Of all of the things one can complain about in Cambodia–and certainly, there are many–access to foodstuffs and ingredients is not one of them. You can get just about anything here these days. A few of the only things I’ve been missing are now available at a new shop on Street 240 called Veggy’s.
Deceptively small in appearance but packed with product, Veggy’s offers a selection of frozen, imported meats and seafood, canned goods, imported wines and features a cold room in the back that is packed with Western vegetables, meats and cheeses.
I’ve heard through the chef grapevine that this is where the restaurateurs order their specialty produce from, and I’m not surprised. The produce is gorgeous and the prices are usually sort of reasonable if you squint — not as low as at the local markets, obviously, but still not outrageous. Eggplants and limes go for $0.40 a piece. Hard to find items are more expensive, asparagus is $8.50/kg, for example. And some items are mysteriously expensive, like potatoes. The produce is supplied by Golden Garden.
Here’s a list of some of the previously unavailable items in Phnom Penh that can be found at Veggy’s: artichokes, filo dough, pine nuts, manchego cheese,beni shoga (red Japanese ginger), frozen lobster and red, ripe tomatoes of the beefsteak variety.
(Yes, I know that the odd artichoke would show up at Bayon and that Lucky every once in a while has chorizo, but it’s not the same as a steady supply.)
My gripes with the place: Many items–including all of the frozen meats and seafood–do not have prices marked on them, meaning that you need to take each item up to the counter for a price check, which is incredibly annoying. Produce selection is not reliable, I often find that they are completely out of key items. Overall, the store could accurately be described as overpriced and the staff as inattentive.
Even with that all said, it’s still worth a visit for hard-to-find items and select produce. However, as the other grocery stores in town continue to expand, Veggy’s is going to have to get it together to keep their clientele. Whatever happens, the shoppers are the ones who will benefit.
Despite my compliants, Veggy’s is a nice addition our list of the best grocery stores in Phnom Penh.
23 St 240, Phnom Penh
T: 023 211 534