MARTABAK CAFE

This is my second time to visit MARTABAK CAFE in SM Mall of Asia (MOA). The first one was a food benchmarking activity with fellow Product Developers, now it's a typical weekend bonding time with family. I had a good first time experience in this Cafe, that's why a second visit did not necessarily need a second thought. Although a Cafe, the food choices at Martabak are not only limited to coffee and munchies. Other equally popular Indonesian fare such as Satay and Rendang are also available. While the space is a bit small (which by the way is common among MOA restaurants specially those located on north and south ends of the mall), the interior of the Cafe is creatively done. In particular, the Indonesian mural which is genuinely eye catchy. Service is also quite fast and cordial.
Since it's snack time, we ordered Sweet Crepes and Martabak. Generally, the Crepes are plain acceptable. The crepe is a bit thicker thus, it tasted a little bready and short in creamy aftertaste. For the Martabak, I had mixed evaluations.


Mango Caramel Crepe (P100); unfortunately the cubed mango filling is too sour thus, it can hardly blend with the overall taste.


Banana Choco Crepe (P100); basically sweet, chocolatey and yummy. You really can never go wrong with banana and choco combination!


Banana Choco Cheese Martabak (P130); Martabak is the pancake of Indonesian. Wikipedia described it as a popular snack in Indonesia that is usually made by street vendors in the evening. "The sweet, thick pancake is pan-cooked in a very large amount of shortening. A thin batter is poured into a specially shaped pan. After cooking, the pancake is ready to be topped: often with cheese, and/or shortening, and/or chocolate, and/or peanuts." Banana Choco Cheese Martabak, is what my colleagues and I liked best in our first visit. Consequently, it's the one that I recommended for my family. On the whole, it's satisfactory. The sweetness is just right, again the blend of banana-choco is simply delectable, with the addition of cheese, it's completed into a scrumptious flavor trio. However, had it not been for the "overpowering carbonate taste" (malihiya in tagalog term), my Martabak experience will equate to another rush back. I find it too much that even the other flavor characters can barely mask it. I haven't tried making any Martabak Manis at home yet, so I can't say exactly where this off note is coming from. But for now, I will suspect it to be coming from the baking soda in the batter mixture. Whether it was added too much or there's an incomplete or overly done procedure, I have to confirm with my Indonesian colleagues. Anyhow, it's still a fine Cafe to spend an afternoon at.

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