With a new chef at the helm, dining at The D-22 is about to become even more delicious. Editor Marissa Carruthers and photographer Lucas Veuve sample the new flavours.
Having recently marked its first birthday, high-flying eatery D-22 is adding a new chapter to its menu, thanks to head chef, Heng Rady.
Recruited from an exclusive restaurant in Doha to return to his homeland three months ago, Rady has been experimenting in the kitchen to create a range of special dishes, which will be added to the menu this month.
Complimenting the modern menu, which mixes Western favourites with Khmer and other regional options, Rady has used the skills he has picked up working in the Middle East and previously the Seychelles, to bring mouth-watering additions to the table.
“I want to bring my experience and knowledge of different foods and ingredients from different countries to the restaurant,” Rady says as he proudly places a plate delicately decorated with three shells containing plump scallops on the table of the contemporary dining space he works in.
Showcasing the crustaceans’ versatility, each portion is cooked in a different sauce. The first sees the scallops infused in garlic, having been grilled in garlic butter with a dash of lemon and sprinkling of parsley to balance the flavours.
The ginger sauce salsa was a personal favourite, and both a feast for the eyes and stomach. The soft scallops came with a sharp tang thanks to the blend of ginger, chili, olive oil, lemon juice and chopped parsley it is grilled in.
The third shell saw the scallops roasted in tornado sauce – a fiery secret recipe incorporating Hollandaise sauce, spices and chopped parsley.
A healthy fillet of flaky seabass makes the perfect companion to the smooth bed of potato mash it sits on, and is brought to life by a light sprinkling of basil, and a mild and creamy shrimp confit with artichoke sauce.
The master of the specials menu is undoubtedly the barbecued kobe beef with mushrooms and foie gras. The healthy portion of premium Japanese meat – a delicacy renowned for its flavour and fatty, marbled texture – lives up to its reputation.
The tender slices of pre-cut beef work perfectly alongside the woody mushrooms, sautéed with garlic butter and salt and pepper. Grilled asparagus and a light cranberry sauce perfect the plate.
While the finishing touches are being put to the menu ahead of its launch this month, prices are still being confirmed. But the specials lie in the same bracket as the rest of the menu, with starters sitting at around $5 and mains averaging at between $10 and $20.
“I wanted to try some new dishes,” Rady says, excited to add his own stamp to what is fast becoming one of the city’s most renowned eateries, offering stunning views of the city from its 22nd floor location in Phnom Penh Tower.
“And, of course, the most popular on the specials will make it onto the permanent menu,” he adds before returning to the immaculate kitchen to cook up that particular evening’s tasty storm.