HAVEN is a non-religious social enterprise that opened its gate in December 2011 and is a training restaurant for vulnerable young adults from orphanages and safe shelters, as well as underprivileged young adults from very rural poor areas. By teaching them quality work skills as well as important life skills, we support these young people in their transition from institution to real world as well as giving them a chance to step out of the poverty cycle.
HAVEN is run by the founders and 16 wonderful staff (the HAVEN Family). These are all beautiful people either acting as teachers, helping us train the trainees or making sure everything runs smoothly in the restaurant.
For the apprenticeship year 2015/16 we have taken in 13 trainees, who we are training and teaching on a daily basis.
In addition to the work training and the life skills workshops we also take financial responsibility of all our trainees and provide them with protected and guided shared housing, meals, medical care and a monthly training allowance. Furthermore we offer them English and computer lessons.
Hungry travellers may descend on Haven but thankfully the compact size of the restaurant means table covers are limited and it retains a sense of intimacy, so even if a small tourist group is shipped in and out you won’t feel like you’ve just been “tour grouped.”
Located in the centre of downtown Siem Reap, Haven is tucked away past X-Bar on Soksan Road. Bamboo encloses the alfresco garden dining area. You can savour local flavours under umbrellas or in the canteen-style seating near the open-view kitchen.
The ambience is welcoming and relaxed. The decor simple, modern and, like the food, unpretentious. The range of options on the menu covers a wide variety of Asian and Western classics – family-friendly and vegetarian-friendly aplenty. Yes, it all tastes good – you’re unlikely to be disappointed. Think consistent, well-presented flavorful dishes as opposed to creatively challenging fine-dining fare – there’s no dress code here, no swanky furnishing, no air-con, nor a heavy price tag. Most main courses cost around the mark of US$5.50.