Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - A Cambodian take on classic British meats



A Cambodian take on classic British meats

Chris Brown (left) and his wife Ahya Chan (right) at The Meat Shop.
Chris Brown (left) and his wife Ahya Chan (right) at The Meat Shop. Hong Menea

A Cambodian take on classic British meats

While petite Phnom Penh native Ahya Chan may not look like your average British butcher, she has done her homework. Since marrying her husband, Chris Brown, 14 years ago, she has been working on perfecting her repertoire of English dishes, which she cooks at home for her Bristol-born husband and two children.

“Ahya likes discovering new recipes on YouTube, especially British recipes and trying them out,” Brown says. This experimentation even extended to early forays into sausage making in which she cut off the bottom end of a plastic bottle and used it as a funnel to stuff ground meat into casings. Having purchased a meat grinder for the shop, she no longer has to resort to such do-it-yourself measures.

“My husband loves English food, and every time I cooked for him he said ‘wow, this is good’,” she says.

With years of experience, she decided to put her skills towards a business. While there are German and French butchers in town, there is no butcher shop dedicated to meats in the English style. Chan is filling that void out of a small shop in Russian Market. In a tiny back kitchen and upstairs, she dry cured bacon and grinds meat and herbs for her sausage recipes, which include traditional options and more experimental recipes, like the Garlic Black Pepper Sausage ($10 for a kilogram), which packs a spicy punch.

Chan’s meats, which include steaks and bacon, in the display case.
Chan’s meats, which include steaks and bacon, in the display case. Hong Menea

The shop also has a basic menu of “fast food” pub items, like a tasty Minced Beef Pie ($3.75) and even a Scotch Egg ($1), the classic snack that involves wrapping a hardboiled egg in meat before deep-frying. The cooked items, though, are there to showcase the raw meats on offer, says Brown.

All of Chan’s meats are dry cured, not smoked, and the sausages are wrapped in intestine rather than in artificial casings, in true British style. “You go to the French butchers – it’s pates, types of ham, much more coarse meat,” Brown says, adding that a German butcher like Dan’s Meats would also have its own traditional style of grinding and processing meats. The Meat Shop, however, is banking on mostly British and Australian expats missing the taste of home – and three months in it seems to be working.

Down the line, Chan would like to expand to grocery stores and to begin selling to restaurants around the city. At the moment, though, she says she is too busy to expand. “I just opened and I didn’t expect a lot of customers to come,” she said, but come they did. “In the future I want to go out [to sell] to hotels and restaurants,” she said. “For now customers know they can come and get my meat and they take it home to cook.”

The Meat Shop is located at #4 Street 450 in Toul Tompoung. It is open every day from 8am-6pm. Tel: 092250249.

MOST VIEWED

  • First Cambodian woman graduates from Japan’s NDA military academy

    A few years ago, Meach Sithyka Jessica became the first-ever Cambodian woman to graduate from the US Military Academy at West Point, and since then her courage and determination has served as an inspiration for other Cambodian women. Similarly, Ly Chansocheata became the first Cambodian

  • Construction begins on $1.5B Kampot seaport

    The International Multi-Purpose Logistics and Port Centre, principally invested by Kampot Logistics and Port Co Ltd and projected to cost $1.5 billion, has officially broken ground in Bokor town, Kampot province. The multi-purpose logistics and port centre, located in Prek Tnaot commune, will be built on

  • Cambodia eyes key role in electronics, auto hubs in SEA

    Two roadmaps, part of the LDC’s economic diversification plan, were designed to see it through its migration process, but experts say the journey might be arduous, particularly in the presence of two established hubs in the region By 2028, Cambodia hopes to have exited the

  • Hun Neng, lawmaker and PM’s brother, passes away aged 72

    Hun Neng, chairman of the 4th Commission of the National Assembly, has passed away from heart disease at the age of 72 on the afternoon of May 5, according to the Ministry of Information. Hun Neng is the older brother of Prime Minister Hun Sen, and was

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM meets with US business giants

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has met with a number of major US companies who have expressed interest in investing in Cambodia, in a meeting convened by the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC). A delegation of companies – including Amazon, Meta, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Ford, Visa and Pernod