Despite it being midnight, a bright restaurant sign along Russian Boulevard advertising Singapore-style frog porridge is still lighting the night sky luring in late night eaters.
The Frog restaurant is open from 3pm until 3am, serving snacks, dinner and late night meals for workaholics and party goers.
In his compact, brightly-lit restaurant, Hang Rithisak says he is a life-long fan of frog meat himself.
“I personally like eating frog meat. I’ve always loved its taste since I was a little child,” he tells The Post.
Though the idea of eating frogs may sound weird to some, frog’s legs share a similar taste to chicken wings and are consumed worldwide in both Eastern and Western countries.
In Asia, countries like China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia have long history of eating frog, but frog porridge is a distinctly Singaporean creation eaten at anytime of the day.
Before opening his restaurant, Rithisak visited the home of frog porridge to find out more.
“The recipe to make this frog porridge is exclusive to my restaurant. Other restaurants just make their own up, but I went to Singapore to learn how to make it properly. I make sure that the taste is authentic and only available here,” says the 26-year-old high school dropout who has worked in the restaurant industry for two years.
Rithisak says that frog meat not only tastes good but also is a healthy and cheap alternative to other meats. He adds that all his frogs are sourced responsibly from safe sources.
“Frog meat is a healthy option because it is rich in protein, omega-3, potassium and some good vitamins. Here we source the frog meat from farms where the frogs are properly raised and where they are fed proper food,” he says.
Each frog stew at The Frog only takes 10 minutes to be freshly prepared before they are served in a clay pot. The sweet, salty and hot stew combines well with the subtle tasting rice porridge served on the side.
Costumers have four frog stew options – Singapore style, lemongrass, sautee and ginger flavour. The porridge is also served in four flavours – plain, pandan leaves, green onion and ginger.
A set for one person is 12,000 riel ($3) and for two people is 22,000 riel. Group sets are also available for three, four and five people.
“Between 6 and 7pm most of the costumers are families and groups of friends. From 11pm onwards, most of the patrons are people enjoying the nightlife,” Rithisak says.
“Eating frog porridge is also believed to help with a hangover. Some even say it helps sober people up after drinking alcohol.”
Besides frog porridge, the restaurant’s second best selling dish is fish stomach soup ($3.50), while other popular dishes include the three-flavour minced tofu ($2.50), stir fried Chinese vegetables ($2.50), braised duck feet with ginseng ($0.50 each).
Rithisak plans to open more frog restaurants elsewhere beyond Phnom Penh.
“I’m hoping to open more branches step-by-step. They will be in the provinces and other cities serving this Singapore styled porridge,” he says.
As a promotional offer, from the August 7-13 all frog porridge will be discounted 30 per cent off and braised duck feet will be discounted 50 per cent.
The Frog has two locations in Phnom Penh. The first is on Russian Federation Boulevard (Street 110) and the second on Street 144.
The restaurant can be contacted by telephone (098660066 or 099228889).