Miguel Jerónimo tastes the freshness and quality of Cousin’s homemade burgers. Photography by Enric Català.

A small restaurant with a welcoming feeling, Cousin’s is a hidden gem for those seeking to sink their teeth into a tasty burger. With a couple of tables outside, and wooden tables and comfortable sofas and chairs – topped with vintage design without being pretentious – inside, the restaurant serves a selection of so-called fast food, but in a slow and careful manner.

We tasted the signature burger ($5.40) made of tender beef, smoked bacon, raclette cheese, caramelised onions, pickles, fresh lettuce and house barbecue sauce, which has the perfect blend of spices including cumin for an Asian touch.“We are two cousins passionate about American food with a French touch,” says Olivier Drouet, who with Aurélien Moyon started the restaurant in February 2016 after some years in Cambodia. Drouet’s wife is the general manager, setting the tone for the rest of the staff, who are friendly and helpful.

Drouet says his favourite meal on the menu is the Big Couz burger with double cheese in the form of mozzarella and cheddar. However, the hot dogs are also part of his passion. We tried the Hot Paris ($5.10), which comes with a Frankfurter smoked pork sausage, crispy shallots and grilled bacon, all cooked to perfection.

A good choice is a set meal, served on a black slate with neat presentation which, besides the burger or hot dog of choice, includes salad with dressing and fried potatoes in a nice little basket – we highly recommend the sweet potato version – and a soft drink or beer, all for $8.10, or $9.50 with dessert. And being owned by French fellows, of course, the dessert menu includes delicious crepes.

Other options include a 200gr steak with chips for $5.90 and salads and pasta dishes for around $5. We tried the pork belly salad ($4.50) and can say that the mixture of crispy bacon, perfectly poached egg and vegetables (lettuce, carrot, onion, tomato) is indeed worthy for those not into burgers.

But who are we kidding because Cousin’s is made for the meat lovers. With burgers ranging from $2.90 to $5.40 and hot dogs from $3.75 to $5.10, this seems the perfect place for those looking for quality while maintaining affordability.

“We really wanted to provide a different taste, with fresh ingredients and everything homemade, but still maintaining the same price of a burger from a fast-food restaurant,” says Drouet. Indeed, the freshness seems to be a top requirement, with organic vegetables being used and the promise that all is washed with filtered water.

Everything besides the ketchup is made in house, including the incredibly soft homemade brioche, clearly one of the highlights of the burgers.

The menu also includes fresh juices, coffees, frappes or hot chocolate, plus some crunchy cookies which are worth to try. And with delivery also available, Cousin’s is definitely a place to remember.

16 Street 200, Phnom Penh.
Tel. 012 528 126.
Open Tuesday to Sunday, from 11am to 10pm.