiss Ya Mama, I could have come here, ate like a king, and have money left over for a movie for two and a bubble tea. Where do I start? How about...get the chicken wings!! Everyone in the restaurant orders it so you might as well too. I finally got a chance to try the butter beef, talk about exotic!! If you can stomach eating raw meat, try this dish, it's very unique. There's so many good dishes here - spring rolls, lemongrass chicken, filet beef on rice, list goes on and on. And the sauces at this place, just amazing (hoisin with hot chili oil, fish sauce, pepper sauce for chicken wings).
To all the restaurants that I have given a poor review, I suggest you come here, eat the food, and learn how to run your establishment like this all time Vancouver favorite!!
I LOVE THE PENH!!!
I have been coming back to this place for a number of times already. We are a party of 5 to 7 and usually at the door between 5 to 530pm. WORD of ADVISE: Each time the staff greeted us at the door, the staff always ask: 1. Staff: Do you have reservations? We always respond...we phoned but was told you do not accept reservation. I mean what is the point of asking if no reservations are accepted. 2. Staff: You have to be finish by 1 hour..okey? Just take the table and forget the rest. It's a bluff so that they can rush you out the door so that they can take more customers. We normally stay between 1 to 1.5 hours on weekends or weekdays (depending how fast the food are serve) and we always took our time to eat. The staff did not ask us to leave. This is where I do not appreciate asking customers to rush. You go there to enjoy the food.
Otherwise, the food are always consistent. The food are not cheap but not expensive either.
I go here and have been going for years (I used to frequent their Broadway location before it closed) whenever I can because it simply is awesome :). The egg noodle or the mixed noodles (number 4 and 6) on the menu are to die for (don't forget to ask for the soup on the side, which sometimes comes with a bone covered with the softest and tastiest meat ever :). The chicken wings are fantastic and the fresh lemon ice and soda and the ice coffees are amazing. The prices are cheap $6-7.50 for the noodles and the service is FAST and competent. The only drawback is that this place is usually so smoking busy that you might find yourself waiting a bit for a table. Sometimes they just ask you to share a round table with others and you should! You will get in faster and really it is not that bothersome. We were a tad hesitant but decided to do it and it really didn't make much of a difference and we had a chat with some really nice people during our meal. :). Can't recommend this place enough. So good, you should go!! :D
My friends and I came here for lunch, even with a reservation we waited about 15-20 minutes for our table.
We had their butter beef, chicken wings, squids and a lemon grass dish and all was delisious! I love the food! Although I think it could be a bit less expensive for the portion size.
Servers didn't come around much and when they did they didn't seem very happy.
But overall I was very satisfied :)
We got there early and were seated right away. Had some beer while we admired the tome-like menus. Impressive selection, but we had our meals planned from what we heard recommended. Wings, garlic squid, and some noodles.
The wings were fantastic! Crispy and flavourful. We didn't really have time to enjoy them since all our food was brought out at the same time, but still. Best wings I've had in a while.
I had some beef stew with noodles, with the word hot beside it - wasn't really spicy to me, but I like my spicy food to hit me like a right hook.
The food was terrific, but either we did something to offend the waitress or she just wasn't in a good mood. I guess she can be that cold when the food she's serving is that good.
This place used to be one of my favorites and I would frequent it at least once a month. They have recently raised their prices making the price go from expensive to ridiculous. I can't justify the cost anymore. Also, when you order the chicken wings, they give you the tips of the wings and count that as one peice. Very tacky and stingy on their part.
A restaurant my family loves going and has been going since I was a child. The food never disappoints.
I always get the usual, dry rice noodle (extra large + fried egg) and it always tastes great. I use to go to the phnom penh on broadway since it's closer but now that it's closed we still make our way down to this location at least once every two weeks.
The service is what you usually get from a typical asian restaurant. Some of the new waitresses can act a little cocky at times and forget orders but since the restaurant is always so busy, I guess that's understandable
The value is great. I can always order my main dish plus a couple others (half order chicken wings + shrimp salad roll) and in the end it would only cost a bit over $12. Now I eat a lot so for a normal customer, I'd say the average would range from about $7-10 dollars.
Ambiance has been pretty much the same, it's nothing special but I always enjoy being in there since it's always crowded with happy people enjoying great food at a great price
This place is a must-try and you will definitely not be disappointed. A restaurant that will forever be in my mind whenever I wanna grab a tasty bite to eat.
I ordered the beef on rice with egg and it was delicious. The chicken wings were okay but were not my favorite. My husband ordered the Phnom Pho and he says was good.
The restaurant is clean, the server girl was attentive, she actually suggested what we ordered and those dishes were really popular as I saw many people ordering the same.
I have been going to Phnom Penh since I was 5 or so. And I can still remember the taste of the Hot and Sour soup with Prawns.
I ate there today, and just like always the food was amazing.
Deep fried Crab rolls are something I crave quite often. We also had the Chicken wings, calamari, Salad Rolls, Ribs, Prawns on sugar cane and of course the Soup. Everything was outstanding.
Service was friendly and efficient.
I will be going back very soon.