Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Yi Sang – a story of successful branding

Yi Sang – a story of successful branding

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Chef Zhang Jing Ling says the flavours of Khmer cuisine comes from herbs sourced locally.

Yi Sang – a story of successful branding

YI Sang is a food and beverage (F&B) brand which blossomed out of Luu Meng’s passion for Chinese cuisine. He started the brand to introduce Chinese cuisine to the Cambodian market.

Since its establishment 11 years ago, Yi Sang has grown into a well-known F&B brand that’s well received by locals in Phnom Penh. However, this was not the case when the brand took its first baby steps.

Luu Meng, who is Almond Group CEO, said: “This was because in Khmer language, there is no pronunciation for Yi Sang, making it a big challenge in terms of brand building and marketing.

“My team and I had to think of ways to explain the meaning of Yi Sang, which is a composite of the Cantonese words for ‘fish’ and ‘life’.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Painstaking efforts to create special dishes at Yi Sang restaurants.

And when the restaurant was promoting dim sum, we had to carry out a promotion campaign to create the awareness of the Cantonese culture of eating dim sum and drinking tea.

Yi Sang restaurant’s Chinese chef Zhang Jing Ling told The Post that Cantonese dishes did not suit the palate of Cambodians.

“The flavours of local cuisine comes from the herbs and local ingredients. That is why I am always experimenting and trying to infuse some local taste into our dishes.

Among the popular dishes by Yi Sang are organic Kulen black pig and seasonal favourites like bong kong and giant prawns from the Mekong river.

Luu Meng said that Almond group sources food ingredients from the farm to the table.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Luu Meng (centre) is the brains behind Almond Group.

The purpose is to get the freshest ingredients which are farmed without pesticides or chemicals. “We try our best to ensure only the freshest possible ingredients are used, some of which are organic.

“We buy the ingredients directly from farmers to support them. There are many communities in different locations that can produce good quality food ingredients, such as pork (Kandaw Kulen pigs), vegetables and fruits.

Luu Meng said recently, Almond Group started purchasing the Kulen pigs, which is a key resource for the indigenous communities living in Svay Leu District, at twice the market price to support them. Other than that, the group is buying chives and bananas from Anloung Chen Island in Kandal province.

“By getting ingredients directly from the farm to the table, we skip the wholesaler in the supply chain so the ingredients are delivered faster to us. As an example, chives from Anloung Chen Island are sold to the wholesaler and then in the market.

“After we started sourcing it directly from the farmers, only fresh chives are delivered to us and it is easier to maintain quality control,” he said.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Yi Sang is a composite of the Cantonese words for ‘fish‘ and ‘life‘.


  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from