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“Great concept, decent food but pricey and very touristy”

Friends the Restaurant
Ranked #8 of 1,468 Restaurants in Phnom Penh
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $10
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Families with children, Large groups
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations, Takeout
Description: Located near the National Museum, you'll discover Friends the Restaurant a vibrant and colorful vocational training restaurant. Serving up share plates of creative cuisine with influences from across the globe, refreshing cocktails and fresh juices, you can see why Friends is one of Cambodia's longest running and best-loved restaurants. All profits are reinvested into the education of students in training and Mith Samlanh's social programs. Check out Friends 'n' Stuff for products that changes lives and Friends Nail Bar next door!
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
Level 6 Contributor
444 reviews
159 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 186 helpful votes
“Great concept, decent food but pricey and very touristy”
Reviewed January 24, 2013

This is an NGO run restaurant training street youth in waiting, cooking and other skills, which will help them to integrate into the society. It is a great concept and the restaurant is staffed by students and teachers alike.

It is a large place with nice interior and very good customer service. The menu comprises of normal dishes and series of tapas, which are larger than Spanish tapas making one tapas and one side dish sufficient for a full meal. Having said that, I found some of the dishes to lack flavour.

The prices are rather high, although not extortionate. Compared to western prices, it is still cheap and given the social background of the enterprise it goes on a good cause. However, unlike in other NGO run restaurants such as Veiyo Tonle, the clientele is purely tourists, which does not make for a nice atmosphere.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MarciTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,026 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
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  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
72 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“You must dine here (at least once)”
Reviewed January 24, 2013

All vistors to Phnom Penh should have at least one experience at Friends during their stay. Not only is it a worthy cause the quality of the meals for the price cannot be beaten.

The food is a mix of western and Khmer, with some modern touches added to well known Khmer favourites. We shared 4 dishes between 2 - all beatifully cooked and presented. We where particularly impressed with a lovely eggplant dip and the meatballs. Another member of our group loved his roast roll of pork (one of the weekly specials that augments the standard list).

Despite being very busy the young serving staff were a complete delight and only added to our experience. The total bill for 2 (including drinks) was $US20 - sensational value given the quality of the meal.

As has been well stated in other reviews the place is busy most of the time. A reservation is essential at peak times (and recommended at all other times)

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank CBK23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
86 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Great food, great service”
Reviewed January 24, 2013

Went here with our family of six without a reservation but we went early (before six o'clock) so managed to get a table fairly easily - it would have been more difficult later on. We were served straight away although the only soft drinks available were coke or diet coke - I would have liked lemonade on the menu too. The food was really great and came to the table pretty quickly. All the staff were friendly and very attentive. There is a cookbook which you can buy which has a lot of the menu items which we bought. A most enjoyable meal - definitely recommend going!

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MarieFs_6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
172 reviews
98 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Wow! A favourite in Phnom Penh”
Reviewed January 24, 2013 via mobile

After reading reviews from our Groovy Map and also on Trip Advisor, we were disappointed to find we couldn't book a table as they were already fully booked. We were advised to turn up at about 6pm as some tables were always left for walk ins ... Great advice. We have just enjoyed the best meal we have had in a long time! The quality of the food was superb and the flavours amazing. Unfortunately our friends were all back home in Australia, but we felt we had to share pictures with them as we enjoyed! The menu is an interesting fusion of eastern and western favorites, the unique twists are well constructed. The meals are served beautifully. The front of house staff were friendly and professional. Knowing that you are contributing to positive opportunities in the lives of others makes this venue even more special.

Helpful?
Thank Deb T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roslindale, Massachusetts, United States
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Our Favorite Meal in Phnom Penh”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

The receptionist at our hotel recommended Friends, and our first attempt to dine there ended with us too hungry to wait--the place is BUSY! Luckily we tried again earlier in the evening on the next night, and found out why the place was packed: the food is EXCELLENT. The service was fast despite the full restaurant. The Amok was fabulous, and each dish was perfectly seasoned.

Overall the food is as good as the cause!

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Rachel_and_Mo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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