A long-time supporter of the arts, Java has opened its third Phnom Penh café, which features a black box theatre that will soon host regular performances. Matt Surrusco and photographer Enric Català taste a few veggie-filled breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes.
Opened in March, popular Phnom Penh café Java’s third installation offers the same wide-ranging menu, plus seating on two airy floors soaked with natural light, and a black box theatre inside.
The restaurant and arts space expects to hold a debut performance by their resident dance company, Prumsodun Ok and Natyarasa, this month.
Eventually, the black box, which seats 54 people, will host music, comedy and theatre performances as well as discussions and film screenings.
The open-concept cafe includes a ground floor, air-conditioned dining area, back patio lounge with wall-length benches and a retractable awning, expansive first floor loft area, and a private meeting room.
And the food, with an identical menu to the Java locations in Toul Kork and near Independence Monument, is still fresh, tasty and full of flavour.
To start, we tried the Greek omelette ($5), comprising two eggs and a mix of feta cheese, basil and tomatoes, with kalamata olives and romaine lettuce, and three crispy strips of honey-mustard pork bacon and a thick slice of toast.
To perk up, the cappuccino ($2.75) is a strong, organic, Arabica blend of beans from Laos, Vietnam and Thailand roasted by local favourite Feel Good Coffee.
Also, from the all-day breakfast menu, the smoked salmon and vegetable tartine ($6) is a great option for breakfast or brunch, with a hefty helping of pink salmon and poached egg atop a bed of roasted courgette slices and beet straws, laid over a thick piece of Farmer’s bread toast. It’s served with a side of Java’s delicious homemade pickles and kettle-cooked crisps.
The vegetarian burger ($6.75) includes a mushroom-tofu patty, with garlic, onion and pine nuts too, as thick as any beef patty minus the grease.
It sits atop a fluffy brioche bun made in-house, and includes lettuce, tomato, red peppers and cheddar cheese. The thick-cut potato wedges also hit the spot.
The lime-herb grilled salmon ($8.50) is a tangy piece of seasoned salmon, crispy on the outside, soft and flaky on the inside.
It comes with a side of classic mashed potatoes and a mix of butter-sautéed broccoli, carrots, green beans and whole cloves of garlic.
Fresh juices can be ordered off the menu or you can choose your own concoction, selecting three fruit ingredients, with no ice or sugar added.
The raspberry mojito ($4), with rum, homemade raspberry syrup, lime, sugar, soda and plenty of mint, is a sweet, refreshing twist on a classic cocktail. The raspberry syrup’s sweetness did not outdo the minty flavour, ensuring you won’t forget you’re drinking a mojito. Two-for-one happy hour specials are daily from 5pm to 7pm.
With cosy seating, great food and drinks served all day, and a venue for live entertainment on-site, the newest Java cafe is sure to be another hit.