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The atmosphere was excellent. The food, including the sweet and sour seafood hot pot, didn’t quite match up.

The name of the huge new Vietnamese restaurant near Independance Monument means delicious. Sok Eng finds out if it’s true.

Ngon is a Vietnamese word that means delicious in English, but the ngon that I am going to tell you about is a newly opened Khmer and Vietnamese food restaurant, which is about 50 metres from Independent Monument along Sihanouk Boulevard.

After one of my friends told me there is a new Vietnamese restaurant in town and the food was delicious and cheap at about US$2 a meal – which is a good price for me – I couldn’t wait to try out the taste of the food to see if it was as delicious as my friend said it was.

During the second day of Chinese New Year, two friends and I went to Ngon to have lunch. When we arrived, what was really surprising was that Ngon was not a simple, small restaurant like we imagined it to be. It was quite big and had beautiful decorations and the setting was like a mansion.

Out the front of the restaurant there were luxury cars parked. This was enough for us to work out that the food was more than $2 and that it must be expensive. We were hesitating whether to enter or not. Eventually, we found the courage to have lunch at Ngon, which looked like a luxurious restaurant and far better than the ones we usually go to, and we were really curious about trying the food and checking the prices. We were not too worried if the prices were high as we had brought enough money with us.

At the front gate we were greeted by the friendly waiters and were invited to sit at a table. I noticed frangipani trees had been planted around the restaurant, which were absolutely beautiful. I love it so much. Also, in the dining rooms the door all opened, allowing customers and outsiders to see each other.

A waitress handed me the menu, I looked it through and the prices were between US$2 and US$10 for both foods and drinks. We were looking for some Vietnamese food that we had not tasted before, but on the table there was a small sign that said some food was not available because it was Chinese New Year.

So we ordered a soup called “Sweet and Sour Seafood Hot Pot” that costs 39,000 riel, but this soup was very little for big guys like us, so we ordered three bowls of rice which cost another 2,500 riel each.

Since the ice tea was not free, I ordered a “Yellow Cock Tail”, while my friends ordered “Ngon Ngon Cock Tail and Coffee”. The drinks were served first. When I took a sip of my drink I felt it was not so good, so I tried my friend’s “Ngon Ngon Cock Tail and Coffee” and there was no difference – the taste was not good, but I still loved its smell. However, one of my friends said the taste of the coffee was acceptable.

Then the soup arrived. Inside it was onion, potato and mushrooms. There was also a bowl of vegetables, Khmer noodles, a bowl of cut fish with some piece of squid and four big seashells. After having the soup, we mixed all the things we had into the soup and waited for about 10 minutes. I can say the soup was tasty, but the seashells were so fishy that I could not bear to eat them. Another thing that disappointed my friends and I was that when we were eating, it was quite hot, even though we were in the open air. However, no one turned on a fan for us, until we asked them to. After we finished eating, we were not really full, and the total price was 70,000 riel, which was not expensive, but not so cheap either.

Apart from its lovely environment, Ngon was not really special for us. The food servings were small for the price and the drinks expensive. Therefore, I would suggest you not try this place if you want to have a full stomach, but if you want a romantic environment maybe at night, it could be a great place for you to enjoy with your SongSaa.

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