Lum Orng, a farm-to-table restaurant in Cambodia, is pioneering the concept of New Mekong Cuisine. Situated on the outskirts of Siem Reap, an area known for its proximity to the famous Angkor Wat temple complex, Lum Orng is owned and operated by Chef Sothea Seng. The restaurant takes pride in sourcing seasonal ingredients from local markets as well as farms across the region.
The name “Lum Orng” translates to “Pollen” in Khmer and holds significant meaning for Chef Sothea. Symbolizing growth and regeneration, it aligns perfectly with his philosophy of sustainability and seasonality. Throughout his culinary journey, he has been equally committed to preserving Cambodian culinary traditions while exploring innovative approaches.
For half a decade at Mahob Khmer, his previous establishment in Siem Reap, Chef Sothea dedicated himself to elevating traditional Cambodian cuisine. His efforts were particularly important due to the loss of much culinary heritage during the dark period of Khmer Rouge rule in the late 1970s. Sadly, there remains a lack of awareness about Cambodian food which puts this heritage at risk today.
To combat this challenge and ensure a sustainable supply chain for his restaurant’s dishes, Chef Sothea grows much of his own produce on organic gardens located at Beng Mealea. This hands-on approach not only guarantees freshness but also allows him full control over sourcing high-quality ingredients that honor Cambodia’s rich culinary history.
By focusing on farm-to-table practices and embracing New Mekong Cuisine rooted deep within Cambodia’s cultural fabric while incorporating flavors from beyond its borders Lum Orng offers an extraordinary dining experience that showcases both traditional recipes passed down through generations as well as innovative creations inspired by global influences.
Lum Orng symbolizes a fresh start for the chef, as he strives to create an innovative New Mekong Cuisine that pays homage to Cambodia’s extensive culinary heritage. Additionally, he aims to promote sustainability and a farm-to-table philosophy by establishing a restaurant with its own herb garden and a nearby farm.
In his quest for culinary excellence, Sothea looks beyond Cambodia’s borders and seeks partnerships with farmers and producers in neighboring countries. This means that Lum Orng’s future menus will feature not only the freshwater fish from Tonle Sap Lake and seafood from Cambodia’s coast but also other unique ingredients such as organic beef from Surin, Thailand or buffalo mozzarella from Laos.