Phnom Penh – Ministry of Cat

Phnom Penh - Ministry of Cat

Ministry of Cat is a cat café with cats that are all rescues. All the cats in the café have been rescued, rehabilitated and are all up for adoption, and there are so many cute fur-babies; 3 legged ones, blind ones and hyper ones, all looking for a new home.

Ministry of Cat is great place for cat lovers, but office workers can also get a nice and relaxing break, whilst enjoying the company of the adorable cats. It is also a perfect place to hang out with friends, and in my case, I was able to celebrate my birthday there. You can reserve a table for a special occasion through their website.

Ministry of Cat have a diverse, mainly healthy, menu with an array of different styles of food including Mexican food, Korean bibimbap, and traditional Khmer style food like loklak. They also have a vegan menu and kombucha, which is a healthy, fermented probiotic tea. It’s fizzy and has a peculiar taste, that some might love, whilst some might not:) My personal favorite is the raspberry lime flavor.

Might I add they also have refreshing hot tea of all sorts as well as smoothies. I ordered the grumpy cat smoothie and “The keep up beauty” tea, and both were delightful, but the star of the show was definitely the coffee. The presentation was immaculate and the coffee was so lovely. I got all my coffee for 1$ since I went on a Thursday. However, the café is quite small so reservation is recommended and it might get a bit cramped if there are a lot of people. The staff is always super friendly and offer a 10/10 customer service.

What to order? You should definitely go for one of their brownies!! They are sweet, soft, and fudgy, and could easily be the best brownies in town. For my birthday I ordered a mountain of them instead of cake. You should also try the Iced Vanilla Latte (regularly 3.5$, 1$ on Thursdays) The ice cubes are made out of coffee, and when you pour warm milk over, it melts the coffee ice cubes, and you’ve got a latte.

Price level: The price range is about the same as at any other cafe in Phnom Penh, but on Thursdays, they have 1$ Coffee Thursday and any coffee drink is 1$ only!!

Ministry of Cat, #5 St 442, Phnom Penh

Ministry of Cat Phnom Penh map

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Phnom Penh: The Birdcage Boutique

The Birdcage Boutique, gay-friendly hotel in Phnom Penh

The Birdcage Boutique used to be a rather tired, gay-friendly, small, hotel, but about six months ago, new management took over the place. The Birdcage Boutique is still both gay and friendly (and gay friendly, in case you wonder). Two of the chefs are from Singapore, and The Birdcage Boutique has had some hype and good reviews for its recently-introduced Singapore ‘Pasar Malam’ menu, available at weekends and on Tuesdays. It is not expensive and has a small, but good selection of mains and Singapore snacks, such as curry puffs, though no interesting cakes or desserts as of yet. Mr. Pheap’s Murtabak (bread with minced meat filling) was good and my chicken coconut curry was ok, except that the chicken pieces had been breaded, which I personally didn’t care for, though I would return to try other dishes. They also offer Khmer dishes, which we may return to try. The shady garden courtyard setting is relaxing and there is a pool. It’s very central, just off the Monument roundabout, and would be good for a casual lunch or supper, or drinks with snacks, as they have a well-stocked bar.

They need to upgrade the seating and general fittings, as those they have inherited are rather shabby now, but the young manager is very enthusiastic so hopefully, when they have more tourist trade, they will turn their attention to these kind of issues.

Price level: Most mains are $5.50-$8, snacks & small plates are $2.50

Who should go? The Birdcage Boutique is a very friendly and welcoming place. Good for casual lunch, dinner, drinks and snacks.

Watch Chic Critiques’ video from Birdcage Boutique below:

The Birdcage Hotel and Restaurant, #21, St 262, 12207 Phnom Penh, Tel. +855 (0)16 238 999

Birdcage Boutique Phnom Penh map

Phnom Penh: Kinin – More than just a restaurant

Kinin, Phnom Penh

Kinin is one of those places, which is impossible to fit into one single box. It is a collective of sorts, featuring a bar, antique shop, botanic house, and a restaurant with a great ambiance and a lovely garden, and oh, they also have a plant shop, but to keep it simple, I’ll just focus on the restaurant and bar for now.

The menu at Kinin is a mix of trendy Cambodian-meets-western-styled food, and there are also several great vegan options on the menu. You definitely must order the honey-glazed duck breast, it is simply sublime and delicious, I couldn’t stop myself from eating it. I have also tried out their Fish & Chips with tartar sauce, it was such an addictive snack. Their Pasta Pastis is another must-order. It’s nice and creamy with the right level of salt and the beef/chicken that comes with it is to die for. Their Kampot Lok Lak was also incredible, I felt like I was actually in Kampot eating it. It’s more on the saltier side but still scrumptious. A popular vegan option as I’ve heard from my friend, who has been working at Kinin for years, is their vegan veggie burger, apparently, it’s also delicious. For drinks, I recommend the espresso martini and for a sweeter option the Bokor Sunrise! Kinin is just an oasis of delicious taste. The staff (not just my friend) are very attentive and offer great service.

