Apr 25 2011
Long hailed as one of Phnom Penh’s best-kept secrets, Chinese Noodle Restaurant dishes up hand-pulled noodles and homemade dumplings on the cheap. It’s not much of a secret any more, but the place still feels like it’s hidden in plain sight on Monivong Boulevard a few blocks below Sihanouk.
Chinese Noodle Restaurant is one of the few places in town that is popular with all of the local sub-groups who try and avoid each other as much as possible the rest of the time: Khmers, NGO employees, Chi-mais (Chinese Khmers), backpackers, and Chinese expats looking for a taste of home all crowd in for inexpensive lunches and dinners. The restaurant is actually two buildings next to each other, each with eight tables — be prepared to share with strangers during peak lunchtime hours. It was taken over from the previous owner in 2006 by Xu Guang Ping, a native of China’s Jiangxi province, who runs the place with her brother and sister.
The menu is small and noodle heavy; the specialties are the pork and chive dumplings, either boiled or fried, and noodle soup with various accompaniments. Some of the other menu standouts are the new year’s cake, or nian goa, savoury sliced rice cakes with mushrooms and cooked lettuce and green beans with garlic and mushrooms. Most items are priced between $1.20 and $2. The dishes are cheap, simple and delicious with plenty of umami action for your tastebuds to buzz on (read: MSG). You can also order frozen dumplings for takeaway to store in the freezer, $1 for a dozen.
Outside you’ll find young men punching, pulling and otherwise wrestling with huge piles of dough, turning it into the hand-pulled noodles that the restaurant is famous for. Stop by and get in on Phnom Penh’s not-quite-secret noodle house.
Chinese Noodle Restaurant 553 Monivong Blvd, Phnom Penh. T: 012 937 805
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