Honest-to-goodness value for money
26B Street 446, Phsar Toul Tom Poung
T: (012) 918 244
Phsar Toul Toum Poung (aka Russian Market) in Phnom Penh is a sweaty heaving church of consumerism where the most devout can spend hours walking in circles and haggling for bargains. But even dedicated shoppers need time off for good behaviour, which is where the Sisters All Day Bakery Shop comes into its own. Despite the name, this little cafe is not run by nuns, but it is located down a side street full of religious statue stalls.
Sisters could not be less pretentious: it’s just honest-to-goodness value for money food, prepared with care. Eagle-eyed readers will guess that Sisters serve breakfast all day. The Khmer coffee is strong and sweet, just as it should be. Praying for pancakes? Ask and you shall receive, starting at $2 with a choice of plain, chocolate chip, banana or pumpkin and spice (highly recommended). There’s omelettes and sandwiches, but the big draw is the cakes and pies, freshly baked and smelling good — perfect when you need a sugar hit mid-shop at the market (they even have Finnish pulla!)
Chocolate fudge, apple and lemon meringue pies are $1.50 per generous slice, while brownies and carrot cake are a $1 per portion. It’s difficult to choose, but at those prices, the converted can have one now and take one (or two) for later enjoyment. A limited lunch menu serves those on their second meal of the day — think $3 for fried noodles, grilled ham and cheese sandwich or chicken curry with rice. Service is friendly but not fast — this is a place to slow down the pace (and use the free WiFi) while your breakfast is created.
The cafe’s design could be described as minimalist — most of the attention goes on food preparation, not ambiance. There are just two tables in the covered outside section, next to a veritable dealership of parked motos belonging to staff and customers. Decoration stops with a couple of rows of real and plastic plants to brighten things up. Inside, six more tables have the benefit of fans and tablecloths. The interior is cool and dim, and the cafe looks out onto the quiet side street, where fish drying in the sun and a vendor selling roast sweet potatoes is as hectic as it gets.
Sisters is popular with hungry market-goers of all ages, and it has a faithful following from Phnom Penh expats living nearby. Kids are welcome, and the food tends to satisfy even the pickiest eater. After something more substantial? Try nearby Alma for some very affordable and delicious Mexican.
By Abigail Gilbert
Last updated on 23rd November, 2015.