On hotter days or rainy days, the outdoor seats are inconvenient and you will have to eat inside the restaurant, which is named Khumbhaka. Still, the restaurant’s dining environment is very pleasant and chic.

Who should go? Kinin is a great place for people of all ages. It is perfect for chilling/relaxing having chitchats over some fantastic food and drinks. There is also a cat named Skittles, roaming around and occasionally, friendly dogs come visiting as well.

Price level: 5$-12$ for most of the dishes, and drinks are around 5$ with the exception of wine, which is more expensive.

Kinin, Corner of Street 123 & St 446, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Kinin Phnom Penh map

Tatie’s – A French bakery in Phnom Penh

Tatie's - French bakery in Phnom Penh - Phnom Penh Guide - Pilots + Cabin Crew

Tatie’s is a cute little French bakery/cafe with pretty, tiled decor inside and a cozy front courtyard seating areas as well as indoor seating, all with plenty of cozy nooks. Tatie’s is mostly known for salads, tartines and sandwiches, but they also do light breakfast dishes.

We ordered a tartine and a ciabatta sandwich, which were both a little bread-heavy and topping-light. We also had problems locating the advertised anchovies in the tartine, though it turned out thay they were mashed and mixed with the tomato topping.

The fascia advertises bread, pastry, cheese, but the patisserie selection was disappointingly limited, both on the day we filmed and on a previous occasion when we went to check things out. On yet another occasion, Tatie’s was closed altogether during the afternoon, but as mentioned in the video, this is the time of Covid, and we are confident that Tatie’s will be an even nicer experience, when we can leave the pandemic behind.

The best thing to order at Tatie’s may be bread/cheese with wine, or buying croissants and loaves to take away, as many customers do. The bread and loaves looked good, as did the cheese, which is also made in-house. While it may not be the best brunch in Phnom Penh, the location is great, the surroundings are pretty, and the staff members are very nice.

Watch Chic Critiques’ video from Tatie’s below:

Tatie’s, #182, St 13., Phnom Penh, Tel. 096 976 2586, Hours: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Taties Phnom Penh map

Phnom Penh: All About Chocolate – Afternoon tea at Sofitel

All about chocolate, Sofitel, Phnom Penh

Sofitel has an amazing afternoon tea buffet, featuring everything chocolate. We weren’t quite sure how they could stretch chocolate to fill an entire buffet, but it was very inventive, and the chocolate fountain was good fun. The pairing with local chocolate brand Wat Chocolate worked well, and the happy buffet-goers could try a range of Wat Choc flavors, including bolder ones such as chili and Kampot pepper. The setting of the afternoon buffet is very elegant, in the ‘Le Bar’ area of the hotel foyer. The staff was very good and attentive, and dainty porcelain and place settings and a tinkling piano in the background, all added to the relaxing, yet stylish, ambience.

We had real tea leaves in our teapots which is as one might expect, but that doesn’t always happen (even at Le Royal Raffles a while ago, when I asked for green tea, it was just a boring type of bag ….) so this is something I always look for, ans appreciate, in an upmarket place.

Chic Critiques aka. Mr. Alan & Mr. Pheap from (h)A.N.D. try All About Chocolate at Sofitel. Watch the video below

Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra, 26, Old August Site Sothearos Boulevard, Sangkat Tonlé Bassac, P Penh 12301, Tel: 023 999 200

Sofitel Phnom Penh map

Phnom Penh: Shiva Shakti – North Indian Restaurant

Shiva Shakti - Northern Indian Restaurant - Phnom Penh Guide - Pilots + Cabin Crew

Shiva Shakti is a very good place for North Indian food. The restaurant is well-established and popular with the Indian Embassy crowd, and for visitors who prefer a more recognizable kind of Indian restaurant. Shiva Shakti is well-priced with good-sized portions, suitable for a relaxed, informal dinner. The central location also makes the restaurant a good choice after a ramble through nearby Boeng Keng Kang market with its mix of clothes, new and secondhand , florists and local fruits and vegetables.

What to order? Butter chicken with dhal and aloo paratha would be good choices.

In the video below, Mr. Alan from (h)A.N.D. and Ms. Geraldine from Sunrise Cambodia meet for lunch at Shiva Shakti:

Shiva Shakti, 17 Preah Trasak Paem St. (63), Phnom Penh 12301, Cambodia

Shiva Shakti Phnom Penh map
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Phnom Penh: Farm to Table

Farm to Table, Phnom Penh restaurants

Farm to Table is a restaurant specializing in local produce, organic whenever possible, with vegan/vegetarian choices. The restaurant has a good-sized menu, not overlong, and mains are in the $7 – $9.00 range. On the menu, there is also a selection of puddings and cocktails, as well as daily/weekly specials. They pride themselves on fresh ingredients and offer a ‘green bowl’ salad as their signature dish, though we had roast sea bass and grilled chicken (inspired by the free-range hens running freely around!) which were both very good, with flavorful sauces and vegetables. It is good to leave room for the puddings, which, when we were there, included seasonal pumpkin pie, together with warm brownies, and a rich chocolate mousse, all in the $3.00 / $4.00 range.

