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Ambrosia's Appetite

Ambrosia's Appetite

Le Bar 68, Sivutha Blvd., (Near Independence Monument)

Table for two: $8 to $10

If you're looking for a pleasant lunchtime place to grab a hefty sandwich or one

of the best smoothies in town, Le Bar is your eatery.

During the off hours of the day such as mornings or late afternoons, Le Bar is a

pleasant place to sit, sip a cold beer, write postcards and watch the world go by

from the the low wooden chairs on the terrace.

The restaurant is pleasantly open-air, increasingly a rarity in this newly prosperous

era in Phnom Penh when restaurants are sealed in and airconditioned.

Dinnertime can sometimes be a bit raucous, with the music blaring and the place often

packed with soldiers.

The first thing you should do at Le Bar is order a fruit shake ($1.50). The house

combination shakes tend to be a bit sweet, but you can ask your waiter to whip up

a custom-made mixture-without sugar-pineapple and orange, or orange and banana, or

whatever else you find pleasing in a fruit drink, be it lemon peel or watermelon

seeds.

Breakfast eggs are fine, and the bread (nice and toasty:$.50) is enough for two people

to share. The coffee is surprisingly good for Phnom Penh, and combined with the thumping

rap/dance music, does a good job of wake-up duty.

Le Bar clearly has the best sandwiches in town for the money ($1.50 - $1.75). Served

on large fresh French rolls, they come either cold or heated.

The egg sandwich with chilli sauce, lettuce and tomatoes is my recommendation-or

the hot cheese sandwiches-but the tuna can be a bit bland.

French fries ($1) make a nice side dish and the mixed salad with mustard dressing

($1.50) is a fresh combo of bell pepper, tomatoes, onion, cucumbers, carrots and

hard boiled egg.

I only tried Le Bar's Thai salad, "pok pok", once. The papaya and tomato

slices were pretty unripe, and the three skinny crab legs were virtually uncooked.

When they have it, the Malaysian curry is a sure bet: a generous serving of spicy

curry on a heaping bed of rice. A cold beer goes good with that.

Meat and potato eaters will find a home at Le Bar: it's one of the few places in

town where you can get a baked potato, and many diners go for the brochette ($1)-a

hearty shish kabob of grilled beef and vegetables.

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