Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - A sushi chef with a ‘personal attachment’

A sushi chef with a ‘personal attachment’

Chef Plong puts the finishing touch on his beef with a flame torch.
Chef Plong puts the finishing touch on his beef with a flame torch. Athena Zelandonii

A sushi chef with a ‘personal attachment’

Chef Narith Plong is in constant motion. In the kitchen, he cracks open oysters, torches thin cuts of beef and slices salmon into sashimi. He also serves as waiter, delivering course after course to customers in his recently opened sushi bar, Le Broken Plate.

Plong, who is Cambodian but lived in Canada for many years, returned to the Kingdom over a year ago to settle and open a restaurant. His idea? To take his international cooking experience and combine it with a palate of local ingredients.

He also had a “personal attachment” to the food business. “My grandfather was a butcher in a village 20 kilometres from Phnom Penh, [called] Bek Chan,” Plong says. His new restaurant takes its name from the village. It’s where he spent his childhood and “got connected with using a knife”, in his words.

Plong likes his knives. They are laid out neatly before the sushi bar. “They’re treating me well,” he says. “They teach you to be responsible.”

His idea started with a sushi bar.
His idea started with a sushi bar. Athena Zelandonii

The 36-year-old chef was trained in the kitchens of Montreal’s vibrant food scene, including making sushi. But in Phnom Penh, he’s made more than a sushi bar, taking some liberties with design and a whole lot more with the cuisine.

“I have a habit of making things up,” Plong says. “It’s not a traditional Japanese restaurant. We experiment with tastes and flavours.”

While the trappings are there, the food – “internationally inspired” – tells a different story. From the wasabi-pomegranate-caper garnish on the Pacific oysters (imported from Na Trang) to the slices of grilled pineapple served alongside a dish of Canadian beef glazed with ponzu sauce, the dishes Plong brought to Post Weekend’s table broke with conventions.

“I don’t ever get satisfied,” he says.

For this reason, Plong doesn’t just offer a rotating menu, but an omakase menu, a Japanese tradition that features a multi-course meal selected personally by the chef. (Plong also recommends making a reservation.)

Like his cooking, the price of a meal varies – on the market price, he says. Items are available off the menu a la carte accordingly. However, for an omakase menu, one should expect to pay between $30 and $50. It’s all about the quality, according to Plong.

“It’s a game of trying to find the best ingredients,” he says.

Le Broken Plate is located at #108 Street 13. It is open Tuesday through Sunday from 6pm to 10pm, from October 10. Tel: 078 903 335.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all