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Fah Thai Magazine Sep-Oct 2018

HAPPENINGS CAMBODIA

HAPPENINGS CAMBODIA PHNOM PENH / SIEM REAP SPOTLIGHT A Taste Of Russia Strong ties between the Soviet Union and Cambodia date back to the mid-50s. That’s why a restaurant like Irina, which serves authentic Russian cuisine, doesn’t seem out of place in Phnom Penh. In a way you could say that the establishment is helping to further strengthen relations between the two nations by providing locals as well as visitors an authentic taste of Russia. Opened since 2000, the family-run restaurant is not short on traditional Russian fare and classic dishes, as well as specialities from neighbouring Ukraine, Georgia and Uzbekistan. KHMER ART Artist Em Riem has been championing Cambodian art across the globe but it is here in Phnom Penh where he has honed his abilities in order to develop the art form. With XEM Design: La Galerie, which he opened in 2008, the local artist showcases his best works drawn from his experience as a child growing up under the Khmer Rouge. Stepping into his gallery, you will immediately notice the large-scale portraits of Khmer Rouge victims, alongside unique installations, abstract works, sculpture, and ceramics. A former student of Parisian institutions Saint-Etienne Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs, Em Riem’s art is often described as sophisticated and diverse, but it also serves to educate and inspire a new wave of Cambodian artists. XEM Design: La Galerie, 13D Street 178, Phnom Penh, view by appointment, facebook.com/galeriexem.la FRENCH CAMBODIAN FUSION When Chef Joannès Rivière came to Cambodia in 2003 to work as a volunteer cooking teacher, he would not have imagined that 15 years later, he would be the owner of one of the 50 best restaurants in Asia. But that’s exactly what the Frenchman has accomplished as he has built on the reputation of Cuisine Wat Damnak as one of the finest restaurants in Siem Reap. Housed in a traditional Cambodian wooden house in the heart of Siem Reap’s Wat Damnak village, the restaurant’s approach to its eclectic menu is to bring together Cambodian flavours with French culinary techniques and flair. The restaurant only serves ingredients sourced from local farms around Siem Reap in order to maintain freshness and to help sustain local agriculture. Cuisine Wat Damnak changes its menu regularly to reflect the seasons, ensuring a changing, creative experience for diners at all times. Cuisine Wat Damnak, Wat Damnak village, Sala Kamreuk Commune, Siem Reap, opens Tue-Sat, 6.30pm-9.30pm, cuisinewatdamnak.com The menu include staples such as blini with mushrooms, chicken kiev and feta meatballs, but also unique offerings such as golubtsy (pork stuffed in cabbage), selyodka (Russian salt-cured mackerel) and a variety of dumpling dishes like pelmeni and vareniki. As you might expect, Irina carries an extensive vodka selection to go with your hearty Russian meal. 22 Street 29, Phnom Penh, opens daily, 9am-11pm, facebook.com/russianrestpp CINEMATIC JOURNEYS Founded by film directors Rithy Pan and Leu Pannaker, the Bophana Center seeks to inspire, train, and educate Cambodians about the movie industry. Located in Phnom Penh, the centre showcases archival audio-visual footage about Cambodia from across the world. The Bophana Center not only provides free public access to film footage but also the historical significance behind this creative industry. Additionally, the centre doubles as a learning centre by educating and training young Cambodians for careers in filmmaking, broadcasting and new media. bophana.org 132