[eat] phnom penh noodle house

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I am on a major noodle soup and chicken wing kick these days. I realize how weird that sounds, but it’s autumn, which explains the need to consume copious amounts of pho and other noodle soups. And ever since I ate those phenomenal chicken wings at Tanakasan, I’ve been on a quest to make sure that those really were the best wings I’ve ever ordered.  Lucky for me, both soups and wings are at the very top of the menu at Phnom Penh Noodle House.

My coworker Susan and I ended up at Phnom Penh for lunch on Sunday afternoon. We hadn’t intended to go there, but we just decided to walk to the International District and try something new to treat ourselves for making significant progress on a particularly difficult project.

I don’t think I’ve ever had Cambodian food before, so it took awhile to get through the menu and contemplate the options. I briefly consulted Yelp to see what the regulars ordered and in the end, just ordered the namesake dish at the top of the appetizer section: the Phnom Penh Chicken Wings (sautéed chicken wings with jalapenos and green onions in a sweet black pepper garlic honey sauce) and at the top of the noodle soup section: the Phnom Penh Special Rice Noodle (gulf prawn [just the one, which was a bit disappointing] calamari, fish cakes, fish balls, sliced and ground pork served with thin rice noodles and finished with green onion, cilantro, and roasted garlic).

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The broth of the soup was really rich and delicious, and I supplemented it with two hearty spoonfuls of chili sauce. I slurped up all the broth, but I learned two important things regarding the rest of the ingredients: 1) I am going to stop pretending that I like calamari, and 2), though I like to consider myself an ambitious and adventurous eater, I really prefer my fish served in fish-form, not in balls or cakes. Next time, I’ll try a different protein in my soup to avoid this.

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Fish balls and cakes aside, the soup hit the spot and the chicken wings were delightfully messy – the sauce was so good that we were literally licking our fingers. They didn’t beat the Tanakasan wings but they are pretty high on the list of best wings in Seattle.

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And finally, because we were treating ourselves for a job well-done, we each ordered a “coffee freeze” which was basically a delicious milkshake that gave us the dose of caffeine and sugar  that we needed  to return to the office and finish our project. 

Happy to add Phnom Penh to the list of places that I’ll be returning to in the International District – and looking forward to trying out their catering services for an upcoming lunch at Impact Hub!

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