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Phnom Penh House, Oakland

Melanie Wong | | Jul 22, 2006 06:58 PM

Last week I dropped by Phnom Penh in Oakland Chinatown for a solo lunch after an appointment downtown. It's probabaly been at least 10 years since last visiting this Cambodian outpost. This time I was early enough to beat the crowds, and a not a moment too soon as all the tables were full by 11:55am on Thursday.

The downside of being an early arrival is that I didn't get a chance to see what other patrons were eating before ordering my own meal. Interestingly, it seems that more than half the customers were Filipino and the most popular order was what they called "sinigang". On the menu this is actually #13 Samlaw Machhou Phnon Penh, described as "soup cooked with prawn, pineapple, tomao, lemon and sauces". I asked my Cambodian-Chinese server if this had tamarind in it (like sinigang) and he said that it did.

I did less well ordering for myself, picking #44 Kary Bangkea, prawn in spicy green curry, $6.75. This was made with musty tasting green curry powder and lacked both freshness and richness. It had exactly 8 prawns in it, carrots, long beans, and undercooked eggplant. Not recommended.

Green curry -

What do 'hounds recommend here?

Phnom Penh House
Cambodian Food
251 - 8th St.