Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Canadia Tower

I think that building was finally really inaugurated on Friday, Nov. 05. Although it has been open and functioning for a while now (with still a lot of office space available), one thing has been missing that normally many tall buildings in other metropolises of the world feature: a rooftop restaurant.

A building like this is ideal for this, and I am really amazed why nobody has had the idea to open one unless, of course, the rent is forbiddingly high and makes the whole thing unworkable. After all, who can afford to go to expensive restaurants on a regular basis? The Malis restaurant is obviously the exception, but with its world-class cuisine, it found its niche in Phnom Penh’s restaurant scene.

But this past Friday, one very creative French entrepreneur and his equally creative Korean wife at least opened up the rooftop terrace for a one-night party. They own the Elsewhere restaurant, a popular hang-out for expats and NGOs employees and feature the First Friday of the Month evening at their restaurants, which they now held at the rooftop terrace.

Initially, it looked kind of desolate with only a few tables and chairs available, but they had hired a pretty good jazz combo, the sound system was terrific and after the wind had died down it became what you would expect from a tropical night party. They served up food prepared or organized by the FTE NGO, the proceeds of which went to that NGO.

After 8 o’clock, the place filled up and by 9 o’clock, it was packed. At the time we were leaving at around 10:30 (I had drunk my beers a little too quickly) there were still people streaming in. As was expected the crowd was more on the younger side with a lot of what looked like girls-night-out. My guess is there were about 1,000 people milling around, mostly Caucasian though. I was wondering whether these were really all people living and working here or whether a lot of tourists found out about the party from their hotels. Whatever the case it was quite enjoyable and the view is just great, something one only has when arriving by plane at night. Anyway, I had my doubts about the whole thing when I first entered but it certainly turned out a smashing success. I am sure this venue will prove successful for all kinds of get-togethers with a social character.

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