Keen-eyed Reapers will have recently noticed the large, ornate building on High School Road proclaiming the fluorescent words, ‘Asian Square.’ This relatively-new Khmer-owned restaurant serves cuisine from four corners of the globe, or the titular ‘square’.
The concept, as general manager Ouch Sophy explains, is, “Fusion food, Asian and western food combined. Our slogan is ‘Asian food and world food on your plate’.”
Asian Square is owned by four Khmer experienced in hotels and restaurants, and the chef, who formerly worked at Raffles in Singapore.
The manager, Ouch, also has a hotel background having worked at the Intercontinental in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap’s Le Meridien.
Ouch explains why Asian Square is thus named: “The land is square, and the square here means we have everything in four. Asian Square means Asian food (including Khmer, Chinese, Malaysian, Singapore, Vietnam, Laos, and India) plus four continents – Europe, Africa, Australia and America.”
The menu has a variety of Asian dishes as well as western fare including salade nicoise, and steak and corn chowder. In the short time it has been open, Ouch says one dish has already proved a surefire winner.
“The top selling dish, our signature dish, is grilled chicken on sugarcane stick. It’s a Khmer dish and it’s very popular.”
The eatery is set around an attractive central courtyard containing the Alfresco Square.
Meals can also be taken in The Café Square, which serves up light bites, smoothies and coffees, or The Restaurant Square.
The Lounge Square is the bar area where, Ouch says, “You can enjoy cold drinks, cocktails and have business meetings.”
Ouch says the design is the product of the owners’ collective ideas and creativity, having taken inspiration from their travels.
“They traveled to Asian countries so we see their concept, something different, and then we convert this concept to our Khmer style. For example, you see the lingas,” he says, indicating the four water features cornering the Alfresco Square.
“This refers to the Khmer ancient story. This is at Angkor Wat, also at Kbal Spean. Most of what we design here focuses on Khmer style.”
To date, the restaurant has been attracting Khmers, expats and tourists – a mixed market, Ouch says. On my morning visit it was already getting busy with what looked like a business meeting in The Lounge Square, and some young Khmers having breakfast in the restaurant area.
Asian Square is open from 6am until 11pm serving breakfast, lunch, high tea and dinner. It is also available for private parties, event catering at venues such as Preah Vihear temple, and cookery classes.