The first time I tried Martabak was when I went to Medan, Indonesia in 2019 for a good friend’s wedding.
For the uninitiated, Martabak is one of Indonesia’s most popular and authentic street foods and resembles our local version of Min Jiang Kueh.
I clearly remember how sweet and delicious this savory dessert tasted – filled with oozing, gooey chocolate and sweet, condensed milk.
That’s why I was excited to try Gading Street Food’s Martabaks when my colleague told me they invited us to their newly opened shop in [email protected]
Formerly located in Lucky Plaza, Gading Street Food is an Indonesian restaurant that aims to serve the most authentic Martabak in Singapore using the finest ingredients from Indonesia.
Read on to find out if their Martabaks can match or even surpass those I had tried in Medan.
Gading Street food
On reaching Gading Street Food in basement 3 of [email protected]I was greeted by Wawan Lee, the friendly owner of the restaurant.
Lee and his wife started Gading Street Food in 2018, just before the pandemic started.
Their love for food and Indonesian cuisine can be tasted in Lee’s Martabak creations, which are made from his own recipe that has been adapted and edited to perfection.
While Gading Street Food has over 12 Martabak flavors on their menu, these are the three flavors I tried:
- Martabak Taro
- Martabak Classic Nutella Cheese Peanut
- Tipker Classic (Classic Crispy Martabak)
The ones that are kaypoh for more information, you can view the restaurant’s full menu here:
Lee got me started on my food adventure by giving me a tour of his small but cozy kitchen and explaining to me that all the ingredients he uses are specially imported from Indonesia.
This is to ensure the highest level of authenticity in its Martabaks and to give customers a real taste of what Real Martabak done in Indo style is one such thing.
As Lee proceeded to prepare the Martabaks, he told me that it takes about 10 minutes to cook a thick Martabak.
“Go over time and it will get too hard. Go too late and it won’t be cooked properly.
The amount of heat used for cooking the Martabak must also be just right, as too high a heat will cause the Martabak skin to become thick and hard, while too low a heat will result in an uncooked batter.
Despite being a simple street dish, Martabak requires a lot of skill to cook well, which explains the price.
And what makes a good Martabak, good?
“It has to have honeycomb and be thick, springy and light. It can’t be compact,” says Lee.
After this he started preparing the Classic Crispy Martabak.
According to Lee, thin-skinned martabak is more difficult to make compared to thick-skinned martabak for two reasons:
- It is even more important that the heat is exact
- You need to scoop out any excess dough from the pan so it doesn’t get soggy when you put it on a plate
Compared to thick Martabak, thin Martabak also requires less batter and only five minutes of cooking time.
After 10 minutes, Lee scooped the two fat Martabaks out of their pans and onto round wooden boards.
It was time to add the filling!
The first thing Lee smeared on the Martabaks was decadent, creamy Dutch butter.
He explained that butter is needed to make the Martabak airy and juicy and to provide a firm base for the rest of the fillings.
He then added a generous amount of Nutella to the original flavored Martabak:
…Followed by a generous amount of Taro cream on top of the Taro flavored Martabak:
Grated cheddar cheese was then added to the original flavored Martabak, followed by a generous helping of roasted ground peanuts:
Lee finished the dish by drizzling condensed milk over the ingredients and folding the Martabak in half:
Likewise, the Taro Martabak was topped with a generous helping of shredded Cheddar cheese:
… And finished with a good amount of condensed milk:
The end products:
Filling the Classic Crispy Martabak replicated the exact same steps as the Martabak Classic Nutella Cheese Peanut.
Add the Nutella, followed by grated cheddar cheese and condensed milk:
Final touch – sprinkle the nuts:
And Voila – thin, crispy Martabak ready to taste:
When it came to tasting, I can confidently say that all three Martabaks tasted just as good if not even better than the one I had in Medan.
The Classic Crispy Martabak was crunchy, crunchy and not cloyingly sweet, making it my favorite Martabak of the three.
My second favorite was the Martabak Classic Nutella Cheese Peanut.
The Nutella and cheese complemented the chewy pancake so well, with the generous fillings of the former and the honeycomb texture of the latter making for an addictive treat.
The salty and sweet flavors of the Taro Martabak were also delicious, although I would have preferred it if it was less sweet.
If, like me, you’re worried that your Martabak will be too sweet, don’t worry.
Sweetness levels can be adjusted based on these three levels:
- Less sweet
- No sweet
That’s not all.
All of Gading Street Food’s Martabaks can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week and eaten cold or warmed, so you don’t have to worry about not being able to eat a single serving of Martabak.
And don’t just take my word for it – check out the plethora of glowing customer reviews on Google:
How to go
Address: [email protected]313 Orchard Rd, B3-10A, Singapore 238895
Opening hours: Daily from 11am to 9pm
This Gading Street Food sponsored article lets this writer try some seriously delicious and authentic Martabaks for free.
Top images via Melanie Lim and Michelle Chew