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Tinfi Chicken Rice co-owner Taing Bot Dy. Charlotte Pert

Clay pot special does away with lukewarm lunches

A Street 310 restaurant’s new midday meal deal offers something a little different for budget-conscious diners

At lunchtimes at Street 310’s Tinfi Chicken Rice restaurant, scores of students and workers huddle around charcoal-fired burners getting a hot food hit for a bargain price.

Co-owner Taing Bot Dy, 30, said the wood-clad restaurant introduced its $1.50 clay pot lunch special two weeks ago.

Each day, like many other Phnom Penh restaurants, the restaurant prepares six different dishes – such as sour soup, curry or meat and vegetable stir-fry.

However, instead of serving them cold or lukewarm, the customers use the charcoal burners to warm up the food at their tables.

With a free dessert thrown in, it’s proven a popular novelty.

“We’re serving about 200 to 300 per day at the restaurant, and most of them come for the cheap, hot lunch,” he said.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Tinfi Chicken Rice co-owner Taing Bot Dy. Charlotte Pert

And it’s not just the menu that’s a little different from the usual shophouse bain marie lunch joint.

“A lot of our customers really like our interior design because it looks natural and comfortable, like in a forest,” Bot Dy said.

“Since it is hot in the afternoon, we also have a water system on the roof to keep people cool while they eat.”

Bot Dy said with so many Western brands opening in Phnom Penh, local restaurateurs had to be imaginative in order to compete.

He said the bargain lunch offer was targeted at those who did not have a lot of money to spend but still wanted to try new things.

“We wanted to have something unique and healthy that normal people can afford,” he said.

“We cannot say that we are completely original, but we tried to be creative with the presentation and preparation in the hotpot style.”

Tinfi Chicken Rice is located at #75co Street 310 and is open 6am until 8pm daily. Tel: 010 600 603.

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