Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - A new twist on going fusion

A new twist on going fusion

A new twist on going fusion


Executive Chef An Woong Gyun’s Fusion Sushi combines Japanese style

with Korean flavours, producing unique but simple fare at a reasonable


Photo by:

Heng Chivoan

Executive Chef Ahn Woong Gyun prepares one of his signature dishes at Fusion Sushi in Phnom Penh on Monday.

A tasty teriyaki sauce




-Soy sauce



Ingredients vary according to the amount of sauce you wish to make. Begin with water. Soy sauce and sugar will be half the amount of water, and the

rest of the ingredients are to taste. Boil all ingredients and reduce by 1/3. Strain and

reduce by 1/3 or until thickened. When using sauce to cook meat: Cook

under low heat broiler in oven. Spread sauce on meat every 5 to 10

minutes until done.

Fusion restaurants are not new, but Fusion Sushi puts a whole new spin on the idea. Originally coined in the 1960s as a blending of French and Chinese food, fusion restaurants became popular in the West in the 1970s. Eventually, the concept spread to include all kinds of food combinations and is now popular around the world.

"[Fusion Sushi is] the first fusion Japanese [and Korean] restaurant," said Executive Chef Ahn Woong Gyun. "Actually, before [there were] a lot of Japanese restaurant[s] here, but for Korean and Japanese mix it's the first time. "

By blending elements of Korean sauces with traditional Japanese styles of cooking, Chef Ahn has developed an entirely fresh form of fusion food that's uniquely delicious yet simple. Take, for example, the grilled sanma (US$6). This dense, smokey-flavored fish is prepared in a savory marinade, grilled to perfection and served with the head and tail intact.

Chef Ahn began cooking in the mid-'90s in Seoul, at a Japanese restaurant where he trained with a master chef. "When he was young he loved Japanese food," said Oh Jae Hoon, An's friend and translator for the interview. This was when An was 15 or 16 years old. When asked what some of the challenges are to cooking in Cambodia, he said, "It's very difficult to find some things like Korean sauce". Many of the ingredients are imported from Korea, but in order to keep costs down, he has learned to improvise.

Discrete but tasty menu

The menu is divided into sections of sashimi, soups and salads, entrees and sides. Sashimi specials run between $19 and $50 for combination sets. Sushi rolls run between $10 and $16, while entrees go for $6 to $15. Overall the food is exceptional, and although the menu is by no means extensive, there is a great variety in what you can order.

The pollack hot soup ($7) is a fish-based soup with an earthy flavor, well-balanced with sweet turnips, mushrooms and a firm white fish. It is spicy and almost reminiscent of a Manhattan clam chowder. The sushi rolls are extravagantly large and loaded with savory slices of fish. My personal favorite on the menu is the salmon sashimi bibimbab ($8). It is served in a large stone bowl and comprises a mixture of shredded cabbage topped with diced salmon sashimi and fish roe - this dish is to die for. It's served with a spicy red sauce similar to French dressing, but I prefer a light soy sauce mixed with wasabi. All dishes are served with a variety of kim chi, rice and miso soup.

The ambiance at Fusion Sushi is a bit cool, with dark concrete overtones softened by natural Earth elements. Tables outline the perimeter walls, providing window seating, and large and small private rooms are also available. The walkway between the larger rooms is a Plexiglas floor, beneath which lie stones, branches and sand illuminated by recessed lighting.

Fusion Sushi is open from 11:30am to 10:00pm seven days a week and is located on France Avenue and Street 84 in the Cara Hotel. For more information, call 023 986 114.


  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,