Being away from home makes me miss the food that I love in Malaysia. Masak Masak synonymous with a popular childhood ‘pretend’ cooking game that I often played when I was a kid with my neighbour, is also home to some of my favourite Malaysian hawker delights.
Newly opened (well, not so new by now) at the popular Smith Street eatery strip, Masak Masak is definitely a wonderful addition to the Asian food scene in Melbourne.
The menu offers a good range of Malaysian hawker fare and modern Malaysian twists from $5 bites to larger plates at $19. They also offer set menu if you are not sure about the portion sizes.
Our dinner kicked off with a plate of Mixed Beef and Chicken Satay (6 pcs) $14 grilled on traditional charcoal fire. I love the idea of satay cooking on charcoal, releasing that smoky charcoal aroma but unfortunately, they have gone a little over with the beef marinade. The 6 pieces of satay was also overpriced at about $2.30/stick (compare to Mamak‘s $1.50/stick) and the peanut sauce tasted very sambal-ish and lack peanut flavour.
Seafood hot pot, crystal bay prawn, mussels, baby octopus $25
On the other hand, we enjoyed the seafood hot pot. The golden soup was very laksa-ish and not spicy. With a broth like that, who wouldn’t be addicted to it!
Slow-cooked beef ribs, sweet soy glaze, sambal oelek $19
After some pre-dinner research in Urban Spoon and food blogs, we couldn’t make up our minds between the much raved about Slow-cooked beef Ribs and Pork Ribs. So we tried both.
The Slow-cooked Beef ribs was first charcoal grilled, then glazed with sweet sticky soy – best eaten dipped in spicy tangy sambal oelek. While the Flaming BBQ pork ribs was fired up on the table with rose wine to give that crisp, smoky flavour and for added flavour, top it with a dollop of “Kampong Koh” Garlic Chilli Sauce.
Ultimately both were very good but we had to choose a winner. We chose the Slow-cooked beef ribs – thanks to the wonderful tender succulent meat that fell off bone and its sidekick sambal oelek dip!
Flaming BBQ Pork Ribs $19
To finish off, we added some carbo to our meal with Kan Low Mee with Prawn wonton.
Kan Low Mee (with prawn wonton) $8
It is clever of Masak Masak to not only keep some of Malaysian hawker favourites in the menu but also deviate by introducing modern interpretation of Malaysian cooking, like the Slow-cooked beef ribs.
As Malaysians, we will always compare our hawker favourites to the authentic flavours that we got back home and so far, no one has achieved that 100% authenticity yet. But, I’d say, Masak Masak is close. Apart from the miss (Satay), I’d remember to drop by here again for the hit which is the Slow-cooked Beef Ribs and to try the other dishes in their menu.
To die for : Slow-cooked beef ribs
Price : $$
Yummy Factor : +3.5
Noise Level : Low
You may also like: Mamak