Found: Great value Japanese

Found: Great value Japanese

130222 13
Physics and English undergraduate and translator Aisha Down (L); Cambodian writer, poet and former Nou Hach literary project editor Tararith Kho (R). Photograph supplied

Physics and English undergraduate and translator Aisha Down (L); Cambodian writer, poet and former Nou Hach literary project editor Tararith Kho (R). Photograph supplied

Japanese cuisine is great on the palate, if not the wallet. In the past month I have twice excused myself from Japanese restaurants after I sat down and saw the prices. In one awkward case, my party of six had already dirtied the wet washcloths that were so neatly wrapped for us.

Momo izakaya, however, provides a much needed exception to Phnom Penh’s otherwise pricey Japanese food scene. On Street 23 near the corner of 172, Momo is cheap and delicious, with no single entree costing more than $6.50. Portions are as generous as they are delicious, with a soup, salad and entree typically costing less than $5 altogether.

The tamagotoji egg udon noodle soup ($4.99) is a favourite of mine, with wholesome udon noodles and a graceful broth that resembles dashi. The karaage fried chicken don ($3.50), with its lightly deep-fried meat similar to tempura, also has an elegant taste and feel. In contrast, the Katsu curry ($3.80) is reminiscent of a hearty English beef stew with a bit more spice than usual.

In case anyone thinks the menu sounds a tad Western, rest assured that chicken gizzard ($1.60) and grilled salmon head ($4.50) are also offered.

Momo also has generous group platters, with the Set A platter for two ($11.99) offering edamame, iidako octopus, the yakitori combo set, salad, miso soup and steamed rice. Want a full-blown feast? Try the Set C for four ($24.99) that offers the yakitori combo set, yakitori wing, yakitori corn, Japanese beef pear salad, spicy chicken, grilled sanma fish, grilled salmon head, mini salad, miso soup and steamed rice.

The drinks menu offers several varieties of sake, ranging from the Shochikubai house sake ($7) to the Shirakabegura Kimoto ($41). Sake fruit cocktails ($2.80), which are a bit like the Japanese version of sangria, are also on the menu in pineapple, mango, lychee, passion fruit and orange flavours.

The dessert menu is simple, with parfait ($3.50) and ice cream ($1.50) the only options.

One omission on the menu is worth mentioning: neither sushi or sashimi is to be found. It is not necessarily a problem given what Momo gets right, but diners hankering for raw fish should look elsewhere.

With such good food offered at low prices, Momo is a great place for anyone on a budget. Simple, elegant, satisfying. 

To contact the reporter on this story: Bennett Murray at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Guards protest dismissals, reject claims of sharing naked photos of child

    Some 20 former security guards at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh protested on Tuesday against their dismissal. They accused their employers of falsely claiming they had viewed and shared child pornography from their mobile phones as grounds for their termination. In total, 32 personnel were dismissed

  • Bun Heang mocks US, threatens its citizens in scathing open letter

    After being hit with sanctions from the US Department of Treasury, Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang said he would retaliate against any US national who does not respect his country’s sovereignty, has ambitions to invade Cambodia or incites “traitors” in the Kingdom to do

  • Funcinpec urges probe into deadly Preah Sihanouk accident

    THE Funcinpec party has urged the government, especially the Ministry of Interior, to investigate the traffic accident in Preah Sihanouk province which left Prince Norodom Ranariddh badly injured and his wife Ouk Phalla dead. Funcinpec Vice President You Hokry told reporters at Botum Votey pagoda,