Stories

A Porridge Full of Curiosities

By: Mealea Mang

 

Cambodia, a country full of wonders, has amazing and astonishing foods, but some are not being spread to the whole country, like this one below.

“Pek Porridge or Borbor Pek is very well-known in the area of Psa Krom in Siem Reap.”-said Mouycheng. Photo by: Leza Sorn

“We’ve only been here for 2 months and I’m so glad that the restaurant is now very well-known,” said Mouycheng and Mouyheang, the sisters who own a Pek porridge in Psa Krom, Siem Reap. Located on the sidewalk near a road in the market, their restaurant sells many dishes eaten all over Cambodia like any other Cambodian restaurant, but with originality.

Mouycheng, the older sister. Photo by: Leza Sorn

Customers are very curious about the Pek porridge which is also known as a healthy porridge, because a variety of vegetables are included in the porridge. “This porridge is very special, because it has a lot of similarities to a well-known Cambodian soup, Pro Her, such as the vegetables in the soup, the taste and the color, which is one of the reasons why our restaurant is so famous throughout the community. Our restaurant is unique because  we are the only restaurant that sells Pek porridge in this area of the city.”

A sign along the sidewalk showing the restaurant name and menus. Photo by: Leza Sorn

Pek porridge is very convenient for vegetarians, because there isn’t any meat any all, except the snails that can also be excluded, depending on what the customers need. It is one of the reasons why the customers love the restaurant’s service so much.

Pek porridge has introduced an entirely new taste to those who consume it. Cambodians aren’t the only ones experiencing this taste, as foreigners have also experienced this taste. The people who like the taste do not come here only once; they come back time and time again.

In fact, the sisters are not the cooks, but they help out a lot in the kitchen. Lim, the younger sister’s husband, is the cook. They were all born in Battambang, a province in the western part of Cambodia. They actually had a restaurant in Battambang, but the business was not successful, hence, they decided to move to Siem Reap and sell there instead.

The restaurant buys its vegetables and meats from Psa Ler, a nearby market. She said, “We go and buy them directly because we need to make sure that they are fresh so that people won’t get sick when they eat our food.” The restaurants opens around 6 in the morning. The sisters never have their hands free when the restaurant is open. “I feel very glad to sell to these many people every single day. It just feels great that so many people know our food,” said Mouycheng, the older sister.

The sisters close their restaurant at around 6 or 7 pm, because there are still people wanting to eat and sometimes the sisters even have late dinner, because their customers come first. The sisters can make up to $150 in a day. “Since our restaurant is so well-known, there might be people far from our restaurant wanting to eat, so we will deliver to them for free, only in the city of Siem Reap, if they order up to three boxes of food from our restaurant.”

“We hope our restaurant will become even more well-known, not only in Siem Reap, but also all around the country. If our business goes well, we plan to open our second branch in Phnom Penh,” said Mouycheng and Mouyheang.

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