Like most shopping centres, Toul Kork Avenue, which opened in late December of last year, is a little short on quirk but long on brands. There’s a Pedro shoe shop and an Adidas. There’s Suki Soup and Chatime. The first of its kind in Cambodia, the place is very chic. At night, manicured trees are spotlit with beaming fluorescent lights and walkways wind through upscale boutiques.
Metro Azura, the sister restaurant to Metro and Metro Rahu on Riverside, is the classiest dining option. It’s a grand building, located at front of the avenue along Street 516 across from Suki Soup and next to the Snow Yogurt. The ceilings are high and it’s lit with blue glowing panels. Drinks range from around $3 to $7. It’s not dissimilar to the original Metro, with which it shares a menu.
On an evening last week, as families shopped and teenage girls clustered over frozen yoghurt outside the floor-to-ceiling glass windows, two friends and I wet our whistles with two dirty martinis and a “gin” ginger (each $5.20), a gin and ginger-alone combo with a refreshing mojito-like twist garnished with mint, lime and shaved ginger.
After all this style, some of the mains were a little disappointing. The tuna steak salad consisted simply of four large triangles of tuna that pointed towards the leaves. The chunks were well-cooked, with a sesame crust, but the dish was too forgettable for the $7.20 price tag.
The next entree, grilled duck with a large nest of arugala, spritzed with a light vinaigrette, was an improvement. I had never seen such a generous portion of neatly sliced fowl. Bacon was mixed with grilled apple in the accompanying sauce but I might have preferred grilled onion, or chunkier vegetables.
We also ordered a pate and brie sandwich – an unusual dinner choice, but a safe one, given the quality of the pate at the old Metro. The pate was a creamy blend of liver and some sort of pork, with a pleasing after-kick of spice and bite, sandwiched, along with decent brie, between two slices of ciabatta-like bread. Tomato and arugula freshened up the dense helping, which was priced at $6.50.
While we were left too full for dessert, the experience hadn’t been especially satisfying. Perhaps if we had spent the late afternoon shopping up a storm, the place would have been a more welcome relief. If you’re not curious to see the new avenue, save the tuk-tuk fare and stick with Metro Riverside for your Asian-fusion needs.
Corner Streets 315 and 516, Toul Kork.