Apr 28 2011
In the last year the supply of Japanese foodstuffs in Phnom Penh has multiplied, and it’s now easier than ever to find the miso, dashi and kombu that you desire. The city has long had a sizable Japanese expat population, but the groceries didn’t keep pace. Japanese expats often resorted to bringing back suitcases of food with them on every trip home, worried that their supply of Pocky might suddenly run dry. But these days, a great majority of Japanese grocery items are available in Phnom Penh if you just know where to look.
Akuruhi on Mao Tse Tung is the first Cambodia outlet of a Japanese food company that has been in business for ten years in Vietnam. It’s Cambodia’s first truly comprehensive Japanese grocery store, carrying everything you need in the Japanese food area, from bonito flakes, konjac and miso to various types of seaweed, like roasted nori, kombu, wakame and hijinki. They also carry a large selection of snack foods and Japanese alcohols like beer, sake and umeshu.
In the freezer section they carry sushi-grade fish including salmon, octopus tobiko and mentaiko.The staff in the store speaks little English but the owner is fluent, and can special order items that are not carried in the store. Additionally, they can order fresh sushi-grade fish if you let them know at least a day in advance.
Akuruhi Group Japanse Food Supply
99C Mao Tse Tung (near street 163), Phnom Penh
T: (023) 215 946
Open daily, 08:00 – 20:00
Many of the Lucky stores carry a fair number of Japanese food items, but the Lucky on Sihanouk has been adding new products at a frenetic pace, in an apparent attempt to not lose business to Akuruhi.
They’ve done a good job, and have amassed an impressive collection over the last few months. You’ll find a large selection of tinned meats, vegetables and azuki beans as well as a plethora of sauces for yakitori, unagi, shabu shabu and more. They also Japanese curries, seaweed rice mixers and bonito flakes. Lucky on Sihanouk has a large selection of instant foods as well, including ramen, spaghetti sauce and MSG-laden snack foods. You will also find high-quality miso in the refrigerator section near the vegetables.
160 Sihanouk Blvd, Phnom Penh
T: 023 215 229
Open daily, 08:00 – 21:00.
I already extolled the virtues of Bayon Market last week, so I won’t go into great detail here. Suffice to say that they carry a large number of Japanese products as well and the store is popular with Japanese expats. They’re notable for their frozen foods that include mochi, unagi and tobiko as well as frozen high-end miso and shoyu ramen.
33-34 Street 114, Phnom Penh
T: (023) 881 266
Open daily, 08:00 – 21:00
Although they carry only a few few food items, Marine House sells many household products from Japan. Isolated outside of their natural environment these products can seem absurd — who really wants their house decorated in products made entirely of eggshell-colored plastic? But as we all know, everything from Japan is cool, so be ready to pony up $20 for a really adorable bento box.
Marine House is part of an organisation that works to help develop the marine industry in Japan. It’s unclear what purpose this little store serves, but in addition to carrying housewares, dishes and kitchen tools, they also sell luxury cars imported from Japan. Check out their magazine at the counter and check out the extensive sake selection in the back.
25 Mao Tse Tung, Phnom Penh
T: (023) 222 608
Open daily, 09:00 – 19:00
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