Sopheara Cambodian Restaurant

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5 reviews
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136 Chapel Road,
Clover Park

(09) 272 4749

The ViewAuckland Review

Review byCandice Reed20/02/2010
It is no secret Aucklanders have a love affair with Asian cuisine, a simple stroll down Queen St will tell you as much with more sushi lunch bars and noodle restaurants than you can poke a pair of chopsticks at.

So it came with little surprise when Metro magazine launched its Asian restaurant awards in 2008 to recognize the cities growing love affair with Asian food. A team of 10 judges had the yummy task of visiting nearly 200 Asian eateries across greater Auckland to decide winners in 11 categories, plus a top 50 list, and when Sopheara Cambodian Restaurant and Bar in Manukau was named best Indochinese Restaurant tongues were wagging – both in anticipation of the food and to discuss the announcement.

It has been over 12 months since Sopheara shot to fame and not a single taste sensation has been lost.

I arrived in Auckland’s newest suburban development Flat Bush on a drizzling Saturday night expecting many would have decided to spend the night inside in front of the box. It wasn’t to be, Sopheara was catering to a few families with young children, an elderly couple and a party waiting for the remainder of their guests to arrive. We quickly snapped up a table for two near the bar and pulled the high back wooden chairs in nice and close.

Sopheara isn’t big, in fact it’s a typical suburban family run Asian restaurant with the usual wall hangings and accessories, but its ordinary-ness is part of the appeal.

After some discussion on the selection of main dishes the pleasant, no fuss waitress took our order of combination fried rice ($16.50) and a mild karee moan or chicken curry ($16.50) with lovely big chunks of potatoes and carrots to share.

Sopheara has a licensed bar, but it’s also BYO wine which if you take advantage of it can make for a really cheap, really terrific meal out. Corkage comes in at a measly $2.50.

As plates were cleared and a doggy bag of leftovers came from the kitchen for one of the departing families my taste-buds started to kick in to overdrive. Fortunately it wasn’t long before our own meals arrived, along with steamed rice ($1 per person, for as much as you like). A large plate piled high with combination fried rice came first and we wasted no time taste testing. It was delicious, full of spice and flavor with no shortage of meat and basically shut us both up. The curry wasn’t far behind, and though it had a bit more kick than we thought it wasn’t the type of kick that knocks you out.

It’s easy to see why Sopheara won acclaim, and easy to see why it attracts people out on an ordinary night to a place where you otherwise probably wouldn’t go. Yes, Flat Bush is a bit out of the way for most Aucklanders, but rest assured the journey is worth it to track down this not so hidden gem … and what you save in the bill will more than cover petrol expenses.
Sopheara Cambodian Restaurant has been reviewed by 5 users

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