Hybrid foods date back generations – from the chicken curry pie to the cronut – but until recently, only few had thought to forge the union of two great American classics: macaroni and cheese and the hamburger.
Enter Phnom Penh’s own Duplex on Street 278 which, following in the footsteps of Chicago’s Rockit Burger Bar, has taken on the challenge, presenting a macaroni burger in addition to its own version of the Keizo Shimamoto-invented ramen variation.
So what’s it like? Pretty sensational. The macaroni, cooked first, is held together with bread crumbs and fried. The beef patty, lettuce, tomato and onion are sandwiched in between the two great cheesy chunks. The carb to protein ratio works well. It almost replaces the pasta sauce.
And just in case your appetite wasn’t satisfied, on the side is a handful of chips. This is a meal fit for the hungriest of truckers.
But if you’re looking for something lighter, dig into Duplex’s ramen burgers, which come with all the regulars plus an egg, barbecue sauce and a drizzle of sesame oil.
The thin, crunchy “bun” is a fine balance to the soft and juicy burger. A word of caution: wear a napkin, as without the spongy bread to soak up the sauces, things can get a little messy.
For the indecisive, and experimental, these burgers offer a satisfying way to mix things up. With this kind of track record, who knows what’s coming next from the chefs at Duplex? Potato scallop burgers, anyone?