We were recently contacted by a new cart called Mamak, who serve Southeast Asian street food. Never having been to Southeast Asia, we were looking forward to checking them out.
They’ve had a cart parked at 7 Hanover Square in FiDi for a couple of weeks. Nn Friday they brought out a 2nd cart on 21st St & 5th Ave, where we caught up with them around 2:30pm.
Mamak specializes in rendang, an Indonesian curry stew popular across Southeast Asia. They even put “Rendang Stew” under their name on the cart.
The menu inclues beef rendang for $11 and chicken or veggie for $10. We got there late, and they were out of chicken, so we ordered beef rendang for our First Look.
For a drink, we got honey calamansi lime tea for $3.
In addition to rendang, there’s laksa, roti, pasembur, barley lentil soup, and even a pineapple tart for dessert on the menu.
The first thing we noticed upon opening lunch was the variety of food items included in the platter. There was bright yellow pineapple achat, cucumber slices, a hard boiled egg, sambal chili, and of course beef rendang. It was all served on a bamboo leaf too.
The beef was very tender from being stewed, and the sauce on it was semi-spicy and tasty. If you want more heat, it was easy to pick up a little sambal chili with each bite. The meat had a few fatty pieces, but overall it was very good.
The pineapple achat was excellent. It was like a pineapple salsa with carrots, cucumbers, cabbage, turmeric, and peanut-sesame pickle. It paired well with the beef rendang.
Hard boiled eggs have always been a favorite of ours, and it was even better with sambal chili as a condiment.
The rice was really good too, with coconut milk in the jasmine rice. It was even better when lots of sauce from the rendang beef seeped into it. Those last few bites of rice were a nice treat to end the meal with.
The honey calamansi lime tea was a combination of sweet from the honey and tart from the limes, although the sweet won out in that battle. We make iced tea with honey at home, and would have used a little less honey in this drink.
All in all, we have to say Mamak was one of the best new vendors we’ve tried recently. Lunch consisted of a bunch of different tastes and textures, most of which you don’t see too often on the NYC streets.
You can find Mamak on twitter here (@lovemamak) or on our Mobile Munchies twitter feed. There are currently two carts, one in FiDi and one in Flatiron, and they told us to expect a food truck in the future too.