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 don’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.