Known for its exceptional Cambodian food and professional service, Malis Phnom Penh is one of the city\’s busiest restaurants. Meet Ms Loumpheany Preap, the restaurant\’s accomplished General Manager, who keeps things ticking in front and back of house to ensure tourists and locals enjoy Cambodian cuisine of the highest standard.
What is your connection to Cambodia?
My parents are Cambodian, however I was born in France. Ever since I was young I wanted to visit my parent’s homeland and meet my family. I first came to Cambodia in 2004 and it took a while to get over the immediate culture shock. But once I explored the city, I could see that it was a place of hope and opportunity.
Why did you choose a career in hospitality?
I have always had a passion for working with people and sharing experiences. I completed a Bachelor of Hospitality with a Masters in Tourism in the south of France so that I could pursue this dream. My first role was at the Westminster Hotel in Paris which inspired me further. From here I went on to become Events Manager at the Mandarin Oriental in Geneva, Switzerland.
How did you end up working in Cambodia?
I’ve always been curious as to what it would be like to work in Cambodia and last year I decided that the timing was right with all the development going on and new things happening. I could see that people were changing and the city evolving to become more modern.
What do you love about working at Malis?
I love how Chef Luu Meng and Luu Hong have taken traditional recipes and adapted them so that they appeal to today’s palate. I didn’t realise the time and energy that went into the recipes and that some were so complicated. My experience with local cuisine beforehand had been quick stir fries at home or eating on the street.
I really feel at home at Malis as it is team and family effort. While I am in charge of ensuring standards are met, correct processes are followed and providing a five star service to our customers the staff are teaching me about Khmer life, Cambodian cuisine and improving my Khmer language skills.
And your diners, what do they like the most about Malis?
Besides the amazing food, our relaxed setting. It is a calm oasis from the bustling city especially with the water garden and courtyard. We are fully booked each day so locals and tourists really love eating here. Fish Amok is one of our most popular dishes with foreigners, while Khmer people enjoy coming here for our breakfast noodles.