It’s Chinese New Year this week and everyone in Phnom Penh is celebrating. Head to the market and get your fake $100 bills and a cardboard Lexus, and then out to dinner to try some authentic Chinese cuisine. Here are our favorite Chinese restaurants in Phnom Penh:
Xiang Palace at InterContinental Hotel
Xiang Palace is the upscale Chinese restaurant at the swish InterContinental Phnom Penh. They serve refined Cantonese fare, including a wide selection of dim sum (yum cha for you Cantonese speakers). The menu is authentic according to my Cantonese-speaking friend that I dragged along to try the dim sum. On a more recent visit, we loved the Chinese roasted duck and sweet char siu pork belly. They’re having a Chinese New Year special menu for the entire month of February with delicacies such as Yoshihama abalone and scallops with X.O. sauce (a personal favorite of mine), plus their regular menu of dim sum, Cantonese specialties, and specialty Chinese teas. If you’re looking for a high-end Chinese New Year meal, this is the place to go.
Open daily, 6:30 a.m. to 10.30 p.m.
296 Mao Tse Tung Blvd, Phnom Penh
T: 023 424 888 extension 3562
Man Hao Ji Noodle Shop
This Taiwanese-owned noodle shop serves a small menu of Chinese noodle dishes and side dishes. The place doesn’t have much in the way of ambiance — a few tables and nothing decorates the walls other than a few copies of a glowing review of the place — but the food is authentic, delicious, and cheap. Their specialty is noodle soup, cooked in the Chinese style with red braised beef flavored with star anise and Shaoxing wine. At $5, it’s the most expensive thing on the menu, but well worth it. If this sounds appealing, read our full review of Man Hao Ji Noodle Shop on the blog.
Open daily, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
39 Street 118 (at Street 17), Daun Penh, Phnom Penh
T: 089 265 065
Chinese Noodle Restaurant
Expat favorite Chinese Noodle Restaurant is known for their cheap, hand-pulled noodles and homemade dumplings. This is one of those places that is often referred to as a “little-known secret” but is actually very widely known and you’ll always see at least a few English teachers enjoying their delicious fare at ridiculously low prices — a bowl of noodles can be had for less than $2. One of their specialties is Shanghai-style nian gao, also known as Chinese New Year’s cake. The dish consists of slices of chewy rice cakes, stir-fried with wilted lettuce and shiitake mushrooms in an addictive savory sauce. If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to celebrate Chinese New Year, at $2 this dish is the way to do it.
Open daily, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
545Eo Monivong Blvd, BKK2, Phnom Penh
T: 012 937 805
Chinese dumplings and hand-pulled noodles
On Street 136 between Monivong and Central Market there are a row of unassuming Chinese restaurants, all serving hand-pulled noodles and homemade dumplings. If you’re craving Chinese food or need a carb infusion, this is the street to head to. Our favorite of the bunch is Herk Fung, but it doesn’t matter which one you choose — they’re all pretty good. Read our full blog post about the Chinese restaurants on Street 136 with reviews and details for individual restaurants.
Emperors of China
Another upscale Cantonese restaurant, Emperors of China has a full menu of reasonably priced dim sum. The dim sum menu is so good, in fact, that I’ve tried very little else on their menu, although I have heard it is good. My favorites are the “carrot cake,” actually small radish cakes with X.O. sauce, prawn shui mai topped with tiny orange flying fish roe, and har gow, steamed shrimp dumplings with a chewy rice wrapper. Although it’s a lovely restaurant, the service at Emperors at China can be mediocre, because allegedly they only hire leggy models with no waitressing experience, which can make for a frustrating, if good looking, experience.
Open daily, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
19 Street 63, Olympic, Phnom Penh
T: 023 637 6663
Dim Sum Emperors
A spin-off restaurant of Emperors of China, Dim Sum Emperors is a more casual, slightly less expensive restaurant that serves primarily dim sum. The menu features 19 types of dim sum as well as inexpensive rice and noodle bowls. My favorite dim sum here are the crab meat and coriander dumplings and xiao long bao, also known as soup dumplings, and steamed pork ribs with black bean sauce. The service at Dim Sum Emperors is far less infuriating than at their sister restaurant and their service is fast and capable. We’ve got a full review of Dim Sum Emperors on the blog if you want to know more.
Open daily, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Corner of Street 130 and Street 53, next to Central Market, Phnom Penh
T: 023 650 7452
Do you have any favorite Chinese restaurants in Phnom Penh? Share them in the comments.
The InterContinental is a Move to Cambodia advertiser and we ate at Xiang Palace recently for free. We’ve also paid to eat at Xiang Palace in the past (and went with a Cantonese speaker who deemed it authentic!). For more information on how we deal with freebies and advertisers, please read our disclosures.