When Bo Prum, owner of Prum’s Kitchen in Downtown Gainesville, first came to visit Florida in 2017, he was not expecting to discover his life’s calling and future career in the restaurant industry. During Hurricane Irma, Prum had the opportunity to serve food to those affected by the hurricane. Despite being a visitor himself, Prum voluntarily served 400 stranded residents at the local hurricane shelter.
This experience inspired Prum’s passion to serve homemade food- and he decided that Gainesville would be the best place to do it. Two years after this visit, Bo Prum and his wife, Leanna, packed their bags and moved from California to Florida to pursue their dream of opening a Cambodian restaurant.
In January 2020, Prum’s Kitchen was born. This unique restaurant, serving a fusion of Cambodian, Thai, and Vietnamese food is unlike any other Asian eateries here in town. According to Prum, this is the only Cambodian restaurant in Florida.
“Even in all of Florida, we’re the only one. I’ve had people come from North Carolina and Georgia to eat here.”
Located in the heart of downtown Gainesville, Prum’s Kitchen is the perfect place to sit down and experience an authentic, home-style Cambodian dish. The recipes are products of Leanna’s lifetime practice of making traditional Cambodian food and have been perfected through years of serving their close families and friends. Cambodian cuisine is similar to Thailand and Vietnamese food. If you’re a fan of Vietnamese or Thai food, Cambodian dishes are sure to leave you wanting more of the sharp, tangy taste unique to Prum’s.
Though you can definitely find hints of Vietnamese and Thai style cuisine on their menu, Prum’s Kitchen serves some Cambodian-exclusive recipes. Not commonly found in Vietnamese cuisine, Prum’s Kitchen’s chicken and beef skewers provide a fresh twist to Asian street food. Their chef’s special, Beef Loc Lac, is Leanna’s specialty Cambodian recipe. Paired with lime dipping sauce, the savory fried rice and perfectly marinated beef combine to create a delicious and inviting Cambodian flavor.
Prum’s Kitchen makes their own sauces, most notably, their chili oil. When I tried the chili oil with the crispy egg roll, I was plesantly surprised to discover a garlictouch. The chili’s subtle garlic enriched the earthy taste of the veggies inside the eggroll like a raindrop on soil.
The Prum family’s love for their culture doesn’t stop at the food. Covering the walls of the restaurant, paintings of traditional Cambodian art reflects the beauty of their home country. Brought to Prum’s Kitchen from Cambodia, these hand-painted pieces bring a touch of Cambodia to Gainesville and make the dining experience at Prum’s even more unique.
Going back to both their family’s Cambodian roots, Bo and Leanna Prum are longtime family friends of the owners of Cilantro Tacos here in Gainesville. With this strong connection to another local business in town, the Prums highly value and understand the importance of supporting local businesses. Prum’s Kitchen has partnered with Byppo since opening. By using Byppo, customers can order from Prum’s Kitchen online through quick, safe, and contact-free payments. With online ordering, Prum’s Kitchen can reach a wider audience and share their food with more Gainesville residents and UF students.
If you’ve never tried traditional Cambodian food before, stop by Prum’s Kitchen next time you’re in the downtown area to get a taste of authentic Cambodian cuisine.