Every trip back to Vancouver means a visit to Phnom Penh in Chinatown. I’ve never had a dud meal there and my last meal there was no exception. My father, brother and I rocked up on a weekday evening and found no trouble in obtaining a table for 3. I do believe this is not the case on weekends.
I wanted to shake things up this time and so instead of ordering our usual fried chicken wings, I ordered a small portion of spicy garlic fried squid. The squid came in quite large pieces but each was perfectly fried – tender inside and crisply battered – and it came with a bowl of their gorgeous lemon pepper dipping sauce. A good scattering of lightly fried garlic and chopped chilies finished the dish. Make sure to get all your dining companions to eat that garlic too so you’ll all stink wonderfully!
Because we love fried things, we placed an order of fried spring rolls too. They use the more Chinese spring roll wrappers (as opposed to the Vietnamese rice paper ones) but they’re still tasty crunchy morsels. Each roll was chock full of pork, mung bean threads and vegetables and I ate them wrapped with the accompanying lettuce and dipped in the nuoc cham. I was surprised to see the rice vermicelli on the side but was glad that one could just make a meal of this plate.
My brother and father cannot visit without ordering their Trieu Chau fried rice – a very very delicious fried rice with lots of oil and Chinese sausage. Don’t be alarmed by the oiliness: I’ve found that the best fried rices are all quite oily!
With all the wedding stuff going on, I only managed one visit this time; if I had my way and a few extra stomachs, I’d try to eat at Phnom Penh every other day (but uh…perhaps not only ordering the oiliest things on the menu!). Now that I think about it, there was no time for banh mi in Vancouver either – hopefully next time.
244 E Georgia St