Happy 2015! It has been an age since I last posted – after Christmas I was off to Kep and Kampot, Phuket and Koh Phi Phi for New Year’s Eve then back to the UK (after I stopped off at Hong Kong). Blogging had to take a backseat while I got back into the swing of things, but I’m excited to be back in the swing of things.
I’ve definitely had the post-holiday blues since I’ve been back in the UK, and looking back on the photos I took at The Common Tiger hasn’t made it any easier.
My visit to the capital was fleeting, but I managed to get to The Common Tiger twice during my visit – the first time for lunch, the second time to sample the tasting menu I’d been hearing so much about. Each visit was an absolute delight – each dish, course or cocktail so carefully considered, each plate was a work of art. It didn’t just look pretty either – the expert use of combining locally sourced ingredients and flavours to create something new, described as ‘progressively Asian‘ – ensures that they’ve really got fusion cuisine spot on at The Common Tiger.
The decor is minimal and effortlessly cool, a lovely space and atmosphere that doesn’t distract from the main attraction – the menu.
My first visit to The Common Tiger was for lunch. We booked ahead, although we didn’t need to (lunchtime on a Tuesday – does anyone anywhere need to book a table for that time?). I had a gin cocktail with some kind of beetroot in it, if I recall correctly – followed by a duck curry, which looked too beautiful that I almost didn’t want to eat it. But of course I did, and it was exquisite – the duck was perfectly balanced – just the right amount of juicy flesh, the skin perfectly crisp.
I was thoroughly impressed – even the latte was picture perfect.
We booked ahead for the tasting menu (a requirement, if I remember correctly). I’d heard so much about it from several different sources in Phnom Penh that I was steeling myself for disappointment as I was sure they wouldn’t be able to deviate from the menu, or make any gluten free substitutions. Luckily for me, the staff at The Common Tiger were extremely accommodating, and I was able to enjoy an almost identical menu to my dinner companions, just without the bread (brown bread – a sought after commodity in Phnom Penh, it seems) as well as the crispy skin on the pan-fried fish and some kind of cashew biscuit that came with dessert.
The seasons and the market dictate the menu at The Common Tiger, which means it isn’t set or available online – and as so much time has passed I really won’t be able to do some of these courses justice. I’ll try to describe each as best as I can recall, but each dish has so many ingredients, infusions and intricate details that you’ll just have to take my word that it was one of the best tasting menus I’ve ever had.
The first course was a tuna sashimi dish served with banana heart, served with a light shaving of truffle. This was followed by a crab dish, then a course of fish with pak choi served with perfectly cooked quail eggs – perfectly soft-boiled.
The fourth course was duck breast again, though this was lighter than the lunch: served with a few greens.
The final course, which looks like a miniature city of Oz, was a magical combination of pomelo, jackfruit, white chocolate, ricotta mousse and mint. I’m not the biggest fan of desserts usually, but this, as well as the whole tasting menu, was nothing short of spectacular.
No. 20, Street 294, Phnom Penh, Cambodia 12000 | +855 23 212917 / +855 92 963 920
Mon-Sat 12:00 – 22:00