Phnom Penh Marinated Butter Beef – Don’t Ask, Just Eat


Ever since I wrote my review of Phnom Penh, Ed Lau has been bugging me to go so he can try out their famous deep fried chicken wings. Today was a good day to head to Chinatown because we needed to visit the Taiwan office to get Sarah a visa for our upcoming trip to Taipei.

Phnom Penh is located in old Chinatown. From the outside, it doesn’t have much curb appeal. If you were to judge the restaurant from how it looks from the exterior, you would never guess that Phnom Pneh is an multi award winning restaurant. However, once you step inside the place is very clean and professional looking.

As I have stated in my past review, Phnom Penh is a very busy restaurant. We got there just before noon and a line up was already forming. I only go to Phnom Penh on the weekdays because the weekend line up is just insane. Moreover, this is a not a small restaurant – it has at least 100 seats, if not more.

The Wall Of Fame


Upon entering Phnom Penh, you’re greeted by their wall of fame. Phnom Penh has consistently placed among the top five best Southeast Asian restaurants in Vancouver. It ranks as my number one.

Phnom Penh Marinated Butter Beef


We ordered three dishes for lunch. Two of them, the Phnom Penh Special Rice Noodle and the Phnom Penh Deep Fried Chicken Wings, I already wrote about in my last review. Phnom Penh has many signature dishes and the Marinated Butter Beef is definitely one of them.

Phnom Penh Marinated Butter Beef is one of those dishes where it’s best to just eat it and not ask any questions. For those who must know, Phnom Penh Marinated Butter Beef is a raw Frisbee of thinly sliced rib eye covered in all kinds of stuff. The beef is barely cooked and only on the outer rim – from an inch in, it’s pretty much raw. The marinating comes from a sauce made from a soy vinaigrette, covered with cilantro, garlic and other spices that we can’t figure out.

Vegetarians would probably get sick looking at the above picture but I assure you, this dish will rank among the best beef dish you will ever have. It’s a type of dish that will produce a “WOW!” the instant you bite into it.

Lunch for three came to just $48 including tip. That is extremely reasonable for the level of taste and food quality. I have a feeling Ed will be dragging me back to Phnom Penh real soon because I told him the restaurant is also known for their hot and sour soup. I need to get the group together and set up a Dot Com Phnom Penh day so we can experience all the restaurant’s signature dishes in one sitting. Who wants to come?

Ed Lau’s Review of Phnom Penh.

Phnom Penh on Urbanspoon

51 thoughts on “Phnom Penh Marinated Butter Beef – Don’t Ask, Just Eat”

  1. Ed Lau says:

    Don’t worry folks…it’s been almost five hours and I haven’t been sick. It’s delicious.

    1. It’s looks so good!

      1. Jonix says:

        saman, you still the words of my mouth 🙂
        This really looks very good, and for sure will taste even better.

        This make me ungry.

        1. Jonix says:

          I mean, you steal! Geee, this comment box should have a spell checker

  2. Babak says:

    Mouthwatering! 😛

  3. Joshua says:

    I’m hungry already dammit…luckily I live 5 blocks away! Mmmm

    1. Jonix says:

      lucky guy 😈

  4. G says:

    Phnom Penh: good garlic lemon squid, but lousy pho.

  5. Vik says:

    Man this looks tasty! I just ate and I”m hungry again.. :mrgreen:

  6. Jack says:

    Yeah, it looks good now, but how many years did it shave off your internal clock? Deep Fried = Bad News

    1. James says:

      As long as it is not an everyday thing it won’t hurt-much.

    2. We all eat deep fried crap all the time…

      1. derrich says:

        You eat deep fried crap? 😯

        1. Jonix says:

          :mrgreen: another evil guy…. 😈

    3. Ed Lau says:

      Nothing can kill me. I’m invincible.

      1. Dave says:

        I find that hard to believe 🙂

        1. Jonix says:

          Who knows…everything is possible

          1. Dave says:

            except immortality. Is Ed Lau really Alex Chiu in disguise?

