A day with Nina at Bayon coffee shop

“No two days are the same at Bayon coffee shop. The café received many customers but also hosts events and projects organised by the Bayon team based in Siem Reap. Every morning when I arrive, the first thing I notice is the delicious smell of croissant and coffee. In the pastry lab, everyone is already busy! One can overhear the oven tick tock and conversations in Khmer, English, French, German, or even Spanish, mixed with the traditional Cambodian music from Sreyleak or Rima’s favourite playlists. Both have graduated from the pastry school and been recruited here at the coffee shop.

To me, that is a unique work atmosphere! I get working: welcoming clients, preparing orders, clearing tables… What I like most is the contact with people, always willing to know more about our school and NGO. They love glancing at the students and teachers through the huge kitchen window.
Those discussions with customers have supported our charity night which I’ve been much involved with over the last few weeks. I’m always ready to give Sreyleak and Rima a hand. The coffee shop menu has been updated to offer more lunch options. Since then, it’s been crowded at lunch time – our customers’ favourite is the brunch option: 3 sweet or savoury pastries and 2 drinks. At 1pm, it’s my turn to enjoy a good meal. I meet my colleagues and the students in the canteen upstairs for a nice, relaxing time.

Although the afternoon is quiet at the coffee shop, the students and their teachers are very busy preparing orders for clients in the hospitality sector and preparations for the next days. In February, afternoons have been a bit stressful for the students as they also had their exams. We were pleased to be part of the jury and taste their work, including pastries, croissants and bread, a treat for our taste buds!
Later in the afternoon, a few customers come to enjoy the calm and shade at the coffee shop, after a long day in the temples. At 5:30pm, it’s time to close the coffee shop and wait until the next day for more surprises and lovely people. ”

Embark on a journey within the pastry school through the eyes of a student and learn the recipes of our signature Khmer and French pastries with our cookbook The Bayon Pastries. You can purchase it here.

, 27 March 2019