230 Smith St, Collingwood, VIC 3066
This is a funky place that thrives on simplicity. "Masak Masak" means 'To Cook", and in some cases in Malaysia, the term Masak Masak has a more playful informal connotation. It is more expensive that your average Malaysian cafe, more trendy, and has a contemporary feel in presentation. Note that they do close between lunch and 6pm (when they re-open again for dinner)
|Grilling Station to the left|
Things to do Nearby: During the day, the Smith Street shops can be interesting a couple of blocks down, you have some of the outlets. During the night? Not so much.
|Possibly the most traditional dish on the menu other than Satay|
|Lo Mai Gai (Sitcky Rice) was a little bit one dimensional for me|
Sambals, Belachans, Cincalok are the various dipping sauces of Malaysia that usually contain some sort of preserved, or fermented seafood or vegetables. While various versions can be found all over South and Southeast Asia, I am just going to focus on the Malaysian ones here.
Belachan is fermented shrimp paste, which can be eaten with a squeeze of lime and fresh chillies, or fried till it's dark and dry, or used in stir fries. It can be fried up with shallots and garlic too and sprinked on dishes to add another layer of spiciness, or even stirred into soups (like laksa). Belachan is usually sold as a block that might look like a thick block or wedge of chocolate from a distance until you get a whiff of it.
Sambal is a chilli paste primarily and so, Sambal Belachan is chilli paste mixed with belachan, shallots, limes and sugar in various combinations. They can be used as an accompaniment to various dishes to given them an added 'kick'. In Sri Lanka (where you have Sambol) and Indonesia, there is a wide range of sambals that include a great variety of ingredients ranging from peanuts to bananas to petai (stinky beans) to anchovies.
Cincalok refers to a condiment that consists of shrimps fermenting in water, lime, shallots, and chillies. This is usually served wet, as dipping condiment, or the Peranakans love having it in omelettes (which I think is the best way to eat it because I can never take it on its own).
Chilli dipping sauces are also common in Malaysian Chinese cuisine, ranging from processed chilli sauces (which may be sweet or savoury or garlicky or super hot), to fresh cut chillies (green, red or padi) in vinegar or soy sauces, or ever preserved green chillies.