Katanashi – Japanese Restaurant in Phnom Penh

Katanashi is without a doubt one of the most talked about restaurants in Phnom Penh. It’s a so called Japanese tapas bar and I have heard nothing about rave reviews about this place for the past 6 months. Katanashi’s roots can be traced back to 2007 and the restaurant has previously been in both Japan and Singapore. Also, it’s from the same owners as No Style which is in the same little alley as popular craft beer bar Embargo and the speakeasy Battbong.

First I need to praise the interior of Katanashi. It’s a perfect place to come with friends, with your girlfriend or alone. It’s beautifully designed and they have paid much attention to every little detail. Most of the items on the menu are between $2 and $5, but as it’s a tapas bar most portions are bite-sized so you will need to order a few dishes at least. This adds up, but it’s by no means an expensive place.

Katanashi Chefs

I order some grilled beef which came in a small (kruka) with coals in it. The meat was a bit chewy but there were 3 “special” sauces to accompany it. It’s $2.9 for 100 grams and you can choose however much you’d like to eat. I also had an omelette, from some city in Japan, maybe, but probably not Osaka.

My third dish was the chicken Karaage which was one of the most tender chickens I’ve eaten in a long time. My favourite of all these dishes was however the Soba with tartar sauce. The fish was fresh and the tartar was absolutely delicious.

Katanashi is also famous for their games. For example when you order a drink you can choose to throw 2 dice. Depending on the outcome you will get a free beer, pay half the price for a beer or pay double the price for the beer. The good thing with this game is that if you have to pay double, the glass is also double the size. Luckily enough I got my beer for 1/2 price which means I only paid 50 cents for it.

The staff also has a small gimmick where orders are yelled in japanese and the rest of the staff will reply with “HAI”, which I think means yes in Japanese.

Overall I had a really nice experience in Katanshi. I think I prefer No Style, but both are absolutely fantastic options for a nice dinner. It’s relatively affordable, the food is of great quality and the atmosphere is really nice.

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