I DO Heart Cambodia

My Cambodian dining experiences around Philadelphia have been largely positive, save for some corn starchy frog legs. When I read about I Heart Cambodia’s opening and later, saw the menu on their Instagram account, I immediately yearned for another Khmer adventure. Luckily, a friend with a car and identical taste for Asian food was able to take me.

Prahok is a dish I fell in love with at Khmer Kitchen, but was just too funky for me when I tried it again at Angkor. At I Heart, the prahok comes two ways; our pick, Prahol Ktis, is made with coconut milk which balances out the fish sauce and chilies well. I could’t stop dipping my cucumber slices into and spooning my white rice with this caramelized pork mush, though I avoided the bitter krasang. At another table, a family was disappointed the kitchen ran out of green beans- apparently that’s the best dipping tool for your pork.

Raw beef salad ($12) is another dish I’ve dabbled in during Cambodian dining. At Angkor, I enjoyed it, while at Kavei Express (which now appears to be closed) I didn’t as much. I approved of I Heart’s thin, marinated strips- it came as a generous pile with bits of basil, a dusting of peanut,  and some clumsy pieces of raw red pepper that I picked around.

A bowl of beef stew with carrots is served with either bread or noodles here, for only $6 and $7 respectively. The meat inside the thin, tangy broth was slowly cooked and tender. The warm, french bread crunched as I ripped pieces to dip in to the red stew. It’s a small bowl of soup, but with the bread, makes a perfect sized lunch on its own.

Up at the counter, I picked up a pork bun ($2) to go and was told I could heat it up in the microwave. When I did later in the day, I found a unique and spicy mix of mushrooms, pork, hard boiled egg, and a single piece of sausage inside. On its own, it was deceptively filling, thanks to the fluffy dough.

Given that I Heart Cambodia nailed all dishes I tried, including some that other Cambodian restaurants in Philly did not, I would suggest you all give your heart away at this new “Lomo” (lower Moyamensing) restaurant.

And coming soon, beef skewers and a liquor license.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • Balanced, Cambodian food
  • Caramelized, slow cooked, and raw meat done right

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • I am intimidated by any fish sauce

I Heart Cambodia,  2207 South 7th Street, 215 755-2728



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