Japanese chain offers (very) sweet taste of home

Breakfasts at Ande combine sweet and sour elements
Breakfasts at Ande combine sweet and sour elements. Kimberley McCosker

Japanese chain offers (very) sweet taste of home

Some people like something sweet for their first meal of the day, while others prefer savoury. At new bakery-cafe Ande, the breakfasts are a bit of both.

A Japanese chain, Ande opened its first Phnom Penh restaurant in a converted Toul Tom Poung villa’s peaceful courtyard about a month ago. Tables are shaded by umbrellas, there are a couple of mango trees, and the air is filled with soothing guitar folk music. If it’s a busy day, staff move a couple of tables outside onto the street.

Still in their soft-opening period, the cafe’s short menu offers scrambled eggs with toasted Danish bread, either plain or with cheese or pizza toppings. All options cost $4 and come with a strong, Cambodian-style iced coffee.

Also on the menu are a variety of different sliced Danish breads on their own – flavours range from plain, to chocolate walnut, to orange coconut and many more – with prices between 90 cents and $1.30. Iced coffees without breakfast are 75 cents or $1 with sweet milk, while juices and soft drinks are $1.

After seeing the place mentioned in the Toul Tom Poung Community Group on Facebook, we recently decided to check it out.

The breakfasts arrive relatively quickly and are appealingly plated with a few strips of bacon and a little salad on the side. The Danish bread is thick, soft, doughy and very sweet, its taste a little reminiscent of croissant. Combined with the savoury flavours of egg and bacon, it’s a meal that may leave some people’s taste buds confused. Putting cheese or pizza toppings on the sugary bread could be even more off-putting for some.

While we were there, one of the waitresses was Cambodian and the other Japanese, but it was hard to see much Japanese influence on the menu. However, for Japanese expats looking to frequent a restaurant they know from home, or for anyone who likes to mix up their sweet and savoury flavours to start the day, Ande makes for a welcome addition to the Toul Tom Poung breakfast scene.

Ande Breakfast is located at #48 Street 123

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