When driving down Phnom Penh’s Street 99, it’s impossible for one to miss the colourful pink and red buildings standing out from the drab grey buildings surrounding them.
These two whimsical structures are home to a restaurant, a boutique and a cosmetic shop; all owned by the celebrity power couple Kong Chansreymom and Kem Seyha.
Known for their glitzy and lavish lifestyle, the successful actors-turned-entrepreneurs decided last year to launch a food and beverage business providing the taste of Vietnam in Japanese inspired kawaii (cute) surroundings.
The little restaurant is named Momo Food and Drink after the couple’s 9-month-old daughter, with the vibrant multi-coloured decor a reflection of her fun and lively personality.
The interior is a serious hit of kawaii, with a rainbow and an adorable baby poking its tongue out painted on the walls, topped off with cute cupcake seats and bright colour lamps.
Sitting on a bench shaped like melting ice cream, Chansreymom tells The Post: “The name and the styling is based on a girly childlike concept because I’ve done all of this for my daughter. This business that I’ve built with my husband will be given to her.”
For Sreymom, the atmosphere of her restaurant is a way to communicate to her fans and diners who she is. She described the concept as trendy and energetic.
But far from being just about outlandish decor, Chansreymom insists that her food is a top quality offering of homemade, delicious Vietnamese cuisine.
“At home, my mother loves to experience different food and we all love cooking. When we make something delicious, we would call up our friends to gather and eat together. Every time they joined me for a meal at my house, they would wholeheartedly suggest that I open a restaurant,” says the actress, originally from Battambang province.
But of course opening a restaurant requires more than just compliments from friends, so the couple spent several months designing a menu of mainly Vietnamese dishes.
Momo’s weird and wacky menu includes woven rice vermicelli called Banh Hoi, delicately balanced on a three-tiered high tea tray, more commonly seen at venues like the Ritz in London.
It is served with slices of pork, crispy tofu, fried fish cake, salad, cucumber, Vietnamese coriander and shrimp paste sauce.
Other Vietnamese classics on offer include Banh Hoi ($8), Bun Rieu ($3.50), Bun Bo Hue ($3.50) and fresh spring rolls ($3).
There are also a number of delectable offerings for dessert, including ice-cream on chocolate or caramel bread ($5.50) and sweet syrup tofu ($1.50).
And to quench that thirst drinks include iced milk, chocolate, green tea, taro, melon and lemon tea – all priced around $2.50.
“We have people coming in and out every day. We usually sell between 300 and 400 servings, while most of my costumers give me a good feedback about the taste of the shrimp paste sauce and fermented fish sauce,” she says.
Responding to questions she faced regarding food poisoning at her establishment back in November, Chansreymom explained that she takes the highest care with her food.
“To ensure the hygiene and convenience, all of the food is prepared by my uncle at home before being transported to the restaurant.
“We serve the same quality of food to our customers as we eat at home. We only import necessary ingredients from Vietnam to ensure the authentic taste, but the rest of meat and vegetables are local products,” she says.
Momo Food and Drink is open from 12pm to 7:30pm every day and is located on Street 99 in Phnom Penh. They can be contacted via Facebook (Momo Food & Drink Bysreymom) and telephone (081 585 855 and 077 777 881).