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Friends – the restaurant in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

e almost didn’t go to this restaurant as originally our tourguide Maria had booked here for the last evening meal for the trip which traditionally is spend together. We hadn’t done any of the other meals together with the whole group. Mostly it was little groups of four or just Tom and I, which worked fine for us.

But the last dinner ended up on a different day, which turned out to be a Monday and that is the only day in the weeks that Friends in Phnom Penh is closed. So on our very last day, just before we had to pack and go to the airport we decided to have lunch here and boy am I glad we did!

Friends International is started in 1994 and originally they only worked with street children but since then they have expanded their reach to include other kids that need help and support. And especially in countries like Cambodia there are a lot that could do with a little extra help. The Friends restaurant is a little bit similar to the Jamie Oliver Fifteen restaurants in the fact that kids that have no future are offered an education in the hospitality business. Friends has a couple of restaurants and bars for just that purpose inside of different locations in Cambodia and when we were there is was incredibly busy.

They built quite a good reputation for themselves and we had heard about it over the internet so I was curious if the food was as good as it was said to be. Well, we were not disappointed! They serve traditional meals but a large part of the menu is for tapas kind of dishes; little bites that were perfect for us at the time. Not really hungry (excessive heat will do that to you!) but we had to eat something so we picked four little dishes and we could just restrain ourself not to lick the plates. It was that good!

Friends the Restaurant
#215 Street 13, Phnom Penh

T +(855) 12 802 072
Open Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 9pm.
Closed 1pm to 5pm Tuesday and Thursday (student training).


About the author

Simone van den Berg

Food- and travelblogger from the Netherlands. Loves good food. Loves to taste good food the world over.
She also loves to share travelstories, delicious recipes and ok, cat pictures too. She sometimes feels the need to get really healthy for a while, always mingled with periods of insanely delicious sweets and other decadent treats.
Lives together with Tom and their two cats; Humphrey and Buffy.
Profession: Food photographer


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  • Hi Simone – I don’t suppose you bought the Best of Friends Restaurant recipe book, did you? I am looking for their chocolate cake recipe for a Cambodian charity event I am attending this week and can’t locate my copy of the book, which I bought on a housebuilding trip in 2009.

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Travel calendar 2018

March: Blankenberge, Belgium
April: 3 weeks roadtrip through East USA
May: Turkey
May: Germany
June: Germany
September: Newcastle