PORTERDALE, Ga. — Country: Cambodia
Dish: Lok Lahk
Thy Duong escaped from Cambodia when he was nine years old, fleeing war for a camp in Thailand.
Ultimately, Duong traveling to the U.S.
Today, he can be found in the kitchen of Bowl o Flames where he’s focused on bringing Cambodian food to life for those in the metro.
“I want people to know where we come from,” Duong said. “Our culture, our tradition.”
The restaurant in Porterdale, Ga entices eaters ready to experience a variety of Cambodian dishes, including the traditional lok lahk, Cambodian spare ribs, chicken bowl or wings flavored to customers’ taste.
But for Duong, it’s the lok lahk, or stir-fry beef, that especially represents his home country.
“How does this dish represent Cambodia?”
“People like to share that dish,” Duong said. “In Cambodia we share everything. We share a little bit of this, a little of that … we’re gonna share it all.”
The lok lahk is presented alongside fresh vegetables and rice, amidst a “kick of lemon-pepper sauce.” Such dishes are like a link to the Cambodian culture for Duong, also introducing a group of people he described as “full of love and gentle.”
“All Cambodians are really friendly people,” he said. “We’re not against anybody! Whoever wants to be our friend, we’ll be your friend, you know?”
“How does this dish represent Atlanta?”
“A lot of people want to try it,’ Duong said. “Some people try it and go, ‘Oh I’ve never had Cambodian food before!’ Then they try it..and they keep coming.”