Genuine & Honest Cooking
Khmer Angkor has been nestled in the Christchurch area since 2020. This cozy establishment highlights our passion for market-fresh ingredients, honest cooking, and an enjoyable atmosphere. Our menu features a selection of dishes, all made in-house by our team of talented chefs.
With some of the most delicious combinations of ingredients, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Loved by locals and traveling foodies alike, now is the perfect time for you to join us today at Khmer Angkor.
My family (Parents and 2 elder brothers) arrived in Christchurch in July 1992, when we had the big snow fall. Our family was sponsored by my Uncle ( my Mother’s Brother) together with the help of Bishopdale Jesus Christ Church and the Church’s Fellowships help at the time. Which included late (grandma) Marie Wills, and the Garths Family.
We knew that Christchurch New Zealand was now our second home, the home that has given our family a second life after fleeing from Genocide in Cambodia. This was our “Heaven on Earth”.
My mother was an amazing cook, as well as her late Mother whom was the Caterer for her village in her time. As I grew up i was surrounded by home-cooked meals by my mother and fresh vegetables grown by both my Father and mother. Having very little money as well as very limited availability at the time, we had to source what we can ourselves and improvised with what we had. We use what we needed and traded it with something else that other Khmer Community at the time had.
My mother loved cooking and I saw the passion she had around food and hospitality, she always made more than enough food if we had guests over and always offered meals even if they were unexpected. She assisted with catering for functions, weddings to most Khmer weddings in the time that we lived in Christchurch traveling as far as Dunedin to help for free to family friends for their Kids wedding.
Mum finally was offered a job at one of Khmer Restaurant in Christchurch which was at the time situated on 605 Colombo Street owned BY Hamish and Linda Te, whom saw mum cooking at weddings down in Dunedin which he and his wife at the time owned restaurants and was opening another one in Christchurch. By the age of 11, I started following my mother to her work which she did part time at the time, so when it got busy I just helped clear some dirty dishes while I was waiting. Years later I realized that I too followed my mums footstep with food. In year 2005 we opened our first family business doing Bakery and Noodle house. At this time, I was 20 years old doing 7 days for 3years. We decided to sell our business as It was not what I wanted at the time. I went to work at many various jobs such as cafés, Casino, food processing factories And many more but it was only in year 2016 when I was 31 years old that I realised my passion is around food and hospitality. Restaurant was my thing!
My partner Amit was my inspiration, being an ex Tandoori Chef, tasting Cambodian food for the first he was blown away by the flavours and the taste and he had always encouraged me on pursuing my dream and making it work! He told me that Cambodian food has a place in this growing industry and people needed to explore it more.
At the time we just purchased our first home together, we then purchased our Cambodian Restaurant out in Kaiapoi a month after and we also found out that we were expecting our first baby together (our son who is now just over 3 years old) things came in three’s for us as most of our friends said.
We were very well known as the favourite restaurant in Kaiapoi by the locals and started becoming more well known by word of mouth. We wanted to start up another branch in the Christchurch City where it was closer to home for us, it was then that Amit saw the ENTX EATERIES when he took the kids to a movie session and said, mum needs a place in here. At the time, it was a happening place as it was newly opened. I acted fast and arrange to see the landlords straight away and it was go go from then!
Unfortunately, last year in 2019 my parents both had to have back to back heart surgeries done and we were sadden to let one go, which was our Kaiapoi, where we first built our foundation. We announce a month before that we were closing in July, when we thought our new project would have started and every night was jammed packed with all our regulars!
Sadly we didn’t start up our restaurant again until over a year later after closing our restaurant in Kaiapoi. And we had complications along the way as well as Covid-19 hitting us. By that time, ENTX started getting a little quieter and we were really worried as to what will happen. After a long awaiting battle to open our restaurant we finally had an opening date of 7th August 2020. We were so blessed that we had full restaurant especially from mainly our regular customer’s out from Kaiapoi. For 3 consecutive days. two days later we were again as a nation went down to alert level 2 and business went slower and become a little bit of a struggle. Thankfully our faith in our good food and service never let us down. We were getting many words of mouth and we started picking up again. After operating for 2 months we had great news that we were nominated and was in the finalists for Most Outstanding Ethnic Cuisine of the year in the Canterbury Hospitality awards!
Sadly, two days after finding out I lost my father whom has been a major part of my journey of success after going back into surgery for his infection of his heart surgery done the year before. He was not only my hero but my herb and vegetable supplier as well as the hero for my children whom was raised, loved and spoilt by him. Almost a month after he left this world we went to the awards night and to our surprise we came home winning the Most Outstanding Ethnic Restaurant of the Year 2020! Our journey is just a new beginning of something big and special.
We pride ourselves with the mentality of doing everything with a little bit more Care and love and making sure that whether it is food or Service, that it is genuine and honest.
We’re known for the “Food with Care and Love”.