Review: The Sushi Bar, Phnom Penh

Since it opened not so long ago the Sushi Bar has taken off, experiencing a popularity not seen by any of the existing sushi joints in town–on weekends there’s a line of Cambodians and Japanese and Western expats impatiently waiting for a table. Why’s it so popular? The menu is huge and the prices are low. And possibly because their menus say ‘Sushi is not only tasty but also funny!’

Sushi Bar Phnom Penh

The Sushi Bar: Cheap, cheerful and funny(?)

The Sushi Bar on Street 302 in BKK1 is the first Phnom Penh launch of this Vietnamese chain, but it seems likely that more will be on their way. It may not have the best sushi in town (I’ll let Kanji keep that honor) but it offers the best value-for-money sushi in Phnom Penh.

The menu features a huge selection of sushi, from sashimi to hand rolls to nigiri. They’ve got a great nigiri plate that features 9 pieces of sushi for $5.80. The quality is about what you’d expect from a sushi chain back home; this is not artisanal hand-crafted food, but it’s still pretty damn good. They’ve got bigger sushi platters with 16 pieces for up to $18. I once foolishly ordered one of these thinking that because they were more than twice the price of the small plate, the pieces would be special in some way–better quality fish or more interesting selection. Not so. So stick with the small platters and ordering by the piece.

Sashimi platter at the Sushi Bar in Phnom Penh

Value for money: $5.80 sashimi plate.

A salmon maki roll goes for a mere $2.50, which means I’m shunning my previous favorite, Rahu, which has now crossed the $4 threshold for a roll. At the Sushi Bar, cucumber rolls are just $1.50. Nigiri pieces range in price from $2.00 to $4 for two pieces–and they’ve got 36 types! Some of their selections are ridiculous, such as the tomato with basil on sushi rice wrapped in cucumber–it’s the Vietnamese-Japanese sushi bar equivalent to bruschetta, I suppose. They’ve also got a wide range of “creative” rolls, from the traditional rainbow roll to some that I hesitate to try that are filled with yams and cucumbers.

But don’t be fooled, the Sushi Bar offers more than sushi. They’ve got lots of donburis, or rice bowls, bento boxes, tempura and katsu-type stuff. I haven’t tried much of this, but I’ve heard it’s not as good as the sushi. Your mileage may vary.

The restaurant itself offers “high class” chain-style ambiance and is practically upscale by Phnom Penh standards. They’ve got seating at the sushi bar, downstairs and upstairs. I prefer the upstairs seating where they’ve got booths and it’s slightly more private than the open seating on the ground floor.

The best part about the Sushi Bar? They deliver. And have online ordering. Seriously. From 10:00 to 22:00 they deliver anywhere in Phnom Penh. It’s free if you’re within 3km, $2 for 3km to 6km $3 for 6km to 10km. They’re even willing to negotiate for further than that.

The Sushi Bar
20 Street 302, Phnom Penh
T: 023 726 438; 023 726 439

6 Responses to Review: The Sushi Bar, Phnom Penh

    Lina says:

    Thanks for the tips, Ted! What did you think of Hachi? I haven’t tried Fuji yet, but I definitely will on your recommendation. I also saw a new place opened just a few doors down from Sushi Bar, it’s Japanese but I am not certain if they have sushi. I also think New Tokyo Sushi is pretty decent.

    Ted Lim says:

    I just came to know this site today. Interesting. If I remember correctly,there is promotion at sushi bar today and tomorrow . I tried the Lunch set at Origami, nice environment. Kanji, I tried it at their opening – free flow of salmon and its yummy. Their dinner set is good as well. Hachi, I tried once for the sea urchin. I tried Kowa recently however I have preference of another Jap restaurant- Fuji. I usually go to hanami or wasabi for buffet. There used to be another Japanese restaurant at kampuchea korn near central market which was my favorite but it closed down or may have shifted.

    Lina says:

    Hamachi is my favorite, too. The have yellowtail/scallion rolls at Rahu. Not amazing, but will do in a pinch.

    Daniel says:

    I guess I’ll really have to check out Kanji then. I wish they had good yellowtail/hamachi in Phnom Penh though.

    Kowa is here:
    Great service, great food, reasonable price

    Lina says:

    Thanks for the tip! I’ve never heard of Kowa, where is it? I cook a lot of Japanese food at home but for sushi have to eat out. I’ve heard the best quality fish is at the Japanese restaurant at the Sofitel, but I haven’t tried it. Origami is good as well, but I think you get more for your money at Kanji.

    Daniel says:

    I’ve just come across your blog and have enjoyed reading your reviews on restaurants.
    I also agree with many of your views such as the sushi bar being so so but good for the money, and can relate to being annoyed at having to weigh everything at veggy’s.
    Being Japanese I am always on the lookout for good sushi which is rather difficult to find in Phnom Penh. I’ll have to check out Kanji one of these days but I would recommend the sushi at origami.
    Also for a good value Japanese meal check out Kowa, that’s currently my favourite Japanese restaurant.
    Keep up the great reviews!

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