Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Healthy’ vibes: the capital’s first vegan restaurant



‘Healthy’ vibes: the capital’s first vegan restaurant

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Ritual Bowl’s tempeh is “GMO-free”. Hong Menea

‘Healthy’ vibes: the capital’s first vegan restaurant

Phnom Penh’s growing “health foods” scene has another entrant, its first entirely vegan restaurant and another wholesome outpost from Emma Fountain, the former owner of ARTillery and current head of Backyard Café. After opening in Siem Reap six months ago, Vibe brings a lush and spacious offering to healthy living in Phnom Penh.

A United Kingdom native, the 34-year-old nutritionist and raw food chef came to Cambodia in 2010 to work for Friends International before setting up her cafes. While her other restaurants have vegan options, Vibe is the first in the city to use no animal products whatsoever.

“I have noticed that not so many people here are eating healthy food, while also there is a lot of meat in their meals,” Emma says. “So I want to give the people a place where they could come for healthy dishes.”
Like the first one in the land of Angkor Wat, Vibe’s Phnom Penh branch focuses on serving what Fountain calls “clean” food.

“Clean food, which we have on our menu here, is cooked with everything grown from the ground without meat, egg, milk or cheese,” Fountain says. “We do not fry the food or use sugar. Everything is separated and you can taste every element in a natural form.”

Vibe has an agreement with local organic farms to purchase their vegetables, but they still have to import some ingredients (for example, acai) from countries like Thailand and the United States.

The most popular breakfast option on Vibe’s menu is the gluten-free Amazonian Acai Bowl ($5.5), a thick, purple smoothie made with organic acai, blueberry, avocado and banana, served in a coconut shell, and topped with heart-shaped dragon fruit, granola, goji berry, chai seed and coconut shards.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
At Vibe, there’s an earthy vibe to match the venue. Hong Menea

Its lunch counterpart is the Ritual Bowl ($7), which consists of numerous mostly raw components, such as GMO-free tempeh, spinach, organic quinoa and steamed brown rice with salad. It is topped with almonds, fermented pickled gingers and beetroot hummus. Vibe also offers healthy drinks, like the Summer Night Cooler ($3), a glass of cold tonic mixed with pressed apple and infused rosemary and ginger.

Vibe gives off an earthy vibe to match the menu, with comfortable wooden and rattan furniture and tropical plants. Its unique and lush “rooftop jungle” is a nice open-air escape for those who can survive without an air conditioner.

While the menu is clearly targeting ex-pats, Fountain is hoping for more locals to come by.

“Cambodian people may not be familiar with vegan dishes, but we want to prove to them that the dishes without animal products can also be tasty, and very nutritious too,” she says.

Vibe Café is located at #26 Street 446 in Tuol Tom Poung (near Russian Market). It is open every day from 7:30am-9pm. Tel: 061 764 937

Correction: A previous version of this article erroneously stated that Emma Fountain is the owner of ARTillery. She is the former owner. Brittany Sims is the current owner.

MOST VIEWED

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • WHO: Covid in Cambodia goes into new phase

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia said that Cambodia has reached a new phase of the pandemic with “decreasing case numbers, high vaccination coverage and a more transmissible circulating variant threatening a hidden surge”. In a press release on September 6, the WHO said that

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in