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What’s Up With Royal Pig, Weezie’s and Kudzu

Updates on a couple of pop-ups and Carytown favorite Weezie’s Kitchen.

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Sunday, November 17th, The Jasper will host The Royal Pig, a pop-up concept created by Vanna Hem (Weezie’s) and Adam Stull (Bingo Beer). Both are known for their beverage programs but are now exploring the concept of a Khmer pop up. I was able to catch up with the two of them to discuss what the Royal Pig is, how it came about, and what the future may hold.

Photo Credit: Sam Park

What is the Royal Pig?

Vanna: It’s Khmer style, representative rustic Cambodian food. “Peasant cuisine” comes to mind, what we would call here home cooking. Leans heavily into herbs and spices, using the ignored or tossed pieces of the meat. Whole fish has and will be used for certain dinners.

How did this idea originate?

Adam: After service, we’d go out to Southeast Asian places and we wanted something different. Usually, we’d end up going back home and cooking. I’m from Philly and there’s a large Khmer population there and I got to know and love the food. With Vanna’s background, the food we’d create would have a strong Cambodian influence to it. Vanna posted on FB if anyone else would be interested in a Khmer pop up and the response was very positive.

Vanna: We were approached at the Elby’s by David Garrett (Cask Cafe) and he asked if we wanted to have our first pop up there and that’s how it started.

Photo Credit: Sam Park

Wait, Khmer…. Isn’t that the same as Khmer Rouge?

Vanna: Oh no… The Khmer is the name of the kingdom that spanned much of Southeast Asia. It’s the people and language of Cambodia! The Khmer Rouge was the equivalent of Nazi Germany. That’s not who the Khmer are.

How is dinner served?

Adam: Laughs, depends on the setting.
Vanna: At the Cask and at the Jasper, it’s small plates. A la carte. Other settings have been family-style when one large plate is served.

For those of us who don’t know, what’s the cuisine like? Is it spicy?

Vanna: Skewers and spring rolls are not spicy. But other larger dishes, like whole mackerel, noodle and congee dishes can vary

Photo Credit: Sam Park

Is there thought of brick and mortar?

Vanna: Not in the near future but that is a possibility depending on the momentum. The Khmer population in Richmond has been very receptive!

Holiday in Cambodia opens at 5PM at The Jasper Sunday and runs til the food runs out!

Royal Pig at The Jasper Menu


What about Weezie’s Kitchen?

(Weezie’s had a fire in September that destroyed the walk-in cooler and forced them to close while repairs were made.)

Vanna: Floors and lighting have been re-done. Better lit, not fluorescent. We’re going back to basics with the menu, think Cuban sandwiches, Philly Cheesesteaks… But more of a southern identity. We’re going for a better product in general. We take a lot of pride in being popular with walk-ins from the neighborhood and with the restaurant industry.

The walk-in cooler is being delivered on the 18th and we’re aiming to be open Thanksgiving weekend or right afterward. We’re actually partially open 5PM to 2AM!

Oh! Will Richardson and the Kudzu team have a Monday night residency, so come by and pick up their delicious ramen Monday nights!!! (Kudzu is a pop-up and food truck focused on craft ramen, rice dishes, and adventurous snacks and street food.)

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