Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - MY PHNOM PENH: Armand Gerbie: Restauranteur



MY PHNOM PENH: Armand Gerbie: Restauranteur

French-Cambodian Armand Gerbie has run a successful restaurant in Australia, served as the maître d’ at Le Lido cabaret in Paris and even made a cameo in The Matrix: Reloaded.
French-Cambodian Armand Gerbie has run a successful restaurant in Australia, served as the maître d’ at Le Lido cabaret in Paris and even made a cameo in The Matrix: Reloaded.

MY PHNOM PENH: Armand Gerbie: Restauranteur

French-Cambodian Armand Gerbie has run a successful restaurant in Australia, served as the maître d’ at Le Lido cabaret in Paris and even made a cameo in The Matrix: Reloaded. He returned to his native Cambodia eight years ago to open an upscale bistro, Armand’s, on Street 108. The boisterous host sat down with Audrey Wilson this week for a personal tour of Phnom Penh’s finest dining

Armand’s

Armand’sc

The first Armand’s was in Australia, in Sydney. I came back to Phnom Penh in December 2007, after 18 years in Australia. I was born here, my father is French and my mother is Cambodian, so I decided to come back to my roots and open a restaurant. It’s quite similar to the one I had in Sydney. And it has been successful again [laughs]. My concept is very simple: steak, steak, steak. If you don’t like steak, don’t come here. But it’s quite a unique place: the French ambassador, he likes to come to my place, he says it reminds him of a little piece of Paris.

Open Wine

Open Wine

You know the restaurant Open Wine, right over here [#219 Street 19]? I love it. First of all, it’s [run by] my friend. He sort of helped me to open up Armand’s seven years ago when I moved to Phnom Penh. I buy a few products there, like meat, stuff like that. Open Wine – it’s not just wine, though. I don’t know why they call it that, it’s just a French restaurant, a French-style brasserie. It’s meat, lots of beef, basically like mine. The cassoulet is very, very good. The meat they serve is imported from Australia – so you know it’s good quality. I’ll always go to Open Wine… It’s my best friend’s place.

Chez Gaston

Chez Gaston

Gaston is a friend of mine also. His place [#76 Street 15] is small, like mine, no menu. Instead, everything is on the board. He makes a good beef filet. I like Gaston – he’s a friend – and the concept is similar to mine, but cheaper. And his place is doing really well because it’s cheaper. We opened our restaurants almost at the same time – just a few weeks apart. It was such a coincidence. And when I opened, I didn’t do any advertisement, nothing. I just opened, and it was busy the first day – all my friends were waiting for me to open the restaurant, including Gaston.

French speciality shops

French speciality shops

La Tradition [#235B Street 19] is an outlet for cold cuts – like ham, pâté, cheese. La Tradition, it’s just a butchery and charcuterie, French-style. They will do. And that’s where I buy all my stuff. I also go to La Terroir and Le Votre. La Terroir just opened, and you should have a look. They have nice ham [laughs]. Le Votre has great fresh pastries, dessert, all that. All of them – they’re my friends. I’ve worked with them for seven years. Since the first day I’ve opened, I’ve always worked with [La Tradition]. It’s a product that I trust – and it works, because my restaurant is busy, you know?

Malis

Malis

The best Cambodian food, my wife cooks for me. French food, of course, is different [laughs]. I like a good grilled fish with fish sauce and green mango. Or grilled king prawns with Koh Kong sauce. I could eat 2kg on my own. If you want to go to a nice Khmer restaurant, there aren’t many. There are a lot of places I can criticise. But there is also Malis [#36 Norodom Boulevard]. It’s a very nice restaurant, very trendy. It’s so trendy there aren’t many Cambodians around [laughs]. In Cambodia, what is most interesting is the mixture of people: in my restaurant, there are a lot of French and Australians. Sometimes you go somewhere and it’s Chinese, Japanese, Khmer. It’s so beautiful, seeing different people somewhere.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Nine US franchises eye Cambodia debut

    Nine famous US franchising companies are looking for business opportunities and expansion into Cambodia to build a footstep for a strong foundation in Southeast Asia. The US embassy in Phnom Penh, in partnership with the US Foreign Commercial Service and with support from the American

  • Lost in translation: ‘Starvation’ in capital’s designated red zones

    “DACH bay” is a Khmer slang meaning a “loss of income”, that could also be literally translated to «deprived of rice”, which alludes to starvation. However, civil society organisation (CSO) officials have independently confirmed the government’s prior assertions that there are no cases of