Jai is truly an amazing woman. She is warm and welcoming to all; she serves her friends and family tirelessly and enthusiastically. She is a beloved member of her community, and for so much more than her ability to aid in the cooking and creation of some of the most delicious meals I’ve ever had the pleasure to enjoy. (Really! And I’m a foodie!)
After marrying her talented partner Saron Khut, Jai became an integral member of the Mekong Bistro family—which is the only Cambodian restaurant in Portland. Mekong Bistro commonly hosts cultural events that serve as a powerful focal point for the area’s Cambodian community; the restaurant is also a fixture at several annual Asian heritage festivals. And wow: the parties Jai and Saron throw are epic, in part due to Jai’s generous and gracious hostessing. They seem to find any occasion possible to celebrate! I will never forget the multi-course pig roast they hosted several years back, which shape-shifted into a fabulous evening of karaoke and dancing. (Full disclaimer: many of the events at Mekong turn into nights of karaoke and dancing–and what a way to bring people together and to spread joy and delight!)
Outside of the restaurant, Jai has also partnered to form a pair food trucks, appropriately named Sisters Fusion (formed with her sisters Maly and Val) and serving utterly delicious Cambodian favorites. She has also supported Saron in the recent opening of another food cart, Wings on Wheels, in downtown Portland. And outside of ALL that, Jing is a devoted wife and mom, recently welcoming a sweet and gorgeous baby daughter into her life.
No matter what hat she’s wearing, she’s radiant, inside and out. Jai’s smile is irresistible, and every encounter I have with her I emerge feeling happier and brighter. Thanks, Jai, for being a beacon of care and kindness, and inviting so many of us to join the community of your “extended family.” Portland is lucky to have you, and I am lucky to know you!