Oct 14 2011
Despite the large number of Japenese expats in Phnom Penh, good sushi is harder to come by than you’d think, with most of the Japanese restaurants in town serving up primarily donburis and other Japanese home-cooking.
In the name of research, I’ve been hunting for the best sushi in Phnom Penh. Here are some of my favourites.
The oldest name in sushi in Phnom Penh, Origami flies their fish in from Japan, and has the prices to prove it. Origami is an elegant restaurant with as immaculate-as-you’ll-get-in-Cambodia service. The clientele is made up mostly of Japanese expats, leading me to believe that it’s one of the more authentic restaurants that this crazy town has to offer.
Sushi sets run up to $25, but they also have good lunch specials for under $15. It’s expensive by local standards, but you’d probably pay as much in the West, so it’s actually not a bad deal and the fish is pretty good. Bentos are better value but contain less actual sushi — the $12 Origami special contains sashimi, tempura and a variety of appetisers and comes with rice and miso soup, making it an excellent choice.
88 Sothearos Blvd, Phnom Penh
T: (012) 968 095
Fusion Sushi is located inside the Cara Hotel, and is a lovely respite away from the honking tuk tuks and their excessively communicative drivers. The restaurant is Japanese and Korean fusion, with dishes from both cuisines offered, although the focus is on sushi. If you’re looking for luxury, try their $40 per person sashimi set — they say to plan for two hours of dining as they bring you course after course of sashimi, tempura, Korean soup and various other delicacies.
If you’re not up for spending a fortune, there are more affordable choices as well. I liked the $8 salmon sashimi bibimbap — raw salmon on top of a bed of vegetables with a spicy Korean sauce and served with rice. The fish has obviously been frozen but is still quite good. They have sushi sets for $10 and other rolls including tuna, unagi, tamago, octopus and Korean kimbap. Handrolls are good value at $3 for two.
The interior is also quite nice — and fulfills my requirement that if I’m spending more than $15 for a meal, I want to pretend I’m not in Cambodia. Private rooms, bamboo curtains, soft lighting and even some of those tables where you pretend to sit on the ground but your feet are actually in a hole — couldn’t ask for more.
#18 Street 47 at Street 84, Phnom Penh
T: (023) 986 114
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