Most workers in Phnom Penh get a two hour lunch break from twelve until two. The thought of scoffing down a cheap sandwich while hunched over a keyboard is literally unthinkable for most Phnom Penhois, not for the least reason that most Cambodians donâ€™t work on computers nor do they enjoy the charm of sliced bread.
Two hours allows time for a multiple course meal and a snooze, and for me, plenty of time to obsess about what to eat for lunch and then immediately write about it. A few days ago, Robyn from EatingAsia went on a road trip to hunt down an excellent mee mamak, a Malaysian fried noodle dish that would be the likely result of Kerala meeting Guangdong in Penang for a food fight. I’ve been thinking about having it for lunch ever since and so headed for Mamak’s Corner, an Indian-Muslim Malaysian restaurant that I’ve been recommended previously.
I wanted to be smacked around by chili heat in the mee mamak and arrive back at the office two hours later, still shaking and wide-eyed from the endorphin rush. This mee was light on the heat and lacked the curry flavors, potato, and red onion that mark it as a food that came from the Malaysian intermixture of Chinese and Indian cultures. A few smallish prawns and squid slices provided the meat component. I was a little let down, but I’m not going to write off Mamak’s Corner after eating only one dish there – the 100% Malaysian crowd at lunchtime indicates that there must be some excellent dining secrets hidden somewhere between its menu and bain marie.
$2 for a plate.
Location: Deceptively, Mamak’s Corner is not on a corner. It’s on St.114 near the corner of St.61. Mamak’s is halal.
See also: Care For a Side of Diesel Exhaust With Your Noodles? for possibly the world’s greatest mee mamak.