In the King’s Domain

As you may know, Lady C and I had an amiable parting of the ways last December. The place on 6Z was a bit too much for one, so I’ve moved from the diplomatic quarter to the Riverfront. I’m two doors up from the Royal Palace. Sadly, I can’t wave to his majesty from my balcony because the National Museum gets in the way.  Read More

Living on 6Z

After one year in the Kingdom of Wonder, as Hun Sen’s domain is known in the travel biz, Lady C and I have made the move from the big 5-bath house on a hot dusty plain at the outskirts of the city to the clean and leafy streets of the diplomatic quarter. The Lao ambassador lives across the street (Mao Tse Toung Blvd), the Philippine Ambassador is around the corner next to... Read More

Phnom Penh Best Burger

Beautiful to look at Yes! This is the Phnom Penh best burger. It’s even better than most burgers I’ve had in the Land of Burgers: USA. It’s at Rustic Lounge, #21, Street 172 in Phnom Penh. This is not merely fried mince meat slapped between bread; maybe with an after thought of lettuce or onion, a nod to mustard, somebody’s memory of a pickle slice. Not... Read More

Monsoon Cocktails

About this time a year ago I checked the forecast. Thunder showers Sunday was the prediction. Perfect, says I. Monsoon Cocktails and dinner in the rain. As Sunday’s clouds gathered I hastened to one of the many canopied places on Street 172 and ducked in just as the sky billowed with fat monsoon stratocumuli. I ordered Jack on the rocks. In moments, proper Niagaras... Read More

Martini Straight Up Always

Martini at Zino I sat at the dimly lit, elegant bar of Zino in the South-of-Sihanouk Gourmet Ghetto. Outside on Street 294 the sun-blasted asphalt was baking, heat waves rising from the surface. But I was in the cool depths, contemplating the dish of chilled oysters on the half-shell laid before me and planning a fitting accompaniment for the succulent bivalves. Custom called for... Read More

You say tomato, I say gazpacho

  As the author of the book World Food: Spain (Lonely Planet), I’m always on the lookout for things Iberian. And while there are a surprising number of Spaniards here in El Phnom, the Spanish connection is much older than you might think. Spaniards and their Portuguese cousins were the first Europeans to set foot in this town. Missionaries like Gaspar de la Cruz (1556)... Read More

Nacho Phnom

I moved to Phnom Penh from Saigon for the nachos. Well, not entirely. But partly! It sounds absurd, but with ten thousand or so North American expats crowding the bars, pubs and hash houses of Ho Chi Minh City, there are only two that reliably offer the tasty little nubbin known as The Nacho. Here in PP, though, I can nibble nachos daily. Nachos are necessary for all North Americans,... Read More

Just Moved to Phnom Penh

It’s home when you can hang your hat Newly arrived in Phnom Penh, I’m spending time learning my new beat. I’ve met some remarkable characters here. Most are of the washed up and battered expat variety that people the memoirs of reprobates and other exiles to tropic climes. I’m sure I’ll have grist for the literary mill soon. The atmosphere in Phnom... Read More

Miss Ba’s Old Saigon Pho

When I first came to Saigon in the early 1990s I found a charming and slow moving little low-rise city whose tallest building was the then 10 storey Caravelle hotel. Clerks in the then few banks spoke French and closed up shop from noon to two for “le dejuner.” But soon the leisurely lady bestirred herself and began to rise. Office and hotel towers shot up like bamboo and sugar... Read More

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