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Green dragons and barbequed food

Sok Samithi / Khmer Times Share:
Bar B Gon at the launch of the new restaurant in Aeon Mall. Supplied

It’s certainly not every day a big green dragon named “Bar B Gon” dances to K-pop in the middle of Aeon Mall.

But that was just one part of the grand opening of Express Food Group’s new BBQ restaurant chain, Bar B Q Plaza, at Aeon mall last weekend.

The ceremony was also attended by Ngorn Saing, the chief executive officer of RMA Cambodia, who spoke briefly about why his company bought Bar B Q Plaza to Cambodia – to give people living here more choices and affordable, but high-quality meals.

EFG has already set a goal of having 10 more locations across the country within the next five years, demonstrating a high level of confidence in their brand.

During the event, journalists and attendees of the grand opening were all given a chance to try out Bar B Q Plaza’s signature brass pan BBQ for lunch.

Filing into the brand-new booths on the second floor of Aeon mall, the air was filled with the sizzling sounds of meat and the eager din of conversation and chatter. I sat and waited eagerly for the platters of meat, seafood and vegetables served at Bar B Q Plaza, all available at an affordable price for the best quality.

The pan grill also comes with soup, poured around the exterior of the pan, as well as garlic fried rice and free refills of soda. Other dishes such as fried gyoza are on offer alongside the grilled meats and seafood.

It was definitely an enjoyable experience. The garlic rice paired well with the barbeque, and the cuts of meat available were quite tasty. The ingredients like the meat and seafood weren’t frozen when they arrived at the table, which is the case at some BBQ places in the capital.

But Bar B Q Plaza must compete with a number of other BBQ restaurant in Phnom Penh, including one on the same floor of Aeon – the two restaurants are directly opposite one another.

In the end, consumers will decide who lives and who dies in the food and beverage arena.

Express Food Groups, a subsidiary of Bangkok’s RMA Group, has added Bar B Q Plaza as the seventh member of its established franchises in Phnom Penh, a list which includes Pizza Company, Costa Coffee and Krispy Kreme.

Bar B Q Plaza already has more than 100 branches in Southeast Asia, with 113 branches in Thailand alone, 17 in Malaysia and two in Indonesia. The opening of the first branch in Phnom Penh is only the first step in Bar B Q Plaza’s plan to have 30 new branches across Asean by 2020.

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