Phnom Penh Pub Page – August 2014

It’s been another odd month around the Pub Page – I actually got back to doing serious research – and have certainly paid the price for it with a 24 hour hangover and a torn muscle in my drinking arm.

Only hit only two new bars this month – I saw that Rovio had finally expanded its empire to incorporate hostess bars and opened a beachhead facility in Phnom Penh on 130 St – unfortunately this was a beta version that was not really ready for release based on my first visit.

Hopefully the brains at Rovigo will retool and re-release quickly as there seemed to be a few issues. The place looked good, it was well lit and the music was quite reasonable while I was there. However this expansion lacked even basic user interface or interactivity. When I walked in, the entire staff was either playing cards at the bar or watching other play and enjoying their beverages. They were actually louder than the music by a significant degree. I felt lucky that one broke away from the flock long enough to serve me a beverage but there was no reaction when I decided that listening the card game hysterics was not the best way I could spend my evening and no one even looked up when I slipped money onto my table and walked out. If Angry Birds is a ladies card club, it seems like it will be a great success. If it was meant to be a hostess bar, serious debugging is in order.

I also wandered into Happy Girls bar on 110 St. It has only been open for a month if I understood correctly (actually to be honest I was so drunk that I just could not remember what was probably very clearly explained. The bar is really basic and for some reason feels particularly long and narrow but the place still seemed spacious which I enjoyed. In sharp contrast to the other new bar I tried, the staff here was attentive – perhaps a bit too attentive as I was the only customer so the entire staff surrounded me. To be fair, they were not annoying and except for a few odd bits of conversation seemed willing to wait for me to decide on the level of interaction. Overall big points for the staff – I was too drunk to really speak and they were content to be available while allowing me to consume my beverage in relative peace. I have already recommended the place to a couple of friends who I think will enjoy it.

The rest of my month has been occupied skulking around more familiar hangouts – I realized I have not bumped Larry’s 110 St Bar & Grill lately. I mostly go for meals – one of the few times I promote food on the pub page is remind people that the food there is great – but I decided to stop in for a couple of beverages this month. Well worth it – it was not too busy but there were enough people to keep the staff occupied. It is clearly a place where regulars hang out but all are welcome. The staff is friendly and service is quick.

Speaking of good food SKIRTS!!!! – the evil publisher has noted my lack of product placement and seems to be with- holding payment until I satisfy my contractual obligations – Skirts!! Skirts!!! Skirts – by the way, if you go to Skirts early you can get the best Fish & Chips in Cambodia shipped in from The Pub next door – just a thought.

Basically the rest of my bar crawl- ing this month was filled with old regulars – spent more time on 136 St – Oasis was quite busy every time I dropped by but I was pleasantly surprised at the reasonable volume being maintained – except by the other customers – it actually seemed almost mellow last time.

I went in Xanadu – much more boisterous and unfortunately I was greeted with the site of male customers dancing on the bar – fully clothed but still not what I want to see when I walk into a bar.

Best 136 not sure it is the best but it is still a fun bar to drop by with attentive staff and good atmosphere. Candy – used to be one of my favourite bars (and really loved the lunch time pizza specials) – it was probably the first hostess bar to go 24 hours and was a great hang out after it took over the Huxley space, I thought it took a real dive and was looking forward to enjoying it back in its original location. Unfortunately, it is my least favourite of Chea’s bars and I have a much better time at 69 and Mister Butterfly.

I was supposed to be reviewing bars in Sihanoukville again this month but I was so hungover that I missed my bus and did not feel up to the trip – honest more new bars (well new to me anyway) next month – really – this time I mean it.

Unfortunately our reviewer was let out unsupervised this month resulting in some injuries. Next month he will be under adult supervision courtesy of the Hunchback! ED