A Taste of Both Worlds is a Filipino-Cambodian restaurant tucked inside Broadway Food Hall in Urbana, and they have seven Restaurant Week specials this year. One of they call a Cambodian banh mi burger, and since I love a good burger, I wanted to try it.
When I visited this week for lunch, there wasn’t a printed Restaurant Week menu out on the counter, but all the menus are online including A Taste of Both World’s RW specials: four entrees and three drinks. I ordered the Cambodian burger and a Filipino drink — and spoiler: they were both awesome.
The num pang burger ($12.74) had double beef patties and melted cheese on brioche with the restaurant’s signature roasted pork plus shredded daikon and carrots, cucumbers, a single slice of jalapeño, and cilantro. Wow, was this burger good. The thin, greasy patties acted merely as a vessel for that amazing salty, smoky num pang pork. That roasted pork delivered a similar flavor to bacon on a burger but different — and dare I say — so special. It totally worked. Replacing usual burger toppings with num pang toppings (cilantro for lettuce, pickled daikon for crunchy onion, cold cucumber for pickle) plus roasted pork made it taste like the Cambodian sandwich, but the toasty bun and cheesy burger patties tasted very burger. This was quite a delicious experience.
Some basic fries came free with the burger, which was nice because I like fries with burgers. These fries were hot and seasoned.
There are three special drinks for Restaurant Week. Two looked pale in color, but one looked bright green, so that’s what I got. I ordered the buko pandan ($5.20), and it was surprisingly addicting! Probably because it’s a dessert. The Filipino iced drink has pandan leaf flavor, coconut, evaporated milk, tapioca pearls, and coconut strings. So creamy and super sweet, the buko pandan sipped like a coconut-vanilla milkshake, and there were little jelly treats throughout. The tapiocoa pearls and green rectangles were good, but the coconut threads at the bottom of the drink were really yummy. They looked like threads of algae, but they tasted like coconut Twizzlers. This drink was a great dessert, and bonus: it looked cool.
Did I need to order another Restaurant Week special here? No. But did I? Absolutely, I did.
Another of the RW specials was fried chicken, and so I ordered the crispy chicken joy ($11.44). Inspired by popular Filipino fast-food chain Jollibee, the dish had two pieces of bone-in crispy fried chicken with rice and gravy. The fried chicken’s batter was so crunchy and salty; I loved the textured, ultra crispy exterior and the batter crumbs that fell like tiny, salty chips. Under crackly crust, the flavorful dark meat was juicy and so hot — too hot to eat right away, clearly served right from the fryer, and it tasted amazing.
It came with a crazy amount of garlic rice that was mild and tasted just alright, but that gravy was really good.
The food here did take a while, about twenty minutes for my lunch to be ready, but know that and plan accordingly. These RW specials were worth the wait.
Broadway Food Hall’s large dining space has plenty of seats, easily accommodating groups of diners.
The ambiance is a bit awkward here right now though, as A Taste of Both Worlds and Les Gourmets Cuisine are the only current vendors inside Broadway Food Hall. When I went, it was pretty empty and echoey. Though the decor looks nice, unless eating with a friend, I’d get the food to-go next time.
Absolutely get the Restaurant Week Cambodian burger because it was excellent — and so was the buko pandan. These specials (and all Restaurant Week 2024 specials) are available only through Saturday, February 3rd. This is a sign to taste of both Cambodian and Filipino flavors at A Taste of Both Worlds this week.
A Taste of Both Worlds
401 N Broadway Ave
M-Sa 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.