Backyard Cafe, located on street 246 in Phnom Penh has to be one of the best health food restaurants I have been to! Who would have thought that in amongst a nation trying to break out of the third world, that there would be a modern restaurant serving nutrient packed, fresh food at local prices.
Backyard Cafe is owned by a British health conscious foodie who clearly saw a gap in the market here in Phnom Penh, and the rest of South East Asia for that matter.
At Backyard, all food is ‘clean’, meaning that you can taste every element that is in the dish. Food at Backyard is barely processed, has no added sugar and meals are matched with complimentary food groups and have great nutritional value.
Now, I have to admit that health food is often not my thing. This is usually due to the ‘wierd’ food that has been created to supplement meat or dairy products, like mock meat or nut milks and butter. I have a huge problem stomaching food like that, however at Backyard I have found the food to be REAL, meaning that good quality wholesome ingredients have been used to make tasty filling dishes, not strange copies of unhealthy dishes. Backyard utilises the fresh produce of Phnom Penh to make dishes like the Power Bowl or the Pesto Chicken Salad.
Backyard Cafe does a mean Breaky, my favourite being the Grilled Garlic Mushrooms with superfood pesto and ricotta and grain bread. This is so wholesome, very tasty and filling! The Quinoa Porridge is also very yummy, however a tiny bit grainy.
Backyard Cafe have an elaborate beverage menu, with some of the best smoothies I have ever tried! The coffee here is awesome, better than the local ‘Browns Coffee’, I am a huge fan of the iced latte, that is served in a glass jar and has the sugar syrup, and fresh milk in separate glass jars so I am in control of what I want to add to my coffee. I wish we had this option in Sydney, as whenever I order an iced coffee it is usually extremely sweet, or has too much milk. I am also a big fan of the cold pressed juices at Backyard, my favourite being the ‘Earth Roots’ with beetroot, carrot, apple, ginger and lime which is a mere $4!
The restaurant is very clean, and modern. It has all the furnishings that you would expect of a yuppie Surry Hills style cafe, with interesting artworks on the walls and long wooden tables. Smoothies here are the best I have had in Phnom Penh, and are served in gorgeous glass jars with a bamboo straw. My favourite smoothie is the Chocolate Protein Smoothie!
However my favourite element of Backyard Cafe is their beautiful staff. They are always so welcoming, the service is brilliant, and they are more than willing to have a good chat about what we’ve been up to in Phnom Penh, occasionally offering us some recommendations of places to visit.
I only fave very few negative comments to make about Backyard, as they almost always meet our expectations! Firstly, walking up the stairs to the second level at Backyard can be a struggle if you are tall, as the roof stoops down very low and you can easily bump your head. In fact, my friend bashed her head right into the ceiling a few days ago and had to sit eating her food with an ice pack on on her head. However as long as you watch out for this, it won’t be a concern. Secondly, once at Backyard I ordered my favourite pasta-less Lasagne, and it looked beautiful and golden as it arrived at my table. However, it was lukewarm/cold inside, which disappointed me as I love my food piping hot. Thirdly, I am not a huge fan of the raw desserts, especially the Raw Chocolate and Salted Caramel Tart. The ‘Chocolate’ element doesn’t taste of chocolate, but has the flavour and texture of Allen’s ‘Chicos’. However their granola bars are awesome and would be a far more enjoyable dessert option!
However these concerns are only minor, and majority of the experiences I have at Backyard have been astounding!
11B Street 246