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Thai Village sets sights on capital

Thai Village, a Singaporean restaurant chain serving Chinese Thai-Teochew cuisine, is set to open its first outlet in Cambodia next year as it looks to find a niche in the capital’s increasingly crowded restaurant sector.

Pavillon Holdings Ltd, which owns the Thai Village chain, entered into a franchise agreement last December with Cambodian firm LMY Co Ltd, to operate the restaurant. The new outlet will be located in Phnom Penh on Mao Tse Toung Boulevard near the Chinese Embassy.

“The restaurant is under construction now and will open next year, but the time is not conclusive yet,” said Lee Tong Soon, managing director of Pavillon Holdings Ltd.

It is Thai Village’s second attempt to enter the Cambodian market, having terminated an earlier franchise agreement with Cam F&B Services by mutual consent in November 2013 for undisclosed reasons.

The delay may have cost the brand some momentum, allowing several new prominent Chinese and Thai restaurants to open, including Nan Xiang and Tummour.

However, Luu Meng, president of the Cambodia Chef Federation and a restaurant owner, is confident there is still space for a higher-end Sino-Thai restaurant.

“There are always people looking for good quality restaurants with good quality products,” he said. “I am sure that foreign brands will continue coming to the city.”

Cambodia is Thai Village’s fifth market after Singapore, China, Indonesia and Vietnam.

LMY, a food and beverage distributor, declined requests for an interview.

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