Man about town: 14 June 2014

Man about town: 14 June 2014

Phnom Penh’s hospitality tycoon Luu Meng is finally muscling in on the Siem Reap market, a fact that’s hard to miss for any local that travels down Pokambor Road. Luu has taken over a large abandoned building near the little wooden and rattan furniture shops and erected a huge hoarding advising all that Malis is coming to town. Phnom Penh’s high-profile Malis is described in most travel guides as “chic” and descriptions such as “Phnom Penh's premier gourmet Cambodian dining experience at a price” are common.

Luu as always is a busy man on the go, and he is in the midst of preparing a new restaurant in the swank Aeon shopping mall set to open shortly in Phnom Penh.

But he did take time out to inform Man About that it’s early days yet for Malis Siem Reap as it is still in the planning. He said that the restaurant probably wouldn’t be open until next year, but in the meantime a press release will be issued in the next week or two.

Magician Sean Borland sadly informs Reapers that one rabbit he couldn’t pull out of the hat was the opening a cinema showing latest release international films.

Back in January, many expats were thrilled to learn that such a long-awaited cinema was coming to town when Borland’s partner, Valerie Smith, formerly of Alabama, told Insider that the new cinema would be, “Showing new releases and the stuff that would be out in the big cinemas of the world, but also have days where it’s like 1980s films or foreign films.”

The cinema project, just off Wat Bo Road, was slated to be completed in April and was to include a 50-seat lounge style cinema, a café and a garden area.

But the April deadline was missed, no cinema appeared in May and this week Borland told reporter Miranda Glasser the bad news. He said, “Unfortunately, my business partner had to go back to Europe for family reasons and I ran out of money. So the cinema had to be shelved. It was a shame because we got so close to opening.” Bummer.

John McDermott’s book, Elegy: Reflections on Angkor, is going in to reprint following a successful Kickstarter campaign. Apparently more than 900 international backers responded to the Kickstarter appeal, pledging for such things as signed copies of the books and original prints. According to a press release, “McDermott reached his funding goal of $54,000 in just three days, and the project ended up bringing in almost 200 per cent of his goal.”

In the press release, McDermott said, “Never in my imagination did I dream this would happen. The additional funds will allow me to do a bigger print run and add some extra elements, to create a book that is really a pleasure to hold.”

The new version of the book will hit the bookstands in October or November this year.

Underway in town and finishing tomorrow is the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Regional Alumni Networking Conference – Technical and Vocational Education and Training and Green Sector.

This sees about 140 alumni from the Southeast Asian region and GIZ representatives from Germany and Asia taking part in a gabfest presided upon by Dr Say Samal, the Cambodian Minister of Environment. Welcome remarks were courtesy of Adelbert Eberhardt, GIZ Cambodia country director and Jochen Sonntag, project director from GIZ Bonn, Germany.


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