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“Good Food & Ambience, a Creative Owner, and Superb Set-up” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Blue Dolphin

Blue Dolphin
Ranked #257 of 1,386 Restaurants in Phnom Penh
Price range: US$1 - US$3
Cuisines: European, Asian, Cambodian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Kids, Child-friendly, Cheap Eats
Dining options: After-hours, Lunch, Brunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Delivery, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Good Food & Ambience, a Creative Owner, and Superb Set-up”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2014

I’m giving this restaurant a five-star rating because I am taking a holistic view, evaluating the whole gestalt: a restaurant is many things, including its history, its food, its ambience, its staff and management, its guests, its setup, the view of the world that you get while you’re there. And last but not least, for me, the interesting and sometimes fascinating people you meet there, a handful of whom become friends, or provide a window into other modes of thinking.
But first, the food. I had a fabulous Pan Fried Fish with Mustard Green Pepper Sauce just the other day—succulent, with mashed potatoes and vegetables on the side: a hearty portion. I have also had some excellent dishes there in the past, and, thanks to being introduced to it by a long-time Dutch friend, this has been my most regular haunt during the previous 24 months. The Chicken Thai Yellow Curry used to be very good and dependable, with exquisite taste and lots of vegetables in it. Recently, Wut, the creative and adventurous owner, added tapas to the menu, and when he supervises its preparation, it can be inspired. I’ve seen others enjoy the Greek salad, the Chicken Salad, and the Chicken Cordon Bleu. I’ve had the deep pan pizza, and the beef steak, both of which can be quite good deals for the price.
But most of all, I enjoyed the people and the atmosphere, and the arrangement of chairs (I don’t like to sit in low chairs; I prefer the higher chairs), and the way they are set up, which is really so special about Blue Dolphin. As a result, you constantly meet new people—I’ve made a variety of friends or had conversations with people from Britain (including a Cambridge University alumnus who became a fan of my novel; Ned, a very funny, entertaining, and smart Englishman who never fails to remind me that his grandmother is from Calcutta; and Johnny, a Shakespearean actor who reminded me of Hamlet monologues from long ago—we had a Hamletfest on a couple of occasions); and from Holland, Germany, America, France, and Australia, among others. The total experience was rendered even better by the personal attention and smiles of Allee and Marie, both of whom, unfortunately, are not at the restaurant any longer.
Then, there were a group of waitresses who were a joy to banter with—Marie included. Noticing a dish on the menu titled “Chicken Madras”, I would ask them “You mean this chicken walked all the way from Madras? Or did it fly?” Or: “No, I don’t want Chicken Madras; it must be really tired. Do you have the Chicken From Prey Veng?” It took them a few hours to get the joke, but when they got it, they really laughed.
For all these reasons, and for the sake of the many friends I have met there and occasionally meet, and still hope to meet (some have gone away for the summer to Europe and elsewhere, and will return in the latter part of the year), I would continue to visit this restaurant, reasonably regularly, even if it just served white bread, butter, and jam. That’s my choice. I like to be where my friends—present, past, and potential—are, and a restaurant is, for me, far more than just food.
I hope they work to maintain their former reputation, and I owe many thanks to Blue Dolphin for the hospitality and the excellent food they have served me over 24 months, for the staff present and past who have shown so much warmth and generosity, and especially for the smiles and laughter.

Visited July 2014
Thank Richard_Crasta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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130 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“cheap restaurant and specially the driinks coktails”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 June 2014

It is a Cambodian restaurant next door is from them also , Cordon blue is a must , some of the meals are very nice , some other no ,
also the steak is nice 5 usd , and fresh salade french fries can choose different is ok , is good to try this place , many local who live in phnom pehn go their price quality is ok , like to visit 2 a week if you live here. the whole street 172 is good to check out ,many intresting places

Visited March 2014
Thank Kurt V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Da Nang, Vietnam
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“My regular dinner venue”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2014

The Blue Dolphin / Fine restaurant were located just opposite my hotel.
These two restaurants, each with its own menu, ( although all the food comes from the one kitchen ) is open for Breakfast at 07:00h, and closes sometime after my bedtime.
I have never been disappointed here, the food is great and surprisingly cheap.
It's a sort of "high-end" back-packers diner, and the staff are adorable.
I ate here regularly for over a week enjoying both western and asian food, and sometimes just a beer or a fruit juice.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
Thank Johan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
128 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Good comfort food and happy hour wine”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 March 2014

This is a good option for a budget traveller. We had the creamy pasta with chicken and the stuffed chicken with mash. Both dishes were nice, very much home-cooked comfort food. They were priced around $4-$5 each. The happy hour wine was good for the price, only $2 per glass and didn't taste like vinegar.

Visited March 2014
Thank Dave_Basia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
31 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Never disappointed”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 February 2014

Good pastas, ....delivery is great and friendly. Nice outside seating and side restaurant too with another menu

Visited August 2013
Thank critical_travelings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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