Satisfying both stomach and soul at new Selantra Restaurant

Honolulu Cafe, an old classic eatery in Siem Reap has been reincarnated as Selantra by its promising young owner, the 24-year-old Khoy Dara. As delicious as the restaurant sounds, it is the story of Khoy Dara that will inspire and whet your appetite:

When he was nine years old, Khoy Dara was taken in by the Sunrise Angkor Children’s Village orphanage and, as a teenager, he worked as a waiter in hotels and became the assistant restaurant manager at the Cafe de la Paix. He’s still working in this position, but in 2007 he doubled up his workload by setting up the Honolulu Cafe and has now reinvested capital to reopen as the Selantra. He admits that he is taking a big risk and that he worries about the economic crisis and the sharp drop in tourist numbers… Khoy Dara has ample motivation to succeed – at 24 he is the head of a large household. He adopted four orphans, now aged seven to14, from the Cambodian-Thai border when he was little more than a child himself. “No one to take care of them, no one to give money, no one to give food – so I bring them to live with me.” Now he also has a wife and two very young biological children, which, together with his two jobs, makes for a very busy life.

Dara has more than earned his professional stripes –  assistant manager of the cafe at the 5-star Hotel de la Paix is no small accomplishment at his age – and more importantly he seems to be an inspiring young person who already knows what life is really about. Selantra sounds like the kind of place you may want to check out, a place where you can still your physical hunger and nourish your soul by helping out a young and deserving local Khmer entrepreneur and his large family.

Selantra is located on Wat Bo Road across from Future Bright School.

(Thinking of visiting the temples of Angkor Wat? Don’t forget to check out Savuth’s tuk tuk services!)

~ by Leonard on June 2, 2009.

2 Responses to “Satisfying both stomach and soul at new Selantra Restaurant”

  1. Thank you very much for posting my story on your website page, i didn’t know about it, just somebody told me that, they saw some posting about me on the website, then i was trying to search on internet, immediately i caught yours page, it made me so pleasure of this posting, anyway i would be proud you posted and can tell me how you got me, and i really could not see who you are.

    Thank with regards,

    Managing Director
    #0729, Wat Bo Street, Salakamroeuk, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
    Mobile: +85512569975
    E-mail: selantrarestaurant [at]

    • Hi Dara,

      Thanks so much for coming by and leaving a comment! I love it when the subjects of an article find their way to it and comment. I have sent you a private email with some more background as to how I ended up writing about Selantra. I hope the restaurant is going well and best wishes for good luck and good health to you and your family.

      Be well!

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