Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Branded, roasted, served Hong Kong-style



Branded, roasted, served Hong Kong-style

Village Roast Duck takes its name from the Hong Kong-inspired specialty.
Village Roast Duck takes its name from the Hong Kong-inspired specialty. Athena Zelandonii

Branded, roasted, served Hong Kong-style

A Malaysian-owned, Hong Kong-style full-service restaurant has opened on the ground floor of a “boutique” office development on Street 110.

Village Roast Duck – named after the traditional dish that occupies prime real estate on its menu – offers a sleek, branded take on regional cuisine. It’s a chain in Malaysia, is on its way to Singapore and sits next door to a Brown café in its new Phnom Penh locale.

But its managers are determined to give each customer special treatment. When Post Weekend stopped by at lunchtime this week, the restaurant was packed. Behind the Chinese-style wooden doors stood a gaggle of greeters.

The menu is divided in two, between roasted meats (duck, chicken and pig) and traditional soups and hot pots. The focus, of course, is on the duck. It’s served with ginger and plum sauce, chili and herbs three ways: Peking duck, Cantonese-style duck and the Hong Kong-style “aromatic” duck (available in a single portion). All are about $14 for a half portion, and $27 for a whole bird. All meat is sourced locally, and all chefs are Malaysian-trained.

Village Roast Duck’s chefs arrive two hours early to start roasting. A Hong Kong-style duck is first filled with seasonings and then hung up inside a charcoal grill to cook at high temperature. The outer edges of the meat are burned to get a smoky smell – the “aroma”. In China, the manager says, roasting is considered to be one of the most primitive cooking methods – enhanced, of course, for fine dining.

Roasted duck.
Roasted duck. Athena Zelandonii

The “perfect” roast duck, says general manager Suon Sokha, is crispy, juicy and gleaming, without a hint of charred flavour.

At Village Roast Duck, it’s served alongside rice and soup.

Village Roast Duck’s owners, who are based in Kuala Lumpur, worked in a traditional Hong Kong restaurant in the United Kingdom for a decade before they opened their Malaysian chain. “The restaurant is actually a combination style between British and Malaysian,” Sokha explains, part of the exchange of culture – and people – that followed Hong Kong’s transfer of sovereignty in 1997.

As a result, the rest of the menu is varied. Other popular items include the deep-fried fish skin with salted egg yolk ($4.80), which uses salmon brought over from Malaysia; salt-and-pepper soft-shell crab ($5.80); and the drunken cockle ($2.80), which is cooked, soaked in alcohol and refrigerated. (“It’s like a pickle,” Sokha says. “Every table orders it.”)

For now, Sokha says, the chain is targeting families and office workers, especially those from the floors above, with its mid-range prices. Since it opened, most customers have been from Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore. And Village Roast Duck does not plan to adjust its taste for Cambodia.

“We bring original flavour,” Sokha says. “We hope to serve and satisfy people in Cambodia with our flavour and service,” he says. “We are quite famous in Malaysia.”

Village Roast Duck is located in the ground floor of the Raintree development, #299 Street Preah Ang Duong (110). It is open every day from 7am to 9pm. Tel: 077 565 568 / 015 565 568.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Angkor photo rules clarified

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) denied that it had banned the use of camera tripods in the Angkor Archaeological Park, explaining that the confusion stemmed from a long-standing rule which required commercial photographers and videographers to apply for permission to film. The explanation followed a

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At