Thursday, February 04, 2016

Martabak Cafe, Sydney

On my recent visit to Sydney, a co-worker wanted to take us on an adventure to get martabak, at the aptly named Martabak Cafe.  Martabak is a Indonesian food, and although both savory and sweet versions exist, we were there to try only the sweet ones.  In particular, he really wanted us all to have the durian one, but, given my previous experience with durian, I wasn't particularly excited about.  But, I'm always up for trying new cuisine, particularly dessert.

The experience certainly was an adventure, but, I assure you, I will not be returning.  We did not enjoy this, and not just because of the durian.
Although there is seating, all orders are taken at the register.

The sweet martabak is sold in half or full size (5 or 10 pieces), with an "original" or pandan flavor pancake, and with fillings of peanut, chocolate, cheese, and durian (or any combination thereof).  The menu also had plenty of savory items, and some drinks, but, we were there just for the sweets.

Service was ... not particularly good.  We had to repeat our fairly simple order of 3 items multiple times.  The card reader was broken, with no signage warning us that they were cash only (which, I'd understand if it had just happened, but our host told us that the card reader has never worked when he has visited).  Once we ordered and paid, we took a seat.  The food was delivered to the table, one item at a time (including drinks, so, we each got our drinks several minutes apart).
Es Teh Thailand. $4.95.
"Brewed tea leaf with ice & milk."

The thai iced tea was good, standard thai tea with plenty of sweetened condensed milk.  It was the tastiest part of our adventure.
Durian, Pandan, Half. $11.95.
The first item to arrive was the durian martabak.  We went for pandan flavored, because, well, pandan is a bit novel to us, and green is more fun?  Pandan is a $1 surcharge for any martabak.

I took my first bite, ready to find it repulsive.  It wasn't THAT bad.  At first.  I took a second bite, and then that funk hit.  Ugh, it was horrible.  Sorry, but durian is just not for me.

One co-worker, who had never had durian before, said it tasted like onion, which I kind of understand.

I couldn't get past the durian flavor (and smell) enough to evaluate much more about this.  4/5 of us hated it and didn't take more than a bite or two, but our host eagerly finished the whole thing.
Chocolate Peanut, Pandan, Half. $9.95.
Next we moved on to a more promising option: chocolate peanut.  We again opted for pandan.

I wasn't into the pancake part.  It was spongy and really oily.  I also expected a crispy exterior, and this wasn't very crispy.  Meh.
Chocolate Peanut: Inside.
But, you can't go wrong with chocolate and peanuts, right?

Well, first, the "chocolate" was a bit of a surprise.  The chocolate was ... chocolate sprinkles.  I expected chocolate sauce.  Or ganache.  Or, something more spread-like.  Instead, it was just a layer of chocolate sprinkles, unmelted.  I doubt there was any cocoa content in here.

The peanut was bits of peanut.

So, oily cake I didn't like, non-chocolate filling, and bits of peanut.  Really no redeeming qualities here.
Chocolate Peanut Cheese, Original, Half. $10.50.
Moving on, we picked a chocolate-peanut-cheese, just to try something totally different, with a mix of sweet and salty.  It was on the menu, so, it clearly must be a thing.

It again had the same chocolate sprinkles and ground peanuts, plus, shredded cheese.  Like the chocolate sprinkles, the cheese didn't melt.

I actually did like the flavor combination of sweet and cheese, as I like my sweet and salty, but the pancake again was awful, this time "original" flavored. It was even more oily.  So oily, and not in a good way.

Ojan took one bite of this one and immediately declared "I can not take a second bite of this".  And I assure you, he didn't.
Martabak Cafe Australia Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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