Fork It: A Bit of a Family Affair

Jody Hanson, Ph.D / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Great food and good prices make the Asian Cafe/Pub a popular eatery. (KT Photo: Billy Otter)

PHNOM PENH, (Khmer Times) – When it comes to running a restaurant, what is wrong with a bit of nepotism? Gary Loy, the owner of Asian Spice Cafe/Pub – and former chef at the InterContinental in Singapore – says he opened the restaurant to keep his family employed.
 
He has other business interests and is hands-off. The restaurant gives his wife something to do. His brother-in-law has been running the restaurant for quite a few years now. They hire siblings, nieces and nephews. Cousins might stay for a while, and then move on.
 
The restaurant also doubles as a day-care center as there are three kids running around and playing. It adds to the ambience of eating at someone’s home. 
 
Some people use Asian Cafe/Pub as a first or second office. It is centrally located, the chairs are wooden – rather than sagging rattan – and nobody minds if business wheeling and dealing is done over a cup of coffee or a fresh coconut. 
 
So why do expats, NGOs, tourists, but above all Asians – Malaysians, Singaporeans, Cambodian – NGOs and tourists keep coming back to Asian Cafe? The answer is the high quality of the food and the cheap prices.
 
Come for breakfast. French toast ($2), roti prathra ($2) or the Cambodian staple of grilled pork with rice and a few pickled vegetables ($2.70).
 
What can you have for lunch or dinner? Loc luck with egg and rice, rendang chicken with rice or fried hokkien prawn mee all at $2.70.
 
Having a full-blown Western food attack? Tuck into some fish and chips ($3.2) or go for a ham and cheese sandwich with fries ($2.7). Start with a garden salad with Thousand Island dressing and move on to down-home grilled pork chops with a baked potato ($3).
 
As for drinks, tea and coffee are 60 cents, but go up to 80 cents with sweet or fresh milk. Bubble tea costs $1 and fruit juices range from 80 cents to $1.80. The beer on offer starts at $1.00, with the most expensive being $1.80.
 
In its ninth year Asian Cafe/Pub has been around. Restaurants in the area have come and gone with great regularity. Gary commented “We keep the prices low and give people what they want – good food. The service can be a little slow at times, but our regular customers know that,  and they don’t mind.”
 
Asian Spice Cafe/Pub
#79 Street 111
Phone: 012-606-255

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