Phnom Penh’s bagel game has stepped up a gear. Editor Marissa Carruthers and photographer Charles Fox head to Posh Nosh deli and bakery to see what all the fuss is about.
The wait is finally over – the authentic bagel has landed in Phnom Penh, and it isn’t just a marketing gimmick.
Since opening its doors in the rising Toul Tom Poung neighbourhood about six months ago, Posh Nosh has been providing American expats with a taste of home, and everyone else with a sample of the world-famous New York-style bagel.
Owner, New Yorker Jay Miller – who is behind neighbouring Brooklyn Pizza and Bistro – was so determined to get the recipe right that he has even created an offsite bakery, where the range of baked goods, pastries and sweet treats are freshly produced daily.
Inside, sits a deli counter full of bagels, baguettes, éclairs, croissants, cakes and tarts, as well as a range of imported meats and cheeses. Several fridges are stocked with wines, beers, caviar and Moo Moo Milk – pasteurised and raw milk from a recently launched dairy farm on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. Blackboards display what’s on offer, such as roast beef baguettes ($5.95), the Italiano ($6.95) and French ham ($5.95), with the menu changing seasonally.
The NY smoked salmon bagel ($5.95) caught our eye, and didn’t fail to disappoint scoring top marks. True to tradition, the hefty bagels are boiled before being baked in the oven, perfecting the moist, chewy inside while remaining crunchy on the outside. The salmon portions are far from stingy, and are served with lashings of cream cheese, capers, sliced tomatoes and red onions.
The veggie banh mi ($5.95) is a great twist on the Vietnamese classic. The fresh sesame baguette comes packed with aubergine, cucumber, house pickled vegetables and mushrooms, with a lime dressing. The aubergine and mushroom have been grilled to provide a soft texture that works well with the bite of the other vegetables. The staple pickled vegetables add a good balance of sweet and sour, with the lime dressing rounding the taste of to a tee.
The California chicken salad ($5.95) was another surprising delight. Here, a baguette is packed full of diced chicken in a creamy tarragon dressing, served with celery, red onion, red grapes and walnuts. Despite having the potential to be a sloppy sandwich, the baguette holds well. The combination of the dressing, grapes and walnuts works fantastically together, with the sweetness of the grapes complimented by the texture of the nuts , providing a refreshing and crisp flavour while evoking memories of childhood summer picnics. This is also a good solid reminder of home for the West Coast contingency of expats loitering in the capital.
The eatery also does takeaways, with delivery available, as well as catering for posh picnics and posh parties, with individual orders rustled up where possible.
Posh Nosh has definitely given me a reason to burst out of my BKK1 bubble and venture to the Russian market more often.