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Start of the Affair

By: Anon Posted: January-13-2011 in
I'm certain this is a good idea darling...

It’s the old story – your partner’s out of town for the weekend, and there’s that rather sexy blonde NGO volunteer you met over beef Carpaccio at Nagaworld buffet, a couple of weeks ago. You both knew straight away. Conjugate me a verb, Sidney. Like to stray. So, where do you and the blonde stray to in Phnom Penh, without being spotted by the sort of friends who’d prefer to stab you in the back, rather than the front?

‘La Marmite’
80 Street 108
Romance and the French. They go together like the eponymous letter and… but that’s getting ahead of ourselves. Surely this established French bistro has got to be a contender for our little tryst? Why not, it reeks (fragrantly) of Gallic class and sophistication. The clatter of iron on china disguises the eurochatter of the well-off punters. The food is good, and the wine reasonably priced. It was the perfect night…that never occurred. You never got through the discreet entrance. Loss of nerve. But, tonight, it would have been swarming with the very people you want to avoid. Of course.

Anonymity: 0/10
Cuisine: 7/10
Romance: 8/10
Tryst Rating: 0/10 (default to Anonymity)

Munich Brewpub & Restaurant
86 Sothearos Blvd
It’s the herd mentality. It’s hard to be picked off in an aircraft hangar, full of thousands of loud, sweaty, overweight beer drinkers. But that’s Munich, Germany. We’d go Riverside if we wanted that. We’re sitting in the Munich Brewpub, Phnom Penh, and it’s all a bit boring, really. A small courtyard, surrounded by a covered veranda, this is a decidedly more modest drinking establishment. We peruse the picture-book menu before, on enquiry, being informed that the micro-brewery has stopped production. For ever. And ever. They now just sell Anchor et al. So we leave.

Anonymity: who cares? 0/10
Cuisine: can’t say 0/10
Romance: an argument ensued 0/10
Tryst Rating: 0/10

Pyongyang North Korean Restaurant
400 Monivong Boulevard
This is more like it. Suitably sized, and packed with drunken South Korean businessmen. The stuff that dreams are made of. You’ll laugh about it later. Any menu featuring specialties such as cold noodle, and dog meat soup, can’t claim a reputation for offering romantic ambrosia, but Bear ‘product’ promising to increase sexual virility is an exotic substitute. Suddenly, you remember that the fanciable waitresses are rumoured to be spies. Notions of espionage and intrigue go to your head with jolting efficiency induced, no doubt, by the ginseng wine on the menu. Hell, you need a strong one. Caution! Speakwrite details of your personages are certain to reach apparatchiks of the Democratic People’s Republic. With a growing sense of unease, you decide to stay out in the cold, a little longer…

Anonymity in the world of Wikileaks: 0/10
Cuisine: 6/10
Romance: 5/10
Tryst Rating: 0/10

Khmer Restaurant
near Chaktomuk High School St. 214
…but, you knew, all along, it would end here. In the sultry evening air, at a no-name-you-can-figure-out Khmer eatery, among the blue plastic chairs and Formica tables and some talk of you and me. Of the usual local choices you decide against ‘Beef bosom’, ‘Bull penis’, or, indeed, the ‘Preganent (sic) squid’. However, spicy beansprouts, provided gratis with your Angkor, are surprisingly piquant, and grilled shrimp hit the spot nicely. The blonde comments favourably upon the vegetable crudités. The sleeping waitress jerks, unbidden, into action, and, abruptly, you’re out of the joint for less than $5.00, including that brace of much-needed ice-colds. A cheap night indeed…

Anonymity: 9/10
Cuisine: 6/10
Romance: 4/10
Tryst Rating: 6/10

…but a hard one, for a dirty end. Or is it the other way around? Finally, you reflect upon Raymond Chandler’s dictum that “Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl's clothes off.” Or boy’s. Exchanging furtive glances, you and the blonde grab the nearest tuk tuk, and high-tail it to a cheap, dingy, hotel Boeung Kak way.


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