12 Apr 2019
There is no shortage of street food vendors scattered across Phnom Penh, but what is far rarer is finding a place that also has comfortable seating, good hygiene and parking.
This is where Jing Ling and her five friends step in.
With the concept of elevating street food with more creative recipes, comfortable seating and plentiful parking, Ling and her business partners opened eatery The Street Cambodia in the capital.
The 32-year-old Ling says they studied local street food, selecting some of its most popular dishes in order to adapt them and make them stand out from the rest. We carefully chose some of the best street food and were creative with them by adding a unique flavour to each dish."
“For instance, sweet and sour chicken feet are sold on every street corner. It is popular and you can never go wrong when you eat them with a nice beer. And here, we also have it on our menu, but we’ve added special scallions from Kampot province to give it a twist,” she tells The Post.
Cambodia is famous for its street food, with global media outlets often reporting on its more quirky and unusual offerings, such as fried insects.
But as The Street Cambodia’s slogan alludes – rich diverse street food – Ling has the goal of elevating the traditional Cambodian practice to a higher plane, where it is not known just for maggots and crickets.
“We offer creative street food, such as deep-fried shiitake mushrooms, chicken feet with scallions, along with many others,” she says.
“The signature dish here is deep-fried chicken soft bone with garlic, which I can say is probably the only one served in Phnom Penh. It is very popular and a best seller as well.”
The Street Cambodia offers 60 dishes, including grilled scallops, salmon fins, frogs, meatballs, squid, small octopus and crab in different cooking styles, with prices ranging from $1.50 to $3.
The restaurant also takes inspiration from neighbouring countries.
“The grilled pork skewers are generally regarded as a popular street food from Thailand, but we do not sell the exact same thing. Here the pork has a different taste. We give the flavour a little twist to cater to the Cambodian taste,” Ling says.
But it’s not just the street food on offer that attracts customers; the restaurant also has an extensive drinks menu of 56 items that is replete with interesting concoctions.
The star of the drinks menu is, without a doubt, the $6 blue or pink cocktail served up in a plastic jerrycan, big enough for a few friends to share.
“Customers like to order it along with our wide range of cocktails, such as mojito, margarita, blue margarita, pink margarita and pink lady,” Ling says.
Having opened more than three years ago, Ling says the restaurants now serve about a thousand people daily. With their two restaurants struggling to meet demand, she says they have plans to open further branches.