Having perhaps developed a name for itself worldwide for reasons other than just its food, it is a shame to just remember Le Petit Cambodge (Little Cambodia) in connection with the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, though it is hard to forget them when you turn up at this restaurant whose façade played across the globe.
But I had dined there a few times before that night, so I decided it was high time to pay it another visit.
Nothing seems to have changed at all at Le Petit Cambodge, aside from the high volume of Deliveroo orders going on outside the front door now that restaurant takeaways have taken a hold so vigorously in Paris.
The set up is still very casual, with a canteen style approach to dining that does mean you the run the risk of getting close and cosy with strangers, but I prefer to think of this as more convivial and relaxed. I had however forgotten the large portions and ordered a starter, imperial spring rolls (€9.50 for 6 pork and prawn, we shared them between the two of us) and two beers (€5.50 each).
The spring rolls were perfect and it was difficult not eating them straight away (and burning our mouths in the process). They had a thoroughly crunchy exterior without the insides being overcooked and a tart dipping sauce. The side “salad” seemed a bit redundant to me though, being just a bowl of lettuce leaves and raw bean sprouts and I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone really ever ate it or whether it was just there for colour.
To follow we ordered the mixed Bo Bun (€13, for prawn and beef), and caramel pork (€14.50). The thing I love about Bo Bun is that it is always so fresh and light, at least so it seems at first until you realize the size of the bowl is deceiving and actually it is huge. It had plenty of everything, the beef was especially delicious and it really was a struggle to finish. The caramel pork was met with similar sentiments. If you like sweet dishes, this one is worth a try, but of course it is the Bo Bun that Le Petit Cambodge is famous for.
Le Petit Cambodge’s success and popularity, if anything, has increased with rocketing takeaway orders and another new venue is opening up across the canal. Be aware though, this one has less seats and is more geared towards its takeaway service.
Address: 20 Rue Alibert, 75010 Paris
Metro: M11, Goncourt
Phone: 01 42 45 80 88
Open: Daily, 12:00 to 23:00