Farm to Table is delightful in the evenings under canopies and trees, quite an oasis in an otherwise busy part of Phnom Penh. It is a very good place for casual dinner and especially good for those with toddlers or young children as there is a dedicated play area with pretend kitchen, a real tractor to climb over, and rubber-tyre elephants to ride. The staff are very well-trained and service is swift; it is spacious and relaxed (remark: If anything, the bathroom area could do with a little renovation :)… but a few places here have become a tad run down over Covid). They also cater for private parties and groups, and are very well-established, having been founded by a dedicated lover of local and organic produce.

Farm to Table is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner daily.

Watch the video below! Chic Critiques, aka Mr. Alan & Mr. Pheap from Phnom Penh fair fashion brand (h)A.N.D visit Farm to Table:

Farm to Table, #16, St 360, Phnom Penh, Tel.078 899 722

Farm to Table Phnom Penh map
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Phnom Penh: Healthy food at Backyard Cafe

Backyard Cafe, Phnom Penh Guide

Backyard Cafe is a vegetarian-friendly restaurant, quite centrally located, near Royal Palace. The cafe is very popular among expats, which shows in the price level, which is slightly above other vegetarian restaurants in Phnom Penh.

Backyard Cafe has a good selection of cakes and the cafe also makes their own brand of sauces and other products to buy to take away. In spite of the name, Backyard Cafe feels more like a restaurant than a cafe, and the food served is also somewhat heartier than the smoothies and bowls served at their sister cafe Vibe, which makes Backyard Cafe suitable for both lunch and dinner.

What to order? We’ve been through most of the menu, and the food is consistently tasty and portions are big. Remember to save some space for dessert.

Watch the video when Chic Critiques, aka Mr. Alan & Mr. Pheap from Phnom Penh fair fashion brand (h)A.N.D, visit Backyard Cafe below:

Backyard Cafe, 11B Street 246, Phnom Penh, Tel: 078 751 715

Backyard Cafe Phnom Penh map

Phnom Penh: Pizza 4P’s

Pizza 4P's, Phnom Penh

Pizza 4P’s in Phom Penh is the first international branch of the Japanese-owned, Vietnam-based pizza restaurant. Pizza 4P’s is located near the riverside in a rustic, yet sleek, space. Their pizza menu consists of the classics like the Margherita pizza, however, their menu expands to many unique, Japanese ingredient-based pizzas such as the Salmon Sashimi with onion ricotta cheese sauce pizza and many more! You can even choose a “Half & half pizza” where you can order 2 different flavors and toppings on one pizza! It is like no other pizza restaurant in Cambodia.

Along with their vibrant menu is their ‘zero waste’ concept with an ambitious vision to save the earth, which I deeply admire. Aside from their pizzas, they also serve pasta, desserts, and beer! Although I am too young for beer, it is said that their beer is really good, so beer-loving fan might want to go check it out. Their food is a bit on the salty side, but it was delicious nonetheless. Whilst enjoying the food you can even get a beautiful view of the riverside. They are currently very popular so a reservation is recommended if you don’t want to wait long. If you are looking for a blast of new flavors definitely head to Pizza 4P’s. 

Their price range is standard for a pizza restaurant in Phnom Penh, with most pizzas and other mains at $7-$10.

Pizza 4P’s, F02-01 Street 1 Presh, 12300, Preah Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh

Pizza 4Ps Phnom Penh map
Phnom Penh Things To Do

Phnom Penh: Ratanak Restaurant on the way to Chisor Mountain

Ratanak Restaurant, on the way to Chisok Mountain, Phnom Penh Guide

If you are going on a daytrip to Chisor Mountain, make sure to squeeze in a visit to Ratanak Restaurant, which is located along the way. All food is freshly cooked to order in just a few moments. There is no menu, as most visitors would go there with a guide, but visitors can order what they want, and if they do not have the ingredients required to cook the requested dish, they will suggest alternatives. Last time we were there, we wanted pork with pineapple, but got pork with ginger instead.

What to order? Ratanak Restaurant is a great place to try typical Khmer food. The freshly-cooked pork with ginger is good, and if they are very daring they can try the Phong Tia Koan (fetus egg).

Watch Chic Critiques, aka Mr. Alan & Mr. Pheap from Phnom Penh fair fashion brand (h)A.N.D, visit Ratanak Restaurant in the video below:

Ratanak Restaurant on National Road #2, at Phnom Chisor (Chisor Mountain) Junction, Cambodia

Ratanak Restaurant on the way to Chisor Mountain