Hailing from a city consumed by gourmet burger chains, I’ve grown accustomed to craving pimped-up patties. In this series, I hit the streets of Phnom Penh to sniff out the very best burgers on offer.
A hand-packed 6oz seasoned beef patty served with lots of american cheese and grilled onions on rye bread.
$4.25. Sides aren’t included, so I added Small french fries for $0.75.
The Burger Joint
Mama’s New York deli is situated down Street 123 in Russian Market. The venue is a modest eatery, fairly open and bare in concept. One particular charm of the deli is the delightful owner, Mama. Whilst dining here I observed regular costumers having a great laugh with her, indicating a good rapport. Also, whilst dining Mama was attentive but non obtrusive, making sure I was enjoying my food and had all I needed without pestering.
The menu includes ‘Burger corner’, which were fairly classic combinations; Beef, chicken, fish or vegetarian burgers were available. I opted for the fifth option, which was the ‘Patty Melt’, this was in the burger corner section but came served on Rye Bread making it a sandwich rather than a burger.
However, I later scanned the ‘Sandwich corner’ section and found that you could have absolutely anything in that section served on a Sesame bun and could probably put in a claim that there’s more options to play with. The meatball sub on a bun is close enough, right?
On the Side
There were no sides advertised, so I decided to pick a portion of small fries. These turned out to be chunky chips, British chippy style. They were fluffy and filling, served unseasoned. The available condiments included ketchup, smokey Tabasco, olive oil and vinegar. I seasoned them to my liking, although later regretted not ordering the homemade sour pickles or mash potato with gravy instead.
The burger arrived disguised as a sandwich. As hinted at despite being in burger corner.
The Cheese portion was super generous and made the dish taste as I’d expect a Mac & Cheese Sandwich to be. Alongside the distinct taste of Macaroni cheese, the beef patty had been mashed up into a mincemeat consistency, and smothered with cooked onions. The whole thing was a great treat, as it is unlike anything else I’d ordered in the city. I had the first sandwich as it was, and added Tabasco to the second for an extra kick.
The fillings made sense to be between rye bread, however I would absolutely ask for it on a sesame bun next time purely as it’d look more photogenic and impressive… and burger like. The meat had a good flavour to it and was able to contribute against a strong melted cheese centrepiece.
The meat had been a burger, and could be put in a bun – but I feel it’s only fair to mark it down a little for unconventionally not being an actual burger. However, the taste and charm of the venue are worth a visit. I’d give the Patty Melt 6.5/10 – The food is good, the owner is lovely, and if you’re looking for some homegrown comfort ‘Murica dishes, there’s plenty on offer at Mama’s!
Oh, and pickles would have made that dish, I wish they had came as standard. Next time.
Street 123, TTP, Phnom Penh
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