Women of Khmer Kitchen

Khmer Kitchen
3 min readSep 3, 2021
’Em Smiles are #Real

Veena is one half of the force responsible for Khmer Kitchen, she once remarked and what is now an inside joke,

“Am the only reason as to how/why Khmer Kitchen came into existence” and there could be a lot of truth behind the “I’m just kidding” remark that follows the earlier statement too but we’ll not delve on it today.

She’s not there just to bring about an inclusivity to the top management at Khmer Kitchen, she’s truly responsible for the way the restaurant ‘feels’ and is experienced by its patrons, even long after they’ve left the property. How they (patrons) interact with the spaces and how she guides through the workings of Khmer Kitchen and thus ensuring that they’re always flowing about like good energy ought to.

“Superwoman, Wonder Woman and multitude plaques likewise, that put a woman on a pedestal. Society pushes on to us a tremendous pressure to perform all our roles with great finesse and abilities.”

And what’s surprising is, many centuries later, women have stood tall amongst the ruins. Women balancing home and work with aplomb are as normal as breathing. And we ought to know this well, for women are an integral part of Khmer Kitchen and its operations.

Veena Reddy is a story of success and how! KhmerKitchen is a passion project that had her spending every waking hour pouring her heart and soul into every brick, corner and breathing tree of what was once, a residence of the prolific litterateur, Girish Karnad. In some sense of the word, she’s the soul of Khmer Kitchen.

“It’s been a whirlwind of sorts but worth the roller coaster, I flit between reassured calm, manic passion and joys of satisfaction in one day, and on some days, in one afternoon. There isn’t a dull day and I’d not have it any other way. I have a plethora of people to thank who have accompanied me in this arduous journey and have only made it all the more sweeter, and I couldn’t (and wouldn’t) have done without them.”

Veena was instrumental in bringing in the vibrant interiors, hand-picked Cambodian artefacts, hand-made artworks that currently adorn the walls at Khmer Kitchen.

She’s very nonchalant about her work though, you prod her albeit more on her thoughts, design processes and some such, the best you can get out of her is …

“Bamboo, wood, woven cane & wicker, rustic textures and crafted furniture bring in a lot of warmth and a sense of a cosy home experience to our guest”

Succinct, and to the point, much like her.

Khmer Kitchens’ essence, is in its details. Be it the vibrant colours, textures, finishes or the handcrafted cane lights that were sourced all the way from Bali, every detail is made with a purpose. The original traditional fishing baskets from Cambodia were artfully used to make wall lighting elements. The Landscape and water bodies add to the tranquillity of the space”

And that’s what the Principal Architect of Khmer Kitchen has to say about Veena’s contribution to how Khmer Kitchen looks and lives. She’s walking a tightrope, oh so gracefully. There’s a hint of raw passion wherever requisite and other times, she stands tall with her acumen and seems to have an innate eye for details like few do.

We celebrate her and the women of Khmer Kitchen for what they do, every single day since we opened.



Khmer Kitchen

Khmer Kitchen’s a path-breaking, one-of-a kind & the very first Cambodian restaurant in Bengaluru borne out of travel, love, & passion for all things Cambodia.