Thick, hearty burgers for a very reasonable price, but the service is slower than a mature cow’s gait. The wait for this super fresh food is too much.
The French aren’t known for their amazing burgers, but Cousin’s Burger & Coffee is trying to make it so (in Phnom Penh, at least). Cambodia has a decent French influence, which spills over into the cuisine. Instead of adding another foofy French restaurant to the scene, Cousin’s gives the well-loved meat on a bun favourite some French flair.
The place was bursting when we arrived. We were initially relegated to the few tables on the restaurant’s patio, covered under its awning but still sweltering, before getting a freshly vacated seat inside. Every seat in Cousin’s was filled, with decidedly non-Cambodian faces in business casual and even a birthday party in the corner. This place seems to be popular with foreign students and expats.
Cousin’s has a set menu, which comes with fries and a drink… beer included! (Hell yes!) The burgers are non-offensive with no overly weird or exotic toppings. A few have the option of a beef or chicken patty, and the included ingredients are well described on the menu.
Click any of the menu pictures below to enlarge
For weirdos who have come to a burger joint and don’t want a burger, there’s also a small selection of chicken and steak options.
Though there is an “& coffee” in the restaurant name, the coffee at the back of the menu isn’t advertised as anything special. I’m not sure if it’s French pressed, or even what kind of grounds they use.
This was our last meal in Cambodia before going directly to the airport to fly home to Malaysia. We had given ourselves, what we thought, was a very ample two hours to eat here, get our things from the hotel and go to the airport. First of all, it was a hard mode game to find a server and bring him over to take our order. Once it was done, we waited. Our drinks came and we chatted about what a great time we had in Cambodia. We waited more.
Burgers came out but not to our table. Thirty minutes down and more waiting. The once pleasant conversation turned to complaints at how slow the service was. Forty-five minutes later and I was seething, our drinks half consumed. Tables around us were getting cleared after the lunch rush but we still didn’t have our food. Finally, a platter of burgers came out, and I swore that if these were for anyone except us, I was going to get up and scream at the owner tending the register in a hangry furore. Luckily for everyone involved, the burgers on the platter were, in part, for us but also for the family at the next table who sat down fifteen minutes after us. We finally had our food after a full HOUR. I get that the food is freshly made to order, but this restaurant should know how to deal with a lunch rush by now.
Mark was a previously mentioned weirdo who didn’t get a burger but The French Cheesesteak ($9.50 with combo). Crispy shallots tumble out of a long bun with the cheese peek-a-booing underneath. Philly-style cheesesteaks have a glowing orange “cheese” sauce on top, but Cousins has put a French twist with raclette cheese instead. The grease factor was missing from the cheesesteak – the bun was not soaked through! Even though it looks like a very clean version of the artery-clogging favourite, Mark still felt very heavy after eating it. It was good, but it still did not meet Mark’s exceedingly high standard for cheesesteaks. He added on a coffee ($1) to the set menu for afters, and also got a passion fruit iced tea (extra $2.90) to drink as he didn’t want a beer, soda or water.
My Frenchy’s Burger with beef ($9.50 with combo) had a nice, springy bun and was perfectly assembled. This is the first instance where the actual food looks better than the picture on the menu! A trio of dipping sauces came with both meals for the fries or as an extra sauce for the burger: ketchup, barbeque sauce, and an onion sauce. Of the three, the barbeque was the one I emptied by the end of the meal. The beef was deliciously juicy and balanced by the crunchiness of the cucumber and fried onions. Although there was jalapeno chilli in this, I had forgotten that this was supposed to be spicy as it was so mild. The fries are tasty – a good-sized cut and uniformly cooked. I, naturally, got an Angkor beer to wash it all down with… the perfect complement!
I love that this place gives the people what they want – that is, a beer with their burger! You never see beer offered in a combo without an exorbitant charge attached. In the end, we did make it to the airport on time despite the horrendously long wait at Cousin’s Burger & Coffee. If you don’t have anywhere to be for the next three hours, you could give this place a try.
Price for 2 pax (USD): $22.90
Classic combo x 2: $19.00
Passion fruit iced tea add on: $2.90
Coffee add on: $1.00
Cousin’s Burger and Coffee
#16 Oknha Men Street (also known as Street 200), Phnom Penh
Monday to Saturday: 11am – 10pm
Closed on Sundays
Alcohol Served: Yes