Restaurant Review: Yumi Brings Trendy Japanese Food to Phnom Penh
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.
Allright we started with Asha’s favourite – Gyoza. In this case 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.
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.
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.
And for dessert warm chocolate pudding with homemade coconut ice-cream (pretty good) and Yumi’s version of Banoffee Pie (really good).
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.
After discovering that this place can actually make cocktails, after dinner we couldn’t resist ordering a couple of espresso martinis. Perfect.
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.
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.
No. 29a St 288 (between Monivong and St 63),
Boeung Keng Kang 1,
Tel: 092 163 903