Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Seasoned restauranteurs open a tasty two-for-one enterprise

Seasoned restauranteurs open a tasty two-for-one enterprise

The dual-concept space has a Spanish tapas bar upstairs called Tipico (pictured) with an Asian-themed burger joint called Roots and Burgers below. Scott Rotzoll
The dual-concept space has a Spanish tapas bar upstairs called Tipico (pictured) with an Asian-themed burger joint called Roots and Burgers below. Scott Rotzoll

Seasoned restauranteurs open a tasty two-for-one enterprise

The most recent addition to the Russian Market (Tuol Tom Poung) neighbourhood’s fast-growing food scene is a two-for-one.The dual-concept space has a Spanish tapas bar upstairs called Tipico with an Asian-themed burger joint called Roots and Burgers below.

Both spots are set to stay open until 11pm – a novelty in an area that on most nights dozes off quite early. Tipico opened last week to a large crowd, while Roots and Burgers will start serving customers in the coming days.

The project has been carefully planned by Tania Unsworth and Marco Julià Eggert, a European couple who have come up with a running list of restaurant ideas while living in Phnom Penh for the past three years.

“Instead of making one big restaurant, we did them both,” Marco explained with a laugh this week. “I guess it’s a way to diversify the risk more.” Both have deep roots in the restaurant industry.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Croquetas and patatas bravas for a more upscale bar food option at Tipico. Audrey wilson

For Marco, who is also the managing director at the FCC, they go back a couple of generations to his Spanish grandfather.

Tipico takes as its inspiration Marco’s native Barcelona. Spanish-inspired but locally sourced tiles line the floor and a long wooden bar stocked with ingredients for fresh, handmade cocktails anchors the space.

Most of the tables are set up in a converted balcony beneath a long bank of windows with a panoramic view of the surrounding neighbourhood.

Sitting in the sunlight, tapas classics such as the ham croquettes ($4.75), patatas bravas (fried potatoes) ($4.50) and gambas al ojillo (prawns with garlic) ($6.95) went down well with a fresh fruit smoothie ($3.25). While there is a wide selection of nibbles in the menu, the breadth of drinks is almost as varied.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The gambas al ojillo, prawns with garlic, were a real winner at Tipico. scott rotzoll

In fact, the first page is devoted entirely to the gin and tonic (starting at $4.50), Spain’s appropriated national cocktail. (“I have to say we have the best gin and tonics in Spain,” Marco says.) Nine types of gin are paired with different garnishes. Also on offer are a handful of other cocktails available by the glass or by the jug, as well as an extensive list of Spanish and Chilean wines.

Behind a door next to the bar, a dumbwaiter connects Tipico to the space below. The kitchen is located on the ground floor with Roots and Burgers, and the two restaurants will share a chef – also a Spanish native.

Roots and Burgers will open earlier in the day and serve burgers and vegetables with Asian flavours – an alternative to the Western-style burgers and fries served elsewhere in the city – as well as a selection of steamed bao buns, Chinese-style pork rolls with growing global popularity.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The most recent addition to Russian Market’s food scene is on Street 454. Scott Rotzoll

Marco says they drew on ideas from cities around the region and, strangely enough, London – “where there is currently a bao bun craze”.

The downstairs restaurant will also feature a selection of teas and coffees, as with the tapas bar, and take on more of a cafe vibe. Tania and Marco envision a migration up the stairs as the evening wears on.

While the addition of the two restaurants is set to substantially increase the diversity of food on offer around Russian Market, according to Rene Fritschi, a friend and consultant on the business, the new space’s greatest selling point is the European operating hours.

“I know it’s good for the whole area, because in the evening there’s not much open after 9pm,” he said. Tipico Tapas (open 11am to 11pm) is located at #80 Street 454, on the first floor. Roots and Burgers (open 7am to 11pm) will launch downstairs early this week. Tel: 023 986 453.

MOST VIEWED

  • Reports: Rainsy barred from Jakarta flight

    Sam Rainsy was on Wednesday refused entry to a flight from Malaysia to Indonesia, media reported late on Wednesday. The “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party’s announced return to the Kingdom on Independence Day on Saturday failed to occur. Rainsy

  • Government studying EU’s preliminary report on EBA

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Wednesday said the government was studying the EU Commission’s preliminary report on the human rights situation in the Kingdom that could lead to a suspension of access to its “Everything But Arms” (EBA) agreement. The

  • Gov’t: Rainsy’s ‘coup plot’ a failure

    The government on Wednesday commended the Kingdom’s security forces for thwarting the attempted “coup plot” by former opposition leader Sam Rainsy through his announced return to Cambodia on November 9. The comments came as Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue

  • Rainsy blocked from boarding flight to Jakarta

    Sam Rainsy was on Wednesday refused entry to a flight from Malaysia to Indonesia, media reported late on Wednesday. The "acting president" of the Cambodia National Rescue Party's announced return to the Kingdom on Independence Day on Saturday failed to occur. Rainsy arrived in Kuala

  • Tour guides question animal release ban in Angkor moat

    The Khmer Angkor Tour Guide Association (Katga) called on the Apsara National Authority to reconsider its decision banning all animals from being released into the moat surrounding the Angkor Wat temple after the authority prohibited the action for the sake of visitors’ safety. An Apsara

  • Kingdom to import 200MW from Lao hydropower plant

    Cambodia plans to import 200MW of electricity from Laos’ Don Sahong hydropower plant early next year to curb power shortages this coming dry season, with the transmission line network scheduled for completion later this year, Ministry of Mines and Energy spokesman Victor Jona said. Jona,