Monday, July 11, 2011

Faith restored

Faith restored. Malis restaurant has a very good reputation here in Phnom Penh for its fine food. I've met Luu Meng, the owner and executive chef and I know how hard he tries to ensure his team do the very best job possible in all respects. The restaurant is viewed as the best in the provision of Cambodian food in the city and so on my last visit, a month or so ago, I went away with a negative impression as my food was plain in the extreme, both the starter and main course. However, always willing to give a restaurant a 2nd chance, I was there again tonight with a business guest and this time my meal got the definite thumbs up for all three courses. The meat course in particular was absolutely spot-on. The service too was attentive and timely and overall, the experience very rewarding. As I said, my faith is restored in one of Phnom Penh's finest eating establishments.

Art collector Douglas Latchford is at it again. He's just handed over another priceless jewel to the National Museum in Phnom Penh, this time an intricately cast bronze boat prow ornament from the 11th century and the only one of its kind to be in the museum's collection. Latchford, who is arguably one of the world's leading art collectors of Khmer artefacts, has now donated five important art pieces to the museum, as well as raising funds to install a modern lighting system in the galleries last year. “I have a passion for Asian art, especially for ancient Khmer sculpture and jewellery,” said the Bangkok-based collector. A museum official confirmed that within the past 10 years, the National Museum had received 306 objects donated by foreign collectors, while 1,600 items had been given by Cambodian residents. Latchford also used the occasion to launch his latest book, Khmer Bronzes: New Interpretations of the Past, his third volume written with co-author Emma C Bunker. The other two are the 2004 Adoration and Glory: The Golden Age of Khmer Art and in 2008, Khmer Gold: Gifts for the Gods, which together with the new book form the most comprehensive study of Khmer art history ever published. Khmer Bronzes is over 600 pages long with some 460 photographs inside.

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