Everybody knows the other Cambodian restaurant in town, Phnom Penh, but there’s another Cambodian place on Victoria Dr. and 33rd called Angkor that’s been open for about 5 years. In fact, the last time we went there WAS about 5 years ago, soon after they opened! I wrote about it way back then on Chowhound here.
Our experience back then was good, but we never had the inclination or opportunity to go back until now. Funny how these things happen. There’s really no shortage of food options in Vancouver, so good places like Angkor might get forgotten about unless something sparks your memory. I’m happy to see Angkor still in action after 5 years.
The owner/cook Yin is actually niece of the Phnom Penh owner. Happy to see a family connection there.
I’m not an expert in the minutiae of Cambodian food or culture…I’ve seen a few food programs on Cambodia. The food seems to draw a lot of influence from the neighboring cuisine of Vietnam (at least the part of Cambodian cuisine that we see here).
They even list the Vietnamese names for all their dishes on the menu. Yin said their clientele is mostly Vietnamese, Chinese and Filipino. The “Angkor Beef Stew & Egg Noodle” looks interesting…
…and of course we gotta have that famous Cambodian dry noodle dish Hu Tieu. We chose the combo rice noodle and egg noodle version. I love having the two textures of noodles in the same dish. Hu Tieu is super-popular in Vietnam, so you’ll see Vietnamese restaurants here serving Hu Tieu as well as the more common pho, bun, and rice dishes.
Tablecloth with Angkor Wat motif. “No Angkor Wat, no Cambodia…”
Angkor Beef Stew & Egg Noodle.
Savoury soup with star anise being the most recognizable seasoning. If there’s MSG in here, they just use a little bit. Egg noodles were firm and enjoyable. Sizeable chunks of beef were tender. I think they make a big pot of beef stew, then add the beef plus gravy to their main soup broth, so the consistency is more liquidy than gravy-like.
Bean sprouts and lime to go with the beef stew noodles.
Phnom Penh Dry Rice & Egg Noodle. Lots of assorted meat!
You can see the white rice noodles underneath the yellow egg noodles. Meats include sliced pork, ground pork, pork liver, pork heart and prawns. There’s a garlicky sweet/savoury soy sauce at the bottom of the bowl. You’re supposed to mix everything together before you eat.
The Hu Tieu comes with a side soup with a great piece of pork back. Lots of meat and cartilage to enjoy.
Here’s what the Hu Tieu looks like after mixing. The rice noodles were a bit too clumpy, but once you get the sauce in there it loosens up. A hearty (heh) and satisfying bowl of meat and noodles. Big serving. This and side soup for only $8!
They were out of chicken wings that day, so we settled for Spring Rolls. They use the egg roll wrapper here.
Arrived hot and crispy, fresh out of the fryer. Texture inside was a bit mushy for my taste but I got flavours of pork and taro which were nice. I wouldn’t mind ordering these again for a group to share.
Dessert time! Banana Tapioca Pudding with coconut milk and crushed peanuts. This is a Vietnamese-style dessert called chè. They also have one with black eyed peas.
Warm and creamy. Probably the best version of this kind of Asian dessert that Wicca has had in a restaurant.
We also got a dish to go, but sadly I didn’t take pictures of it. It was the Cambodian Style Pork and Shrimp Paste and Veggies, which is basically like a savoury Asian sloppy joe served on rice. A little bit tomatoey but with big fermented shrimp paste flavour and aroma. Just imagine a ground meat sauce on rice…it’s the kind of dish that’s super humble but still delicious and you can shovel tons of it into your greedy mouth. To most palates, it might be a weird dish but I kinda liked it! It reminded me of eating beef chili poured over white rice. But you have to like fermented shrimp paste if you wanna try this dish.
We’ll have to come back soon to try their (now TWO versions) of chicken wings and see how they compare to Phnom Penh’s famously addictive crack-coated deep fried chicken wings.
Now, I know this kind of hole-in-the-wall “ethnic” place isn’t going to please everybody. Some of the cooking might not be as accomplished as their more famous uncle restaurant. But the food is a solid good, with tons of heart and a homey feeling. I think there’s room in Vancouver for another Cambodian restaurant, and the fact that Angkor has lasted 5 years shows that other people think so too.
If you’re really interested in learning more about Cambodia and its food, I’d recommend watching:
- Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey (Episode 1)
- Bizarre Foods (Season 5 Episode 2)
- Anthony Bourdain No Reservations (Season 7 Episode 2)
You’ll just have to google to find these episodes 😉