Photo: Wat Lanka, Phnom Penh.

Photo of La PatateLa Patate

Beer and fries -- life's little perfections

Street 5, Phnom Penh
T: (012) 750 704 

La Patate

What with the Tintin tableaux, posters of Duvel beer, and even a shot of the tax-dodging Gerard Depardieu (in Phnom Penh), there's no mistaking this joint's national stripes.

Photo of La Patate

Long-running La Palate is as Belgian as can be. Though we note they don't admit responsibility for half-Belgian Johnny Hallyday, leaving the French to take the blame for that. And who could fault them? The French stole their fries after all, which are La Patate's, and Belgium's crisp and salty gift to the world, to the extent that Belgium is currently trying to have the delicious fried potato sticks declared cultural heritage with UNESCO.

La Patate is all about the amazing fries, which are twice-fried as they should be, but as it happens they also have a huge menu of things that you can eat with them should your heart desire. From burgers, which are 'normal', giant and "bazooka" sized -- which could easily serve two -- to mussels cooked up seven different ways, sausages, steaks and grills, there are omelette, salads and an array of "Belgitudes", like black pudding with apple sauce -- something we'd crawl over hot coals for -- three-cheese croquettes, vol-au-vents stuffed with chicken and mushroom, even a sole meuniere. This is no mean menu.

Tucked away on Street 5, towards the top of the central riverside area, the restaurant opens on to a lively side street. Red banquettes give it a diner-ish feel, which seems quite appropriate. They serve, as you would expect, a selection of reasonably-priced Belgian beers to wash it all down, including Duvel, Hoegarden, Leffe and Chimay.

The old establishment is still going strong, but there is a newer, smarter air-con affair on the riverside too. Same great food though. You'll find that one at #128 Sothearos.

Our rating:

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La Patate
Street 5, Phnom Penh
Daily 07:00-02:00
T: (012) 750 704 

Location map for La Patate