Tricontinental News & Events

March 8, 2021

The “Kimsan twins”: A taste of Khmer cuisine at its finest

Passionately cooked by the famous “Kimsan twins”, Sombok restaurant in Phnom Penh is perfect not only for locals but for all nationalities who love to see creativity while tasting authentic Khmer cuisine.

The name “Sombok” is a local term that means “nest” and conveys the care and nourishment that the all-woman team in the restaurant provides to its customers.

Han Tang, general manager of the restaurant said that their two chefs, popularly known as “Kimsan twins,” named Kimsan Pol and Kimsan Sok are the pride of Sombok Restaurant. They originally came from Siem Reap and are among the best cooks in the country.

“The Kimsans have gained a reputation for delivering authentic Khmer flavours in a delightful and visually stunning presentation. They first garnered their international profile through Embassy Restaurant in Siem Reap and now they share their expertise in serving and presenting the best of Khmer cuisine here at Sombok,” Tang said.


The famous “Kimsan twins” displaying their signature dish at the Sombok restaurant in Phnom Penh. SUPPLIED


The two chefs have been to different places and showcased their culinary skills outside Cambodia in countries such as France, Malaysia and Thailand. They were also guest judges on CTN TV’s “Cambodian Best Chef Phnom Penh” contest in Cambodia.

According to Pol, she is proud to share that the ingredients they use in making the food at Sombok Restaurant are chemical-free.

“We select good products from different countries, not only here in Cambodia. Just like the beef we import from Australia and also Petrossian Caviar from France,” she said.

Meanwhile, Sok shared that even though they cook traditional Khmer cuisine, the presentation is totally different and they are giving value to creativity to make it look more modern.

“In using the local products, we combine recipes together to make Khmer taste but our presentation is way very different. It’s good for both eyes and tastes that not only local people would love but all nationalities,” she said.

The restaurant’s interior design is suited for the team as its floor shows a broken pieces of glass symbolising all the women working – breaking the traditional or common restaurant practice that chefs are mostly men.

Grilled duck breast and foie gras. Sombok Restaurant


While savouring the food, customers love the cosy feeling of the interior design and the outside view of Phnom Penh’s famous riverside which attracts tourists.

For a fine-dining lunch, a person can enjoy a set menu starting from $15.

For the starter, you can have Tonle Sap fish fillet and prahok cooked in fresh coconut milk served with mixed seasonal vegetables.


For those who have been wishing to taste Khmer cuisine, Sombok Restaurant is the perfect place to do it. The true essence of “sombok” will come into play as they will truly give the best nourishment through the foods being served. Cambodian’s famous noodle num banhchok together with other Khmer cuisines are uniquely served.

Fresh rice noodles with salmon roe. Sombok Restaurant


Colourful fresh vegetables are nicely presented and could easily capture a person’s interest to taste.

Two of the main courses for lunch that customers can choose from are Salmon with chili paste or Pork ribs and eggplant. When people hear about chili paste, it automatically registers “very spicy”, however, it is not as imagined. Though it is chili paste, the spice is only to add a “kick” to the food. It’s just moderate and palatable. The salmon is pan-seared mixed with shellfish.

The pork ribs and eggplant is made of slow cooked pork ribs in red wine and sichuan pepper, served with fried eggplant in oyster sauce.

But it does not stop there. You still have dessert!

Mango tart is one of its highlights for desserts. It is a combination of baked green mango caramelised with palm sugar, cashew nut crumbles and pine-apple ice-cream. You would surely say, “It’s all worth it!”


Showcasing the authentic Khmer flavours displayed in delightful and visually stunning presentation. SUPPLIED


Sombok Restaurant serves breakfast from 6.30am to 10am; lunch 11.30am to 2.30pm; and dinner 6pm to 10.30pm.

With the current COVID-19 situation in Cambodia, Sombok Restaurant strictly follows the health protocols set by the Ministry of Health for the welfare of both staff and the customers.



by Rhea Mae SocoKhmer Times, March 5, 2021