Masak Masak Malaysian Restaurant, Collingwood

Normally when I have a big group eating out in Melbourne, I eat at the Moroccan soup bar. I love the ‘all you can eat’ set price, and my favourite dish of the chickpea bake. However the price has been rising over the years. The last time I visited, the cost was $20 a head; or $25 a head if you order the extra spicy tapas to start off with – extra tasty little morsels of spicy chilli and tomato. But not quite worth the extra $50 we ended up forking over for a table of ten.

So lets try something different – Malaysian.

Masak Masak had recently been reviewed in the cheap eats under $30, and they still had not obtained their alcohol licence by the time we had visited.

masak masak

So the good: there is a set menu, which is stated to feed 6-8 people for $109 (set four). You pick from their normal list of small bites (2x), snacks (3x) charcoal grill (2x), mains (2x) and vegies (2x). We had nine. I asked if we could order this set menu and supplement it with extra dishes – sure, no problem. What I really should have asked was: if I pay a for a plate extra, could you just increase the numbers of items per dish to suit nine people?
So from the bites ($5 ea), we chose one of each:
-century egg, pickled ginger, chili oil
-sticky anchovies, peanut, chillies, kicap manis.

century egg:

masak - century egg

This was one century egg, cut into eight pieces and garnished with coriander. I thought that the century egg would be bit of an acquired taste for my companions, but they all seemed to enjoy it and dug right in. I love the contrast of the creamy egg yolk and the light gelatinised egg white. The pickled ginger was like the thin pink japanese pickled ginger served often with sushi.

sticky anchovies:

masak - anchovies

Also known as ikan billis, I love these little crunchy bits of white bait which have been deepfried. This was a popular item on the table.

From the charcoal grill, we selected two plates of mixed satay. So in all we got twelve satay sticks, six chicken and six beef:

mixed satay:
masak - skewers

The beef is on the left, chicken is on the right. These were served with pieces of purple spanish onion, cucumber, and of course the satay sauce.

From the ‘snacks’ selection, we chose
– buffalo wings
– House made pork jerky, toasted brioche roll with omlette
-prawn wonton – choose from amazing (fried) or awesome (with soup)

buffalo wings:

masak - buffalo wings

The plate came with five wings and spicy onion sambal drizzled on top. So to split this between nine people, we each had to nibble half a wing. It was like a revved up version of a KFC spicy wing (sorry!), but I didn’t get enough to enjoy it.

House made pork jerky roll:

masak - pork jerky

This was not a good dish to share. You got uneven bits of bread, omelette, pork combo. The brioche bun was okay. The pork jerky reminded me of a combination of those caramelised end bits on chinese bbq pork (char siew), and chinese pork sausage (lap cheung).

Prawn wontons in soup:
masak - wontons

The soup was generous and lightly flavoured with spring onions and bean sprouts. The wonton pastry was light and floaty.

From the mains, we chose:
– grilled stingray, pineapple and coriander salsa
– beef rendang & steamed rice
– shitake and king mushroom stew on rice vermicilli nest

stingray:
masak -stingray

how could I not order the stingray? I’ve never seen it on a menu, but I do remember seeing one swim past at Burrill Lake on the south coast. This was served in a banana leaf package with a side dish of really tasty pineapple salsa.
I forgot to take a picture of the beef rendang. The beef pieces were melt in the mouth falling apart, and the sauce was not too salty.

mushroom stew:
masak - mushroom stew

Yum! This reminded me of a “westernised” stir fry noodle dish – where the noodles have been pre deep fried and the stir fried stuff has been place on top. You need to move quick to rescue the noodles so that they remain crunchy. This dish had a lot of sauce and sugar snap peas which went very well with the steamed rice. The mushrooms were very moreish, but I do love mushrooms.
From the ‘a little bit more’ selection we chose:
– bok choy, XO sauce, salted fish
– kai lan chinese broccoli, oyster sauce, garlic chips
– wok fried rice, chinese sausage, spring onion

Bok Choy:

masak - bok choy

Bok Choy is bok choy is bok choy. The kitchen *knew* we had nine people on the table so they had rather not helpfully cut each vegetable in half. You know – it’s easier to cut these vegetables into thirds or quarters on a flat chopping board, rather than on a curved serving dish. The ‘salted fish’ on top reminded me of pork fluff or pork floss you can buy in some snackfood shops.

Kai lan (or gai lan):

masak - gai lan

The serving of this dish was a little more traditional, with oyster sauce and fried slices of garlic.

Fried Rice:
masak - fried rice

This had pieces of chinese pork, corn, peas, spring onion and little pieces of omelette.
So… at the end of the banquet, we were still a little hungry despite the extra dishes we had pre-ordered. So I ordered even more…. another dish of beef rendang with extra rice on the side, plus another plate of the bok choy – because I didn’t have to cut it up.

Finally, we were ready for dessert:

masak - dessert

Macaroons. Really? Chocolate raspberry. No crispy ‘pop’. At least there were nine on the plate.

Total bill for nine people was $188, including drinks.

Masak Masak Malaysian Restaurant
web: http://www.masakmasak.com.au
street: 230 Smith Street Collingwood, Victoria, 3066
phone: +61-3-9417-4510
Sunday: 1000-1500
Mon-Sat: 1130-1430, 1800-2200
bookings@masakmasak.com.au

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