Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Kettlebell Cafe: Where you can eat like a caveman and drink like a hipster

The Kettlebell Cafe: Where you can eat like a caveman and drink like a hipster

Kettlebell Cafe’s striking facade, on Street 454.
Kettlebell Cafe’s striking facade, on Street 454. Charlotte Pert

The Kettlebell Cafe: Where you can eat like a caveman and drink like a hipster

The Kettlebell Cafe, the hole-in-the-wall with distinctive square, blue and white pixel-like tiles remiscent of ’90s computer games that arrived on Street 454 late last month, might look cute, but it means business.

The new eatery, an extension of the CrossFit Amatak gym near Russian Market, is serving up healthy dishes inspired by the paleo diet as well as top-notch espresso.

Corbett Hix, the Texan owner of both the gym and cafe, which had its soft opening late last month, said the idea was born out of his struggle to find healthy affordable eats.

“Phnom Penh has a great variety of food, but not always the healthiest options,” he said. “We want to help fill the gap, focusing on affordable, well-prepared food aimed at a fitness-oriented lifestyle.”

The emphasis is on take-away, ordered beforehand: the setup consists of just a counter-top and a few stools. For breakfast, it’s omelettes with a range of sides – for example, red onion confit with crispy bacon and herb sausage or sliced chicken paprika and thyme – while lunch will be one or two options rotated daily.

The coffee at the Kettlebell Cafe is among the best in Phnom Penh.
The coffee at the Kettlebell Cafe is among the best in Phnom Penh. Charlotte Pert

“We draw a lot from the ‘paleo’ diet but are not 100 per cent paleo,” said Hix, referring to the diet that replicates what humans from the Palaeolithic era are thought to have eaten, by eschewing dairy products, grains, legumes, processed oils and refined sugar.

“We focus on ‘clean’ food, made well and in a balanced diet.”

The coffee is also a focus. The beans have been selected by the Feel Good Cafe and Disappearing Brew Bar coffee consultant Jen Green, who also assisted with the equipment and training.

When we dropped in this week, Oliver Tho, the French chef running the kitchen, said he was still experimenting with the menu before the cafe’s official launch and offered us tomatoes stuffed with minced pork and smashed cauliflower ($4) and a plate of mixed roast veggies and salad ($4).

The food was nourishing, and tastier than expected, but without any carb-heavy rice, bread or potatoes, a single portion might not satisfy those with big appetites.

For me, the double-shot latte ($2.75) was the highlight of the experience: smooth, full-bodied and creamy, and arguably the best west of Monivong Boulevard.

Kettlebell Cafe is located at #45, Street 454. Opening hours during soft opening: 6am until 2pm, Monday to Saturday.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM orders immediate action against ‘sexy’ live streamers

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday ordered immediate action against women who live stream their sales pitches on Facebook wearing revealing clothing. The prime minister said the practice erodes traditional Cambodian values and disgraces women. Hun Sen gave the order to officials attending the Cambodian

  • Trump tweets praise for Kingdom docking ship

    Cambodia continues to earn praise for its humanitarian act of allowing the MS Westerdam cruise ship with more than 2,200 passengers and crew on board to dock at the Preah Sihanouk port. The praise this time comes from none other than US President Donald Trump. “Thank

  • Tourist area greenlit in Sihanoukville

    The National Committee for Coastal Management and Development will coordinate with relevant ministries over the establishment of a billion-dollar tourist area named Neak Reach in Preah Sihanouk province after it was proposed by the Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and

  • Hun Sen defends decision to dock Westerdam cruise ship

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday hit back at critics who say he allowed the Westerdam cruise ship to dock in Sihanoukville for political reasons. Speaking at an annual gathering of the Ministry of Interior, Hun Sen said he acted to avert a humanitarian catastrophe

  • Organic vegetable retailer unveils QR code scheme for origin source

    Organic vegetable retailer Natural Agriculture Village has introduced QR codes on its product packaging, which will allow consumers to see where their produce comes from. Natural Agriculture Village president Bun Sieng, who is also a member of local distributor Green Gold, told The Post on

  • Cool heads will defeat Covid-19

    Since Covid-19 was first reported as a world health issue, cruise ships have been the worst to suffer after airlines. The experiences of those who were initially trapped on the Covid-19-stricken Diamond Princess are unimaginable. The cruise ship was rejected from docking at one