I was invited to the preview of the newly renovated Shinta Mani here in Siem Reap.
Designed by acclaimed architect Bill Bensley, it features his signature linear touches melding with dramatic flourishes.
Take for example these giant wooden balls scattered near the main stairwell. I don't know if it has functional value, like you can sit on it, but I love how interesting it is to look at.
How about this table with mutated legs? If only I could take it home.
This candle holder could be quite scary with the right lighting but it gives a surreal touch to the place.
The owner, Soukon Chanpedra, treated us guests to his restaurant, Kroya. It serves modernized presentations of beloved Khmer food.
There are touches of orange in the whole property. It gives a vibrant freshness to the eye in a background of calm grays and other neutrals.
Their rolls reminded me 'pan de sal'. So yummy! I think I ate like 5 of those.
The meal was good. But there's a lot to be improved. Particularly, my main of fish with a curry and passion fruit sauce didn't sit well with my taste. Passion fruit is not a traditional ingredient of Khmer cuisine so I did find it strange.
Overall, Shinta Mani is a must-see and must-stay if you are in Siem Reap.