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

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • Bill covering dress code draws ire

    Ministry of Interior secretary of state Ouk Kim Lek responded on Tuesday to criticism concerning a draft law that would ban women from wearing overly revealing clothing, saying that input from all parties will be considered as the law moves through the promulgation process. Several

  • What’s the deal with Cambodia and China’s FTA?

    Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China kicks off a series of FTAs in future but for now, critics wonder what else the parties could bring to the table apart from what it already has to date By the end of this year, Cambodia

  • Cambodia, Vietnam exchange border maps amid criticism

    Cambodia and Vietnam formally exchanged border maps on Monday despite criticism from former members of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) that the Kingdom is losing land in the deal. The two countries said agreement on the border is 84 per cent complete, leaving