The entrance to Chow is a large glass frontage, facing out onto the riverfront, supported by what looks like the back of a Boeing 747 plane. This leads into a post-modern, chic atmosphere, with gently contoured shapes contrasting with clear, straight lines, geometric patterns and metallic sheen. So we have smoothly curving, orchid-shaped chairs, playing off against a long, sleek, distinctly Asian looking bar.
Sophy's granny taught her to cook rice at the age of nine, because, if she couldn’t cook, how on earth would she ever get a good husband. Her granny’s efforts both succeeded and failed. Thiry odd years later, she is still contentedly unmarried, having not yet snared that elusive husband her granny so coveted, but she has been the chef and proprietor of a highly successful Cambodian restaurant in Long Beach, Califronia for over ten years.
Now she has decided to chance her arm, after 15 years or so of her brother’s persistent prodding, at opening a restaurant in the motherland .
Cadillac’s comfortable chairs and laughs spill out onto the riverfront pavement to let you know this is the sort of place to go for an unpretentious, good quality meal. Inside, a mostly American and Australian crowd sit for beers, chow down on home-comfort food, or watch sports on one of the two TVs positioned above the bar. The quirky décor mixes well with the chipper music selection to create a feeling of easy-going homeliness.
Mexican fare is not normally my first food of choice, however when one of our members tipped me off that Viva had opened in Phnom Penh, my tastes buds started screaming for Quesadillas.
It was last June that I had originally tasted Viva's great food on a trip to Siem Reap and on hearing that they had opened in Phnom Penh, there was no point in fighting the urge.
In recent years, the stretch of street 278 lying between 51 and 63 has become something of an expat haven; a tightly packed corridor of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, cafés, craft shops and music stores. Not as only-child-in-a-strop, hey-look-at-me-look-at-me brash as the riverfront, it has a slightly more low key charm all of its own.
A keystone of the 278 scene is Setsara, the Thai restaurant sister to Equinox’s bolshy, rock'n'roll tavern, older brother.
Nestled between Mango and Axara on Sihanouk Boulevard, there is a discreet sign atop an asymmetric arch which gently entices people up a set of floor-lit, geometric, stone steps.
The message it denotes is very clear: herein lies modernity; herein lies chic; herein lies fine dining.
Nothing is more specific for South East Asian countries than markets. They burst with activities, colours, smells and flavours. There is stuff to love alongside stuff you wouldn’t put in your mouth even if someone paid you a fair amount of money. I made a huge mistake that I had never really properly visited the food part of Ben Thanh market here in Saigon up to today. But the mistake was corrected and I am killing two birds with one stone, since finally I have a good enough reason to finally start blogging! So dear readers, welcome to my new blog and the biggest and best market in Saigon – Ben Thanh market!
It has been less than a month since the Rahu brand was launched.
Largely by word of mouth, the popularity curve for this Japanese Restaurant has proven to be something of a sprint up Mount Fuji, a fact all the more surprising, given its inconspicuous aesthetic amongst the neon lights on Riverside.
Finally the Frozen Yoghurt hype arrived in Laos. On June 12th YoQueen opened on Dongpalan Street, very close to the RBAC College. It is owned by Lao-Australians and provides the usual, but mouthwatering range of frozen yoghurts.
I tried the green tea with mango and almond, and yes, yummy yummy, yummy. The middle size was about 19.000 KIP, not cheap, but affordable. Most customers are Lao people, by the way.
Let's see how this business is going on, if it is successful, we may see the same development as in Vietnam, where many Frozen Joghurt shops opened up in a short time.
We do not have Starbucks here in Laos, and that might be good, cause it allows the local coffee shop scene to develop. A new kind of gemstone just opened a few days ago. The Name is Ban Tonmali Cake, what translates House of the Yasmin Cake, and is a small cute fancy place to have coffee and - cakes. Owner Phanumad Disattha is a filmmaker, and decided to create a place where filmmakers and photographers can meet. The filmmaking business got a boost recently, having two filmfestivals in Laos and a growing interest in locally produced movies.