Cheap noodle soup hit
A little bit away from the crowds, but more than worth the minor excursion, Fortune Pho has built up a solid reputation over many years for reliably serving up the same delicious pho, day after day, year after year.
The neat little restaurant, which will seat just over 30 at a push, is set in an attractive white-walled and sheltered yard right on the corner of Street 51 and Street 242. The simple set-up, with solid, low black wooden tables and stools is elevated by thoughtful touches, such as dark blue table cloths and (new, as of late 2015) matching T-shirts sported by the staff. It’s also spotlessly clean. But, to be quite frank, even if this place looked like the pits of hell, you’d still come for the pho anyway.
With beef, chicken, fish and pork balls, and “special” at $2.50 a bowl, it’s not the cheapest in town — though it’s not far off — but the rich, flavourful broth, abundance of noodles and great pile of fresh green herbs, onions and bean sprouts easily settle the question of why. $2.50 is ridiculously cheap for food this filling and this good. Also, a note for the squeamish, they’ve taken out the bones and gristle that you’ll find in cheaper, theoretically more authentic, versions.
It’s hard to choose beyond the pho, but they also serve a selection of regional specials like spring rolls, which are always good too. And their iced coffee with sweet milk is one of the better we’ve had in Phnom Penh to boot.
The staff are very friendly and helpful, in our years of going there, they’ve never once had a bad day, or a bad soup. They don’t all speak English, but the menu does. Let your fingers do the talking.
About five years ago, the restaurant moved from a very busy spot on Street 178, just behind the FCC, to its current quieter location on Street 51. Some online information still identifies Fortune Pho by its old address, where there is now a new pho restaurant. They are not the same.
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.
Our top 10 places to eat and drink around Phnom Penh