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

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Hun Sen: Lakes filled in for national developments

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced continued operations to fill some lakes in Phnom Penh to create land for developments, though he is against the unrelated practice of damming rivers or blocking waterways. Speaking at the inauguration of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport

  • PM asks India for vaccine help

    Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking assistance from India for the provision of Covid-19 vaccines as the country has produced its own vaccine which is scheduled to be rolled out to more than 300 million Indians this year. The request was made during his meeting with

  • Local media loses a giant, and The Post a great friend

    Cheang Sokha, a gifted and streetwise reporter who rose to the highest ranks of Cambodian media and was beloved for his sharp intelligence, world-class humour and endless generosity, died on Friday in his hometown of Phnom Penh. He was 42. His wife, Sok Sophorn, said he