Man about town: 17 October 2014

Man about town: 17 October 2014

Willemijn Vermaat, the 40 year-old from New Zealand who sat on and broke a Buddhist statue at Bayon because voices from an alleged entity name Inana told her to do so as the temple was supposedly dedicated to another deity, told she was not fazed by people who thought she might be crazy. Perhaps the words “might be” are redundant in this case.

Meanwhile, NGOs at times descend into stupid and meaningless jargon and a prize example was uttered earlier this month by Habitat for Humanity Cambodia in a press release announcing that it had joined Global Observance of World Habitat Day .

The NGO said it was launching a “door display activation” but declined to say exactly what this was. It did say however that, “The doors will be strategically placed for one week in various key locations around Phnom Penh City to create conversations, generate interest and encourage photo sharing across social universe.”

And late last month Unicef Cambodia posted this intriguing headline: “My favourite part of the training? The poo calculation tool!”

The subsequent article says, “The so called ‘poo calculation tool’ enables trainees to reconsider their open defecation practice by visualising and measuring how much poo they and their entire village produce every year. This is a powerful training tool used to raise awareness and inspire change from within the community.”

Hospitality training school Sala Baï re-opened its training restaurant for lunch on Monday, with a fresh set menu to start off the year for the last intake of 100 young students at the school’s present site on Taphul Road.

Diners can choose between two courses for $10, or three for $12 from short Asian and Western set menus that change every two to three weeks.

The term starts with a western menu that features marinated mackerel with mixed green leaves and a virgin mango dressing, and a chicken roulade stuffed with bacon, spinach, sundried tomatoes and Emmental cheese, served with a pesto mashed potatoes and French green beans.

On the Asian set menu, diners can choose between a fresh pomelo and shrimp salad with coconut flakes and a special Khmer dressing, or pork and lemongrass skewers with Kampot pepper sauce and jasmine rice.

Mayelle Barbier, communications manager for Sala Baï, told reporter Nicky Sullivan that an à la carte menu will be introduced in a few weeks. “The students have to practice everything step by step,” she noted.

There has been a spate of restaurant openings in town in the last few weeks and among the newcomers is the Embassy restaurant which opens this month in the Kings Road development.

This restaurant is headed by local chef legends Pol and Sok, also known as the Kimsan Twins. Although not actually twins they share the same first name and both have a passion for cooking that’s been acclaimed in town.

At Embassy, they’ll be producing a five-star seasonal “Khmer gastronomy menu” at the small (should we say ‘boutique?’) restaurant that is staffed entirely with “specially selected” female employees.

The restaurant will also feature “experiences” which are available only by appointment and involve a “unique menu of skillfully prepared masterpieces” served as part of an eight or ten course banquet.

HOT DESTINATION: Tripadvisor’s Top 25 world destinations lists Siem Reap as number nine, after Hanoi at number eight and beating Shanghai at number ten. Siem Reap is also ranked third on Tripadvisor’s Top 25 Asia destinations.

HOT SPA: The stylish Le Meridien Angkor has done it again: won the title of World Travel Award - Cambodia Leading Spa Resort 2014. Le Meridien first won this accolade in 2011 and the latest win means the hotel has notched up its fourth consecutive year of taking out this award.


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