Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Waffle wizardry in Tuol Tompoung



Waffle wizardry in Tuol Tompoung

Owners Hannah and Martin Bandalan say their Chicken Tenders waffle is a bestseller.
Owners Hannah and Martin Bandalan say their Chicken Tenders waffle is a bestseller. Eliah Lillis

Waffle wizardry in Tuol Tompoung

Inspired by a trip to Belgium, Filipino couple Hannah and Martin Bandalan have brought the first waffle house to Phnom Penh.

Tucked away on a Tuol Tompoung side street, Waffle Magic’s yellow awning entreats passersby to try a taste of Hannah and Martin Bandalan’s passion project.

Based in the Kingdom for more than two decades, the Filipino couple took a trip to Belgium nearly two years ago that inspired them to “let go of the corporate world” and serve sweet and savoury waffles back in Cambodia.

“My wife studied how to make chocolates in Belgium, and we experienced waffles,” Martin says.

For Hannah, they’re “the ultimate street food” from the Western European nation. And so the couple partnered with several friends to open the shop in December.

“After trying Liege and Brussels-style waffles that we couldn’t find in Cambodia, we decided to make them ourselves,” says Hannah, referring to Belgian waffles with thick batter (Liege) and those with a lighter, crispier texture (Brussels).

For now, the couple are sticking with the Brussels style but plan to introduce its denser counterpart later.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Hannah also makes her own line of chocolates. Eliah Lillis

The cosy shop serves an array of dessert waffles ranging from the simple, such as the ice-cream-topped A La Mode ($3.50), to more elaborate creations with Oreos, apples and cinnamon; but the best-seller is the savoury Chicken Tenders ($4.50) waffle.

A variation on the American South’s classic fried chicken and waffles, the chicken is spiced using Martin’s own recipe. As an alternative to maple syrup, you can douse your chicken with chilli-infused Cambodian honey.

Despite the name, Waffle Magic is more than just waffles; the ice cream is also Belgian style and made by local ice cream maker LYLY Cream while the Cambodian orange juice and coffee also comes from the neighbouring businesses, which Hannah says is part of the goal of being a business that supports the community.

The little restaurant also showcases Hannah’s chocolatier training. Her chocolates, which she brands separately from the waffles, are a combination of classic and original recipes.

She names her own creations after the people most dear to her, such as close friends and family. “Antonio”, a three-layered truffle with passion fruit gelatin dipped in white chocolate, is taken from her husband’s middle name.

Meanwhile, a candied orange peel covered in dark chocolate is named for her late sister, Kukai. The sweetness, Hannah says, reminds her of “the burst of sunshine” that was her sister’s personality.

Waffle Magic is located at #57 Street 456 and is open from 7:30am-8:30pm but is closed on Wednesday. Tel: +855 86 872 020

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Hun Sen: Manet to be candidate for prime minister

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has reaffirmed that his oldest son Hun Manet will be his successor as Prime Minister if he is elected. Speaking during the inauguration of a new sewage treatment facility in Preah Sihanouk province on December 2, Hun Sen said Manet will be