We live in Toul Tom Poung. If you look on a map of Phnom Penh we’re at the bottom…just. Living in the butt-end of town has it’s benefits like cheaper rent and more of a “community” feel which I have always appreciated in cities. That said it also has it’s down points- more power outages, more streets flooded with stinky mystery water (we actually know exactly what makes it stinky but prefer to ignore this to avoid vomiting and making things worse) and more people screaming asian karaoke songs late into the night. But, like any city where property is being snapped up, our lovable butt-end of town is evolving and growing every day.
We’ve posted about Toul Tom Poung previously but going on 18 months in the place we’ve discovered a lot more sneaky backstreet cafes and shops. Here are a few of my favourites.
Sesame Noodle Bar
Sesame is on the street behind our old office. A sassy little back street Japanese cafe, it sells delicious cold noodle salads with pork belly, chicken or tofu, japanese tapas and amazing cocktails. I’m almost reluctant to post anything about this place because it’s so awesome and I don’t want too many people to find it. But I’m feeling generous and the owners and staff are so gorgeous they deserve to be well known. Check it out.
#9 Street 460.
Open for lunch and dinner. Closed Mondays.
Mexican is the best hot weather food and Alma Cafe gets that. This little kitchen pumps out a new menu each day of authentic tasty Mexican morsels. Lunch set is usually about $6 and they also have dessert like coconut cake- soaked in coconut milk but still light and fluffy. Dessert is not usually my thing but I’ve had the most amazing midday cakes there so I’d suggest unbuckling your belt and digging in. Alma are also open for breakfast.
Cnr Street 123 and 454
Phone: 092 424 903
Open: 7am – 2pm
New kid on the block is Ichiban- Japanese sake bar and dining. They have a huge range of sake, beers and serve yakitori, bento boxes and other usual suspects. It’s only open for dinner at this stage but we’re keen for some bento box action when they open for lunch.
#54 Street 545
Lolli Bubble Tea
Hot? Thirsty? Need a sugar rush? I think you’re in need of an oversized colourful fruit drink. Lolli opened up across from our office and it’s pretty hard to miss. A tiny hole in the wall painted bright purple, Lolli sticks to what they know best and serves just drink. Thai Milk tea, green tea, Italian soda and fruit smoothies (more sugar than fruit) are just a few things they can whizz up for you.
St 456 next to Apros Pub near cnr Street 151
Sugar n’ Spice Cafe
Ok, so I haven’t actually been here but I know someone who has- that counts right? Sugar n’ Spice is a garden cafe in the back blocks of Toul Tom Poung. It’s an NGO cafe run by Daughters of Cambodia. We had some colleagues over for dinner one night and they brought some pumpkin cake that was freaking amazing. I ‘m keen to check this place out and hopefully it will become my new coffee and cake go-to.
#130A, Street 430
$1 Thrift Store
There’s this thrift store on street 155 that I pass on my way home. It’s loud. I’m talking really loud. They pump out music like it’s nobody’s business but they sell second hand items for $1 so I think they can be forgiven. There’s plenty of stuff here but I’m usually so sweaty I can’t even bear to touch anything, let along try it on. That said, I’m certain there’s some gems in there and I’ll determined to find them one day when I’m strolling past with my industrial earplugs.
Street 155 south of the Russian Market. Follow the beats.
Springvale Japanese Cafe
This is an oldie but a goodie in the area and a much loved lunch spot for local office staff. It has also just got better now they have closed it off and added air conditioning. Springvale is a tiny Japanese cafe (yes, another one) with scrumptious gyoza, Japanese pancakes, udon noodles, sushi and my favourite- katsudon. They provide ice cold clothes to wipe away the Phnom Penh grime too. Add a passionfruit soda to this combo and you’re laughing (and full).
#27 Street 450
Phone: 089 343 597
Laziest Cafe around: Open Mon – Fri 11:30am – 3:00pm