Area hoarding in Phnom Penh is easy. Pick a neighbourhood and indulge in the offerings for months. After incessant Toul Tom Poung dining, my excitement has been focused around the many venues near the Royal Palace. In particular, Fat Passion had intrigued me for a long time, so I set out to try their menu.
With truly artisan creations on the menu, it feels a waste to ever describe the restaurant as ‘doubling as a bar’, yet the minimal decor and atmospheric vibe do offer a trendy place for an after-work beer. Having tried the food, there’s no way I’d now visit without treating myself to whatever new specials are unveiled!
Chen Shijie, the chef and owner, previously worked under some Michelin-star chefs in various parts of the world. His eclectic menu blurs the lines on traditional cuisines to create a unique flavour palette exploding with combinations out of the ordinary- with kitsch presentation to match.
Our trip was vegetarian, which is just the tip of the iceberg for their fantastic creations – so do consider browsing their menu in full to wet your appetite before visiting.
We opted for two of their regular dishes, and one of the specials.
Broccolini burrata salad: charred broccolini, cauliflower, burrata cheese, chinese chive oil. Pan Sear Baby corn, corn puree, young cabbage and basil seeds. For the special, we ordered homemade taro dumplings with cheese foam.
It was a special occasion and behind the scenes Fat Passion had arranged a decadent fruit birthday cake topped with gold flakes, whilst we also indulged in a bottle of prosecco that was very reasonably priced.
The dumplings came out first, and the first bite justified our visit to the restaurant tenfold. They were incredible. Bursting with flavour, enhanced even more-so by the cheese foam – the only criticism we could have is that they’re not available every day of the week to satisfy our new taro dumplings craving!
The salad arrived with a generous chunk of burrata in the middle, a dish I’d become incredibly familiar with whilst living in Nice. I can safely say the high quality would satisfy even the fussiest of Niçoise diners.
The baby corn was decent, although we’d been so spoiled with our other choices that we weren’t as flabbergasted by this – yet granted, it certainly makes for a nice side dish to accompany the rest of your choices.
On the menu, the dessert option simply says ‘??’, which was perfect for lulling my partner into the birthday cake trap I’d set. The lights were switched off, and the cake arrived as the staff sang happy birthday – the surprise alone made it worth it, but we were incredibly humbled by the time, effort and creativity that went into this cake.
Delicious and spectacular.
Fat Passion, highly recommend.