Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Japanese tweaked for local palettes arrives for early residents of Koh Pich

Japanese tweaked for local palettes arrives for early residents of Koh Pich

Flavours intermingle in Lin restaurant’s hot pot-style soups.
Flavours intermingle in Lin restaurant’s hot pot-style soups. Athena Zelandonii

Japanese tweaked for local palettes arrives for early residents of Koh Pich

As Diamond Island (or Koh Pich), the once-desolate construction site across the Tonle Bassac, slowly takes shape, a growing number of shopping outlets and restaurants are popping up alongside the Beaux-Arts-style apartment complexes, wedding reception centres and European monument knockoffs.

One of the latest is the Lin restaurant and café, the first Cambodian outlet of a chain that already has about 70 restaurants in Japan. And much like the architectural style of the new island suburb, Lin imports foreign dishes and adapts them to cater to Cambodian palettes.

Japanese-style hamburger patties.
Japanese-style hamburger patties. Athena Zelandonii

Manager Sarun Sreyleak explained that Cambodians preferred their food with more powerful sweet, salty and sour flavours.

“We are here to present native Japanese food that is different from other Japanese restaurants in the Kingdom,” she said. “Our dishes are native to Japan but we are trying to adapt the flavours for local people.”

Rather than sushi or barbecue, the speciality at Lin is soup. There’s the hot pot – where seafood, chicken, salmon, tofu and vegetables are cooked at the table ($5 to $7) – along with the similar Japanese-style suki yaki soup ($6 to $8), which has sake added to the stock.

Catering to those not in the mood for only soup are hamburger patties with rice and pork soup ($5), barbecue beef and vegetables ($5), nanban (fried chicken with soy vinegar dressing $3) and teriyaki chicken ($3).

The spartan interior of the Lin restaurant, managed by Sarun Sreyleak, contrasts with the area’s architecture.
The spartan interior of the Lin restaurant, managed by Sarun Sreyleak, contrasts with the area’s architecture. Athena Zelandonii

“Most people like our chicken meat with sour ginger sauce,” said Sreyleak. “But the best dishes that we serve are the special Japanese soups on the charcoal cooker with Japanese rice.”

For dessert, Sreyleak recommends the waffle parfait, which has cake with ice cream and mixed fruits such as apple, melon, banana, grape and strawberry and costs $3.

Lin has been open since March, but there will be grand opening this Saturday with a magic show and fashion show from 6:30pm.

Lin café and restaurant is located at #A03/04 La Seine, Koh Pich. It is open from 8am to 10pm. Tel: 012 413 401.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Life goes on’ if Cambodia loses Everything But Arms

    Cambodia's business sector is exploring ways to mitigate any fallout from a possible loss of access to the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement as talks continue before the 28-member bloc makes a final decision. The EU monitoring process is set to conclude in

  • PM: Workers must train for Industry 4.0

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has urged the Kingdom’s workforce to seek more technical training and strengthen their skills if they are to avoid job losses resulting from the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Hun Sen said the fourth industrial revolution is like a double-edged sword that

  • Huawei applies for OS trademark in Cambodia

    China's Huawei Technologies Co has applied to trademark the “Hongmeng” operating system (OS) in a number of countries including Cambodia in a bid to launch its homegrown operating system as a replacement for the Android OS, Reuters has reported. Huawei has applied to trademark the “

  • Kingdom’s dengue cases triple this year

    Within a span of 20 weeks this year, the death toll from dengue fever has risen to 21, while the number of those who have fallen ill due to the disease has reached over 12,000. A specialised official said the figure has risen about three times as much