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

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Mr Pancake or M Crepe? Tasty by any title

    Crowds of people gather around a lone man with a mobile food cart every day at around 2pm in front of the Institut Francais du Cambodge to order what many say are the best crepes in Phnom Penh. To some – even to the man making

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Singapore backs Cambodia's efforts on Myanmar

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supports Cambodia in its efforts to seek a solution to the ongoing Myanmar crisis as the chair of ASEAN. Lee expressed his support during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on January 14, with the talks focused

  • PM sets tourism reopening as centrepiece of ATF 2022

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged ASEAN to reopen tourism and trade now that many of the bloc’s member countries have vaccinated their populations. Speaking at the 40th ASEAN Tourism Forum 2022 (ATF 2022) in Preah Sihanouk province on January 18, the premier also said ASEAN has a