Everything was lost. After 6 years of war, forced labor, refugee camps, and finally immigration, Nite’s family had finally settled as refugees in California. Her mother’s family recipes were all that survived. In her kitchen she taught Nite to cook traditional home-style dishes with authentic ingredients. The flavors were fresh and bright. The aromas contributing an equal amount to the taste. Nourishing, comforting, and always with rice.
Food was at the center of life at home. Nite grew up a food fanatic. Seeking out the best the Bay has to offer. From strolling farmers’ markets to studying menus. She went everywhere and tried everything, and everywhere she wondered, in one of the most culinarily diverse city in the world, where was the Khmer food?
Nite knew she wanted to share Cambodian food with the Bay Area. Her desire took form one hot, humid day in Phnom Penh at a market stall selling kuy tew, the ubiquitous noodle soup of Cambodia. This piping hot bowl of delicious noodles in a clear, aromatic pork broth was it. The simplest expression of daily life in Cambodia. It’s absence in San Francisco was obvious. In one slurp Nite had finally realized what she wanted to do with her life – open a Cambodian restaurant and pantry.
Nite’s second epiphany was realizing the perfect name for her little noodle shop and pantry. Nyum bai means “to eat rice”, but it is also an expression meaning “let’s eat!” or “did you eat?”, a common greeting heard upon entering a Khmer home. Nyum Bai’s menu offers the noodle-based staples of Khmer cuisine, and some of her favorites from her childhood, made from fresh,authentic, and local ingredients. With the support of La Cocina, Nyum Bai represents nothing short of San Francisco’s long overdue introduction to Khmer comfort food.
Nyum bai means “to eat rice”, but it is also an expression meaning “let’s eat!” or “did you eat?”, a common greeting heard upon entering a Khmer home.
Close your eyes and imagine the streets of Phnom Penh in the 1960s. Japanese motos, open air kitchens and markets where a mostly farming culture gathered to sell their crops. Rock n’ Roll had arrived in the Kingdom and their own sound was flourishing on the radio and in the dance halls of Phnom Penh. A new youth culture was merging with an farming culture with its deep traditions of abundance, family, hard work, farm-fresh foods .
Nyum Bai is inspired by music and style of Cambodia’s golden era. We are motivated by a lack of high quality Cambodian street food and the desire to share the eye-popping aromas, flavors, and colors of the Cambodian dishes we grew up eating. Nyum Bai’s mission is to introduce the bay area to a nostalgic take on Cambodian food.
outdoor gas burners (2) $79.99
propane tank (2) $48.22
8ft folding tables (3) $69.99
stainless steel stock pot (2) $57.57
used utility trailer $1500
one part time staff for 2 months $3000
The loan will help with the start up cost selling at farmers market and this will allow me start my dream of sharing Cambodian food