AS a prime tourism spot, it is a standard for Siem Reap to offer unique gastronomical experience at ‘touristy prices’. So, I almost could not believe my eyes when I came across Tevy’s Place, a humble little eatery which serves quality food from as low as $1. But that is not even the main highlight — it is the sweet disposition of the owner and her all-women culinary team that deserve the spotlight. Here is Tevy’s story as told to Anith Adilah Othman
HAVE you ever met someone so warm and loving that your heart feels fully contented from just talking to them? That is the closest description I could ever give about Tevy, the wonderful owner of Tevy’s Place, a small restaurant located on Street 26 in Siem Reap.
The lady, who is in her 50’s, does not speak much English but she personally welcomes each and every customer although she would have her hands full in the kitchen, being the head chef there.
Everything about Tevy’s Place is utterly humble and honest. From the size, the decor, down to the menu, Tevy’s Place is not trying too hard at being classy and we appreciate that. Despite its quaintness, Tevy has a wide range of clientele — from local teachers to visiting businessmen, foreign tourists and even five-star hotel owners.
“I used to sell street food at the market for five years. I make simple things, local dishes. All my mother’s recipes. It wasn’t until two years ago I decided I love selling food so much that I want to open my own restaurant.
“I am proud of my small business where I provide simple but inexpensive food. I wanted to serve everyday food that everyone can enjoy. Quality is important to me. It is my joy to serve my customers,” she said, wearing an honest and bright smile.
At Tevy’s, you can get fried noodles and fried rice from as low as $1.25 and $1 respectively. If you wish to add more ingredients, add between $0.50 to $0.75. The most expensive item we could find on the local menu is beef loklak with rice at $3 a plate.
If you are not into Khmer cuisine, Tevy also offers several Western cuisine such as home-made chips, steak and fries, omelettes and pan-fried chicken – all between $1.25 to $4 each.
When asked how she is able to keep the prices so low, Tevy flashed her signature smile and said: “When you are nice and loyal to your suppliers, they trust you and will also give you the best prices. And I don’t make big profits, but it’s okay as long as everyone is happy here.”
Perhaps this is one of the factors that led the eatery to bag one of the most prestigious recognitions in the global service industry, the TripAdvisor 2019 Certificate of Excellence Awards.
Recently, Tevy also introduced a variety of salad options, thanks to more health-conscious customers. From as low as $2.50, enjoy a bowl of organic lettuce, cucumber, onion, carrot, broccoli, peppers and eggs alongside Tevy’s special dressing or mayonnaise.
She also infused some Khmer essence into one of the salad menus, by adding in beef, long bean and spicy sauce on top of the traditional salad ingredients. Spring rolls are only $1 for 4 pieces.
At Tevy’s Place, she ensures healthy-eating is super affordable, offering a wide array of fruit juices for only $1. If you want to take things up a notch, she also provides two detox options called Tevy’s Green Goddess (avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, banana, pineapple and lime) and Cecil’s Irish Green (kale, spinach, celery, pineapple, green apple, ginger and lime) for only $1.75 each.
Tevy’s Place is open every day from 9am to 9pm at Street 26, Siem Reap. You can also reach out to her on Facebook.