Cute and chilled
Tucked away on one of the streets running off the Russian Market is Tini Cafe and Bar: tiny by name, and of course, tiny by nature. The little two-storey, all-white outfit nestled in a short stretch of old wooden houses that have somehow been spared the busy neighbourhood wrecking ball, is a cafe by day and wine bar by night.
We stopped by the month-old operation (in October 2015) for a quick morning macchiato, but instead had an introduction to the cortado ($1.75). It’s just an espresso with a dollop of warm milk added; while similar to a macchiato, the latter is strictly speaking cut with just a little milk foam. You don’t really expect to discover the Spanish version of your favourite Italian drink in a backstreet of Phnom Penh, but that’s the beauty of travel intersecting with globalisation, we guess.
Chemex drip coffee is offered ($2.50), as are fresh juices, teas, kombucha and sodas, while pastries from Christophe’s La Patisserie are $1.50 to $4. Ice cream might be just the ticket for a mid-morning, mid-market treat too, priced at $1 a scoop or $2 for three — with flavours like ginger-black sesame and green mango-kaffir lime, three sounds good to us.
By evenings, we can imagine this spot filling with the neighbourhood’s design and creative types — they must be here, there’s a pizza joint called Brooklyn just around the corner — rubbing shoulders on the little balcony upstairs overlooking the street, lounging at one of the half-dozen tables or so low-slung wooden tables and chairs, or jostling for position in the little front courtyard.
The specialty cocktail list (all $4) is, of course, a tiny seven drinks long, but all the offerings sound good: think Campari Spritz, a mix of white wine, Campari, soda and orange, or a Mai Khmai, white and gold rum, Cointreau, plus orange, pineapple and lime. Glasses of wine are $4 or $5. A buy-one, get-one happy hour runs 17:00-19:00.
A plate of hand-roasted cashews with kaffir lime and salt are $2/$4, or try some dried beef from Preah Vihear for $1.50/$3. You can also order in from restaurants in the neighbourhood (we suspect the Brooklyn pizza does well).
This is an easy air-conditioned spot to make a beeline towards if you need a break from the market. If you’d like somewhere more local with more of a range of home-style pastries, old favourite, locally owned Sisters cafe is just a block away. For a more substantial breakfast or lunch, check out Alma’s.
Address: Street 450 near Street 135, Phnom Penh
T: (017) 555 450
Coordinates (for GPS): 104º54'59.27" E, 11º32'24.31" N
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Samantha Brown is a reformed news reporter. She now edits most of the stuff you read on Travelfish.org, except for when you find a typo, and then that's something she wasn't allowed to look at.
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