A coffee house called Café La Fete opened in a villa near Boat Noodles, on Street 294, last month.
Owner Tomiko Kimura also owns the Origami Restaurant on Sotheros Boulevard.
“While there is breakfast on the menu, the target is the lunch and dinner crowd,” Kimura said.
“We have pizza, special burgers and my recommendation is the special pizza with the Caesar salad,” she said.
Another dish is called Mentai Ko, which is spaghetti with flying fish eggs and scallops. There’s also smoked salmon salad and feta cheese.
For coffee, the menu features cappuccino, latte and Americano, all for about $2.50. Cocktails, beer and wine are also available.
“We make all of our baked goods on the premises, croquet miseur, croissants and almond croissants,” she said.
Kimura sends some of her employees to Japan for language training.
“Many of the students stay with me for a long period of time. One young man stayed 12 years with me, and just came back from Japan. Giving them a good future is a part of my target. It is not only to learn Japanese.”
She said she made the place green in color to symbolise youth as in the green color of young bamboo.
Originally from Kyoto, Japan, she was married to a French diplomat and is now a widow. She first came to Cambodia in 1992, on vacation from Japan.
“I thought I should help the Cambodian children. I tried to visit orphanages from time to time to support the children.”
In 1995 she started the Lotus Association with donors from Japan at that time, teaching origami, music, Japanese drums and Japanese language.
“The high level intelligent ones I sent to japan for 3 months to 2 years, and I had to pay for it myself, and I have to think how am I going to make money, so I opened a Japanese restaurant.”
In 2000 she opened the Origami restaurant, which is now located on 82 Sotheros Boulevard, near the Panasastra University.
“We are specialists for sashimi, sushi and tempur. Because my school is free, I pick out students, and give them jobs here.”
Café la Fete employs 17 people.
“The owner told me this villa belonged to a French doctor. I love this property and I designed this myself. I have nostalgia for this kind of place.
Café la Fete opens at 8 am and closes at 10 pm.