Christmas 2020, like the rest of the year, is set to be a strange one. Fortunately, despite the situation elsewhere in the world, Phnom Penh’s bars and restaurants are open for business, so there’s ample opportunity to celebrate the season. Here’s the Move to Cambodia round-up of the best 2020 Christmas dinners in Phnom Penh, from extravagant to budget. If you know of others, please leave details in the comment section.
Let’s start with some high-end indulgence — because this is definitely a year we deserve to treat ourselves! In Phnom Penh, things don’t get much more elevated in either quality or sheer distance from the ground, than the Rosewood Hotel’s elegant Brasserie Louis. The four-course Christmas Eve menu ($89 per head; $120 with free-flow wine, and $150 to include champagne in the free-flow) offers delicacies like chestnut soup, paupiette of sole, and roast beef; while the five-course Christmas Day feast ($98, $130, $160 for the same options as Christmas Day) boasts a choice of pistachio-crusted lamb rack or walnut-stuffed butterball turkey, plus starters like lobster brandade and duck consommé. The current tourist shortage means you can even bag a seat with a view for an aperitif at the hotel’s swish Sora sky bar.
Vattanac Capital Tower
66 Monivong Blvd, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855 (0)23 936 888
Raffles Le Royal
Two days of festive fine dining (with Santa himself in attendance!) start on Christmas Eve with a Parisian Dinner of shucked oysters, scallop and foie gras tartare, traditional turkey (or cod alternative) and a raspberry and chocolate log. Price is $78 per head, with free flow wine, beer, and soft drinks for an additional $30, and a children’s menu for $38 (under fives free). The same menu is available on Christmas Day, when there’s also a suitably lavish festive champagne brunch ($115 per head with a further $35 each for the bubbly) with Christmas roasts, seafood, foie gras, imported cheeses and other treats.
92 Rukhak Vithei, Daun Penh, Phnom penh
Tel: +855 (0)23 981 888
The upscale French restaurant describes its festive offering as ‘sumptuous’. And who are we to argue when Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner promises no less than eight courses of such gastronomic delights as Atlantic lobster consommé, Kampot crab cannelloni with guacamole and salmon roe, and roasted fillet of wild quail with foie gras and truffles? Fine dining in refined surroundings for $145 per person, or $210 with wine pairings.
162 Norodom Blvd, BKK1, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855 (0)15 821888
Topaz’s smart but more affordably-priced sister restaurants, Khema Pasteur and Khema La Poste will be serving a five-course Christmas Eve dinner for $58 per person ($75 gets you two hours of free flow sparkling wine as well). Seafood double consommé with crab meat, veal sweetbreads with foie gras in puff pastry and roast turkey, again with foie gras, are among the highlights.
Khema La Poste
Preah Ang Eng St. (13)
Tel: +855 (0)15 841 888
163 Street 51, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855 (0)15 823 888
Nagaworld are also having Christmas Eve and Christmas Day lunch and dinner set menus in their French fine dining restaurant, Le Gourmet. The four-course menu features “never-ending roast turkey,” and Christmas pudding. If you’ve ever felt that there wasn’t enough turkey on Christmas, this might be the meal for you. They haven’t released a full menu, but there are photos on their website. The cost is $65, per person, all in, and comes with a glass of prosecco. For those who want to enjoy a Christmas dinner at home in relative comfort and safety, Nagaworld is also offering takeaway turkey dinners with a full bird and all the trimmings for $99, as well as a takeaway dessert table for $98 that comes with mince pies, stollen, gingerbread man, chocolate Santa Claus and Christmas tree, yule log, shortbread, cinnamon cookies, mini-cheesecake and chocolate-dipped strawberries.
Street 12, Phnom Penh
+855 (0)15 402 345
Plantation hadn’t revealed the details of its five-course Christmas Eve dinner at the time of writing, but the idea of a poolside, candle-lit meal with live music at this chic hotel is enticing enough as it is. $45 per head, with a vegetarian option for $35, kid’s meal for $15 and a welcome drink on arrival. Booking recommended but walk-ins welcomed, subject to availability.
28 Street 184, Daun Penh, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855 (0)23 215 151
Kudos to this relatively new Phnom Penh eatery for not only creating a vegetarian Christmas Day menu — nut roast is a choice alongside the turkey and ham — but also serving a vegan menu of baked smoked ‘Gouda’ and nut roast wellington. And sprouts! (yes, some of us actually love them). The $35 menu ($30 for vegan) includes smoked salmon, baked brie, and eggnog cheesecake. Served 11.30 a.m. to 11p.m. with takeaway available. Booking essential.
18 Street 278, Daun Penh, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855 (0)16 249508
If a buffet meal is more your style, Palace Gate is your go to. The hotel’s Mealea restaurant will be serving a seasonal spread on Christmas Eve (6.30 to 10.30 p.m) and Christmas Day (12 noon till 3 p.m.) with roast meats and cold cuts, homemade foie gras, cheeses and sweet treats among the festive fare. There’ll be live music over dinner, and brunchers can make the most of the hotel pool. Dinner costs $65 and includes free-flow sparkling and house wine, beer and soft drinks. Brunch is $38 with sparkling wine and soft drinks. Half price dining for children up to 12, under 6 years free.
44B, Sothearos Blvd, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855 (0)23 900 011
Bored with turkey already? Over in Toul Tum Poung, bijou seafood restaurant Nesat is serving a distinctly non-traditional Christmas menu throughout December. Five courses include beetroot gravlax, parmesan-crusted salmon, and orange and chocolate mousse. Price $25 per head with two time slots, 6 p.m. and 8.30 p.m. Advance notice is required for this menu.
72 Street 446, Toul Tum Poung, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855 (0)77 683 003
For a full-on Christmas roast with all the trimmings, Box Office could be this year’s hot ticket. The craft beer emporium will be serving a three-course, Christmas Day lunch or dinner for $29 per person (children under eight free). Think roast turkey, slow-baked ham, pigs in blankets, with mince pies and Christmas cake to follow; free-flow wine, domestic beers, and soft drinks; live music and kids entertainment. Booking essential.
76 Street 244, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855 (0)12 831950
The popular sports bar is pulling out the stops again this Christmas with a traditional, festive roast at $30 per head: turkey and trimmings, prawn cocktail or smoked salmon starter and home made Christmas pud to finish, plus a glass of wine on arrival. The four sittings are on Christmas Eve at 6 p.m. and Christmas Day at 11.30 a.m., 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Kid’s meal (6 to 12 year old) costs $25, under 5s free. Booking strongly recommended.
205A Street 51, BKK1, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855 (0)23 301001
The Big Easy
This bar/restaurant/hostel is luring Christmas Day patrons with a traditional roast turkey menu and two hours of free-flow beer (and soft drinks) — which should be time enough to get everyone into the festive spirit! Price is $19, booking required with a $5 deposit.
4 Street 172, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855 (0)96 306 4317
This relaxed Italian eatery is also forgoing turkey in favor of slow-cooked black Angus beef short ribs as the main attraction on its Christmas Eve dinner menu. Salmon crepes, ravioli with Parma ham and Italian Christmas cake complete the four-course set for $45 per head (excluding service).
11b Street 29, BKK1, Phnom Penh
Tel: +855 (0)23 220 895
Just a warning that — especially with Covid-19 — the details above may change, so it’s wise to check in advance. Have a good one, folks!
*Be warned that some of the hotel prices are ++, which means they don’t include various taxes and VAT. Be prepared to pay an extra 10% above the listed price.