A touch of healthy decadence
Almost genetically engineered to appeal to families and Phnom Penh’s worthy NGO crowd, The Shop is a safe byword for fresh, healthy, delicious and incredibly good value food in a stylishly informal setting. One of the most reliably quality restaurants in Phnom Penh, they’ve been turning out beautifully prepared wraps, soups, quiches, salads and freshly baked bread and patisseries on Street 240 since 2001, but have been busy expanding too, with new sites on Street 337 in Toul Kork, and in the Central Mansion, a rather swank apartment building on Street 102.
The look is defined by soft butter yellow walls, natural wood and a rather magnificent but welcoming bar overlooked by a spinach green chalk board sporting the menu. Underneath it, the busy team gracefully and efficiently go about their work, and are unfailingly friendly. In late 2015, the menu finally underwent a revamp, but the same winning style has been kept — indeed some of the staff have been here for at least 10 years too.
The new menu continues in much the same vein as before, but with a wider offering. Breakfasts start at $3 for eggs and toast, or you can go wild with a Shop Style eggs Benedict with smoked salmon ($6). They also serve up pancakes, muesli, pain perdu (bread and butter pudding to Brits), and an insanely good value breakfast of rye, salmon and avocado for $3.
While you’re free to enjoy any of those all day, for lunchier fare, there’s a selection of soups, quiches, sandwiches, wraps and more. The slow-roasted tomato soup ($4) is divine, and we’ll be going back soon for the goat cheese, honey and apple on walnut baguette ($4.50) very soon. Other options include chicken and avocado ciabatta, or chicken shoarma in pita, hummus and roast tomatoes in pita (all $4), or maybe the lamb with basil pesto and sour cream in wheat wrap ($5.25) is your charm. Speaking of lamb, there’s a wonderful Greek lasagne with lamb bolognese sauce, feta, olives and spinach for $8 that’s not to be missed.
The airy front room gets busy quickly, especially on the weekends, but there is a small annex at the back with plenty of seating too. Parents will be thrilled to find a small kids toys and books shop out there too. People watchers, and smokers, tend to go for the front tables outside the restaurant.
The Shop is one of those places that you can’t help going back to, even when you’re thinking you should be trying something else. Highly recommended.
Address: 39 Street 240, Phnom Penh
T: (092) 955 963
Coordinates (for GPS): 104º55'43.66" E, 11º33'37.13" N
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Nicky Sullivan is an Irish freelance writer (and aspiring photographer). She has lived in England, Ireland, France, Spain and India, but decided that her tribe and heart are in Cambodia, where she has lived since 2007 despite repeated attempts to leave. She dreams of being as tough as Dervla Murphy, but fears there may be a long way to go. She can’t stand whisky for starters. She was a researcher, writer and coordinator for The Angkor Guidebook: Your Essential Companion to the Temples, now one of the best-selling guidebooks to the temples.
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