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August 14, 2012

Restaurant Review: Yumi Brings Trendy Japanese Food to Phnom Penh

Yumi Phnom Penh Photo Picture

Yumi is a trendy little Japanese restaurant down a dark street in Phnom Penh’s expat filled suburb of BKK1.  Yumi’s appearance belies its reputation – it appears to be a simple Japanese styled bar serving bar food, but don’t be fooled, the food is fantastic.   With a small menu of clever, well executed, crowd pleasing dishes, Yumi deserves its reputation as one of the best restaurants in Phnom Penh.  Tripadvisor rates it as #4 out of 300+ restaurants – and so far we would have to agree.

Yumi Phnom Penh Photo

Yumi, Phnom Penh

Dishes:

Allright we started with Asha’s favourite – Gyoza.  In this case pumpkin Gyoza.

Yumi Phnom Penh Photo

Pumpkin Gyoza

Next to arrive was a salad of green beans, sliced lotus root, cherry tomatoes – and we thought that maybe it also had bamboo in it – with a sesame dressing.  Yum.

Yumi Phnom Penh Photo

Green Bean and Lotus Root Salad with Sesame Oil

A classic – battered squid.  In this case, tempura squid with chilli and salt, and a really nice chilli dipping sauce.  The kind of food that disappears quickly, and everyone gives me the stink-eye because they know it was me.

Yumi Phnom Penh Photo

Tempura Chilli Salt Squid

And then it was time for the big show.  Yumi Ribs.  Slow cooked, finished on a grill, and drowned under a heap of Katsu sauce.  Have you ever eaten ribs with chopsticks?  No?  Well we have.  That’s how soft, melty, fall-apart these gorgeous ribs are.

On the side of this was a dish of fresh, crunchy bok choi with oyster sauce.

Yumi Phnom Penh Photo

Yumi Ribs and Bok Choi

And for dessert warm chocolate pudding with homemade coconut ice-cream (pretty good) and Yumi’s version of Banoffee Pie (really good).

Yumi Phnom Penh Photo - Dessert

Dessert – Chocolate pudding and coconut icecream and Yumi style Banoffee Pie

Drinks:

I was over the moon to find Old Fashioned’s on the cocktail menu.  Old Fashioned’s are a passion of mine – and seemingly of nobody else that I know.  Find me a bartender who knows how to make an old fashioned, who takes his time making it, and who uses good bourbon, and ill be forever in your debt.   For the past 6 months as we have travelled throughout south-east Asia, Old Fashioned’s have been few and far between.  And when I have ordered them, it been a real disappointment – bourbon with heaps of soda water, or even scotch and orange juice.   But Yumi has Old Fashioned’s, a choice of a good quality bourbons and someone out the back who doesn’t do too bad a job putting them together.  I was very happy.

Yumi Phnom Penh Martini

Espresso Martinis

After discovering that this place can actually make cocktails, after dinner we couldn’t resist ordering a couple of espresso martinis.  Perfect.

The bill:

Yumi was brought to our attention when we first arrived in Phnom Penh, as we are huge fans of Japanese food.  But as its a bit more upmarket, we thought we would wait until a special occasion to visit.  We had noticed that on TripAdvisor a lot of people had complained about the prices.  But when our bill arrived we were impressed.

For four cocktails, two beers, 5 dishes, 2 desserts the total came to about $40.   $20 a head for food and drinks of this quality is a steal.

Verdict:

The best restaurant we have been to in our first two months in Cambodia.  We will be back, many times.

Be warned – its a little tricky to find, particularly at night.  The restaurant is set back from the street a little.  Look for the red sign out the front.

Address:
No. 29a St 288 (between Monivong and St 63),
Boeung Keng Kang 1,
Phnom Penh
Tel: 092 163 903

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