Doo.re, is it right for mi? Yes, it is fa so !

Doo.re did an adequate job with its dolsot bibimbap, one of Korea’s signature dishes.
Doo.re did an adequate job with its dolsot bibimbap, one of Korea’s signature dishes. NICK STREET

Doo.re, is it right for mi? Yes, it is fa so !

Phnom Penh’s Korean restaurants grow increasingly numerous each month. Not a surprise, given that 411,491 South Koreans visited the Kingdom last year according to official records, making it Cambodia’s second largest source of foreign visitors after Vietnam. Nonetheless, finding anything new at a Korean restaurant here is tricky.

Last spring, a new Korean place opened on Street 63 near the corner of Mao Tse Toung Boulevard called Doo.re. The place has a minimalist atmosphere with simple cream-coloured walls and rectangular lamps hanging from the ceiling, while potted plants decorate the storefront.

Doo.re’s menu makes no attempt at being extravagant, with about 15 menu options. Some are just minor variations of other dishes, leaving even fewer unique dishes on the menu. But when it comes to restaurants, sometimes it is best not to reinvent the wheel.

The sun du bu jigae ($5) was a stand-out. This stew is made of uncurdled tofu, vegetables and chili. Although considered a stew, its watery composition would qualify it as a thick soup in most Western contexts. Despite the presence of chili in the stew (it is among Korea’s spicier offerings) my Southeast Asian-trained sensibilities found it quite mild. A dish of kimchi and plain rice is also included.

Dolsot bibimbap ($6) was another winner. Among Korea’s most internationally known dishes, it is a simple rice dish with mixed vegetables and diced beef. A raw egg is the final ingredient; added just as it arrives to the table, it sizzles in the hot stone bowl as the customer digs in.

After my main course, I tried the hae mul pa jeon ($5). With its batter of eggs and flour, it is often described as a pancake, but is perhaps more reminiscent of a flat European omelette.

Given the triangular slices that divide the hae mul pa jeon, comparisons to a pizza would not be far off either. Pieces of shrimp and squid are present among scallions and egg, making for a filling, if perhaps cholesterol-filled, experience.

The drinks menu is simple, with the usual draft beer ($1.50) and soft drinks ($2). There is also soju ($3.50), a vodka-like rice liquor that can be ordered in green tea ($4).

The fare at Doo.re is simple yet scrumptious, and the prices are reasonable, with the typical individual dish costing no more than $7. Does it offer enough to stand out in the capital’s crowded Korean cuisine scene? Not particularly, but if you are new to Korean food and want a good place to start, Doo.re gets the job done.

Doo.re can be found at #245 Street 63. ​​​​​​

MOST VIEWED

  • EU officials: Ending EBA an 18-month procedure

    EU officials have confirmed that it will take a total of 18 months to complete the procedure if Cambodia’s preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) trade agreement is to be withdrawn. According to EU Agriculture and Rural Development spokesman Daniel Rosario, the formal process has not

  • IPU slams government claim

    The president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Gabriela Cuevas Barron, has refuted a claim by the National Assembly that she “highly appreciated the achievements of Cambodia” in its July national elections with a tweet saying “Of course not!” before adding “No congratulations”. A delegation from

  • Conflict lingers on Paris Accords

    As the Kingdom prepares to commemorate on October 23 the 27th anniversary of the signing of the 1991 Paris Peace Accords, which ushered in an end to nearly two decades of civil war, there is political conflict on whether the tenets of the agreement are still being

  • EU agrees VN trade deal despite rights concerns

    The EU on Wednesday agreed to a free-trade agreement (FTA) with Vietnam, a country described as having a “major rights-abusing government”. This comes amid the 28-nation bloc preparing the procedure for a possible withdrawal of Cambodia’s Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential trade agreement on