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

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Singapore backs Cambodia's efforts on Myanmar

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supports Cambodia in its efforts to seek a solution to the ongoing Myanmar crisis as the chair of ASEAN. Lee expressed his support during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on January 14, with the talks focused