Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Edamame: easy budget Japanese

Edamame: easy budget Japanese

Clockwise from the top: cold ramen, salmon sashimi, truffle edamame and tuna sashimi.
Clockwise from the top: cold ramen, salmon sashimi, truffle edamame and tuna sashimi. Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon

Edamame: easy budget Japanese

There is a right way to eat edamame – with beer or sake, on a warm summer’s night – at least, so says Kenji Tamura, 32, one of the owners of the recently opened Japanese restaurant Edamame.

Having opened in mid-June the casual izakaya-style diner serves up typical Japanese fare, such as ramen, sushi and rice. Although its namesake, edamame – immature soybeans in the pod that are boiled and then salted – is what Kenji and his partners hope will bring customers in the door and introduce them to the world of Japanese cuisine.

The restaurant serves up three variations of edamame: plain, with truffle oil and pepper, or garlic and chilli. You can order three different sizes, but the 160-gram portion ($2.50 to $3.75) is a generous appetiser plate for two or three.

“In Japan, we eat edamame in summertime. Cambodia is very hot, and everybody likes beer, so I want to recommend edamame [to Cambodians],” said Tessai Takada, 26, the CEO of their restaurant and company.

Tamura and Takada run Edamame with three other Japanese expatriates with whom they operate their primary business, Trust & True Global Links, a company which specialises in pest control, but recently has moved into food import-export, which may be reassuring to customers at their new restaurant venture.

Takada was also previously involved with the Japanese restaurant Jidaiya when it first opened four years ago, but left that business two years ago.

Edamame, however, isn’t styled to be a fancy sit-down restaurant. Tamura said they modelled it after the Japanese concept of an izakaya – a casual pub where people unwind after work with good, but affordable, food and a drink.

“[It’s] a place where there’s sake, beer – you can eat easily, not like high class. For example, [where] a businessman goes with his co-workers, just to go for a drink,” Tamura said.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
L to R: Kenji Tamura, chef Ven Yadath and Tessai Takada. Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon

As such, the menu has a lot of the classic items such as tuna and salmon sashimi, which, at $3 for a portion of four slices, is hard to beat. Tamura and Takada’s recommendations, other than the edamame, include the cold ramen ($4), the California roll ($5.75), and the seared salmon with mayonnaise roll ($4.75).

What’s more, Tamura said, the a-la-carte menu will likely evolve over time featuring weekly specials and items based on popular demand as it typically does at casual diners back home in Japan. Customers can also order other dishes on request, he added, and the restaurant will accommodate.

While the cooks themselves are Cambodian, the authenticity of the food’s flavour is guaranteed “from our taste”, Tamura said with a laugh.

Tamura hopes that the restaurant will also entice Cambodians who might otherwise be put off by the perception of Japanese food as expensive, and hopes that through the food, a chance for cultural exchange might flourish.

“[We want] Cambodians to come here, they tell their friends, their friend comes, and they tell their friends,” Tamura, said, adding that he’d like to host Japanese language classes there as well.

“We want Cambodians to know more about Japanese culture.”

Edamame is located on #165 Sothearos Boulevard, just opposite Aeon Mall. Open everyday from 11am-2am. 077 863 117 / 096 402 49 59

MOST VIEWED

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Koh Rong land ‘belongs to firm’

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Sunday that the 35ha being bulldozed by Royal Group Co Ltd in Koh Rong belongs to it after it was leased to it for 99 years by the government in 2008. Phearum said the land does

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors