Lakhana In of Sekong By Night

Categories: Chef Chat
ChefTalk_In1.jpg
Keyon Fareghi
It's all about love for one new local chef. Lakhana In of Sekong By Night -- a self-taught home cook turned executive chef -- has a lot of love for simple, good Asian flavors and for her son, Yutheana In, who has embarked on this venture with her. The restaurant/coffee bar has been open for about two months now; the menu is small and affordable, with everything made from scratch. And yes, you can taste a difference between a spring roll that's processed and one that was rolled just hours before you ate it. In is one hardworking lady with a story to tell. Here's how it begins:

Hometown: Phnom Penh

Cambodian vs. other Asian: It's in between Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese because we are neighbors. Thai is spicy. Spice - you can add later - it's not directly in Cambodian food.

Favorite food: Fried crickets. Unfortunately, it's not on the menu. I have to go to Cambodia for that. It's the one thing that hasn't really changed since I left the country in 1975.

After the jump: tips for good local Vietnamese and Chinese food.

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Keyon Fareghi
The coffee bar at Sekong
World traveller: I've been back to Cambodia a lot. Last year I went six times. Nobody's there. I have one uncle, but I don't go to see him; I go to see the country.

Maui: I don't have a lot of experience in the kitchen, but I was helping my sister in Hawaii with a coffee shop. I've been back and forth for 16 years.

Lookin' good: I just want food to be good, but not only good tasting, but good looking too.
A little bit of this and a little bit of that: It was just me who taught myself how to cook. When I was growing up, I wasn't around my mom. Being around different types of people - getting a little bit from here and there and putting it altogether.

People pleaser: I really enjoy cooking. It's kind of like putting yourself in and trying something. I'm really excited when I see people who love the food and we get good feedback about how good the food is. It makes you want to do more.

Takeout tips: I never eat out a lot, but Saigon Pho for Vietnamese and Diamond's for Chinese - the food is good, but after you eat, you feel like 'ugh' - it's a lot of grease. Between the two, I prefer Diamond. We went there once every three months, not a lot.

Can't take the heat: I don't like spicy. There's no more taste after you eat it. Maybe it's just me - I just can't take it. We have chili sauce and ground chili if you want it.

A mother's love: I want success for him (Yutheana). I'll retire after this. I just want to live simple.

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Lukhana and Yutheana In

Come back tomorrow as In walks us through how to prepare Lok Lak Beef, one of her specialties.
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2 comments
Eduardo Haramina
Eduardo Haramina

Mitzi and Eduardo Haramina topped a wonderful Sunday by having dinner at Sekong By Night. It is a great Cambodian restaurant with warm authentic atmosphere. Best of all was the delicious food prepared by Chef Lakhana In. We ate chicken curry and grilled beef sausages--mmm good ! ! ! The special iced coffee was the perfect finish for such a nice dinner. Yut's attentive service added to the pleasure of the evening. We shall spread the word to our friends.

Junorays
Junorays

The fried FLAT NOODLES are outstanding! I've tried this dish (as well as the similar "drunken noodle") at numerous Asian places around town, but the recipe at Sekong by Night has obviously been tweaked to perfection! They are the best that I've had so far. Dayum!

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