Aquarius Dessert Cafe

Cute, fancy and air-con

What we say: 3.5 stars

A few blocks and a world away from sweaty and crowded Phsar Toul Tom Poung (Russian Market) food court, Aquarius Dessert Cafe revels in cutesy pastel colours, fancy furniture and effective air-con. On a quiet Phnom Penh side street, not far from the Flicks movie house, step into one of the new breed of Cambodian eateries and let everything go a bit fuzzy for a while.

Pastel-tastic.

Pastel-tastic.

The designer of Aquarius certainly wasn’t shy about being cute. Oversized studded thrones, candy-striped walls and a Willy Wonka pallette jump out from a background of cool, bright white. And if you dig the daaarrling decor, then this is a great place to kick back out of the Phnom Penh heat. Aquarius conspires to make things soothing: friendly staff, big cushions, cold water on arrival and free WiFi, naturally.

Cafe of thrones.

Cafe of thrones… manicures not offered.

Despite the impression the doorknobs may give, this isn’t an overly pricy place. Smoothies and organic juices for $2.80 and the Asian breakfast menu, served until 13:00, includes $2.50 noodle soup and pork and rice — it’s not just desserts here. There’s a wide choice of frappes, iced teas, Italian sodas and coffee any way you like it, to sip while catching up on emails or gossiping the afternoon away.

No dogs. No smoking. But a big yes to bling.

No dogs. No smoking. But a big yes to bling.

Plenty of Western options are on offer with salads, sandwiches and spaghetti, but the house speciality is Honey Toast, a favourite with Khmer clientele. Available in savoury or sweet versions, this confection consists of half a loaf of bread with the centre scooped out, artfully filled with the melange of your choice. Sunny side up egg and ham or tropical fruit and cream — it’s a veritable meal in a crust.

Collectors of the cute and kitsch may also wish to visit ToTo ice cream parlour at #75 Norodom Boulevard, which serves homemade ice cream and delicate desserts in surroundings reminiscent of a 1950s tea shop. On your way, don’t miss the boutique on the next corner, where the entrance features a giant sparkling tiara over the door. Add some kookiness to your style at PaperDolls on Street 240 and a Half.

Contact details
#69 Street 95 (corner with Street 420)
Open: Open daily 6:30-21:30
Last reviewed by:
Abigail has been stoned by villagers in India, become an honorary Kenyan tribeswoman, sweet talked border guards and had close encounters with black mambas. Her motto is: “Live to tell the tale.”

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