          2. Jonix says:

            there no impossibles dave, even immortatilty

    4. Dave says:

      Heart attack on a plate? 🙂

  7. I’m defiantly going to have to print out a list of all these great Vancouver food reviews for whenever I might be in Vancouver. Looks good. 😛

  8. Ronaldo says:

    After the lobster torture session, I think vegetarians won’t be surprised by anything from future dining posts… 🙂

  9. Dave says:

    Man that looks good. I’ve been trying to broaden my horrizons lately, trying out more exotic types of food 🙂

    1. I hear that Ethiopian is really good, but I have never found a place!

      1. Dave says:


        I bet they have an Ethiopian place in Toronto

        1. Jonix says:

          man…this talk…:) long live the top commentators.

          Well also you should check Israel Food, like the “Pita Shoarma”, is delicious!

          1. Dave says:

            My girlfriend _loves_ shoarma. I don’t mind it…but it’s not my favorite by any stretch.

          2. Jonix says:

            There is a difference dave. Shoarma is one thing, pita shoarma another thing 🙂
            I don’t like shoarma, but i love pita shoarma.

  10. msdanielle says:

    that beef thing looks hella scary but i’d eat it! i’m sure it tastes and smells a lot better than that picture. i saw the fried chicken on ed’s blog and it looked BOMB! 🙂

    1. Dave says:

      pictures never do food justice 🙂

      1. Jonix says:

        the eyes allways eat first

  11. Great second review wish I could try, We have similar restaurants in Sydney in Cabramatta, with Cambodian and Vietnamese food. It’s all very tasty and cheap as well.

  12. Das Brain says:

    Been to Vancouver on many occassions, but never had Vietnamese food there yet.
    Thanks John, now I know where to go the next time I’m in Vancouver. Yum.

  13. Chris Chen says:

    Look delicious! What’s the address of this place?

    1. John Chow says:

      244 Georgia Street East, Vancouver, BC V6A 1Z7
      (604) 734-8898

      1. Jonix says:

        It’s true that vietnamese food in vietnam is more vegetarian than the vietnamese food that is served in other countries?

        I know this is true for chinese food, but would it be the same to vietnamese?

        1. Jonix says:

          Anyone knows the answer to this question?

        2. Yes it is true there is generally more vegetables in Vietnamese and Cambodian food, but this is not always true there are some dishes such as steamed pork which is all meat, but the locals have a lot of leafy vegetables (Rau) on the side

          The variety of leafy vegetables in Vietnam is enormous. Meals in Vietnam are very cheap but Meat like beef is expensive, so you the servings of beef you get are small.

  14. Ooh, that looks so yummy!

    1. Jonix says:

      yum yum (it’s the rpm from CentOS Linux) 😯

  15. ian says:

    “Vegetarians would probably get sick looking at the above picture”
    I am one of those vegetarians, but nah it doesnt bother me.

  16. Bob says:

    John you are making me hungry again,
    thanks for the great site I read it daily.
    Bob L.

  17. Timen says:


    The storefront is a little silly though. The place is called Phnom Penh, after the capital of Cambodia. They also sell Vietnamese food. But they have what I recognize to be Chinese symbols added in the mix as well! 😯

    Finally, either what you have there is a rare delicacy in Cambodia, or it’s just something they’ve devised to satisfy the Western meat-lust: in all my time there I’ve never seen something with so much meat in it.

    Glad it tasted great. 🙂

    1. Ed Lau says:

      It’s not very much meat at all. The beef is paper thin.

      1. Jonix says:

        humm…so that means that if we eat that we’ll be hungry?

  18. Who cares about how the restaurant looks like? So long as the food taste good. Oh yummy! 😮

    1. Jonix says:

      ups, another centOS rpm 🙂

      If the food tastes well, yes, the restaurant don’t need to be pretty

  19. derrich says:

    Seriously, John…epherytime I read a phood rephiew on your blog, it’s around lunch time.

    1. Jonix says:

      lol, that is a great sense of opportunity derrich 😀
      Transform that in money and you’ll see 😉

  20. I’ve been craving for pizza all morning, but I wouldn’t mind having some of that sinful buttered beef though. 😛

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