I love Indonesian food and I love sweet martabak. I first tried this Indonesian-style pancake in Bali and since then, I’ve been hooked. Unfortunately, Manila doesn’t have a lot of Indonesian restaurants, especially those serving martabak. I can only count around three that are worth revisiting for their food. So I got really excited when, thanks to numerous Instagram posts by my fellow food-loving Indonesian friends, I learned about the soft opening of a new Indonesian restaurant called Lezzat Martabak. This happened just a few weeks after my first visit to Jakarta where I was actually looking for the best sweet martabak—but failed. So good thing, I was able to get my martabak fix back in Manila.
Lezzat, which means “delicious” in Bahasa Indonesia, is a small, hip-looking Indonesian restaurant that seats around 15 to 20, located in the Greenfield district of Mandaluyong, a relatively new redeveloped area off the corner of EDSA and Shaw Boulevard, on the Pasig side of Ortigas.
As its name implies, Lezzat specializes in martabak. In Indonesia, martabak is more commonly known and appreciated as street food, available both savory and sweet, with a variety of delicious fillings. The savory one is similar to Indian or Middle Eastern murtabak, resembling a flattened, fat omelette wrapped in roti-like dough then deep fried till crispy. Part of the savory martabak’s allure is actually watching the martabak vendor stretch the elastic dough used to make this savory snack. Sweet martabak, on the other hand, is nothing like the savory, as it looks more like a pancake that you can order thick and fluffy, or thin and crispy.
Lezzat Martabak was established to introduce Filipinos to the best martabak from Surabaya, Indonesia. And to make sure that they are indeed serving the best, Lezzat’s Indonesian and Filipino owners partnered with Holland Surabaya, the most popular Indonesian martabak brand in Surabaya, to manage overall operations and production, with an Indonesian chef supervising local operations. This is Holland’s first venture outside of its home country.
Lezzat serves only three types of martabak: savory, fluffy and crispy sweet martabaks, and nothing else on its limited menu. But the restaurant does offer different variants for each type. For the savory martabak, one has a choice of beef, chicken, tuna, and corned beef that come in small and regular sizes, with an option to add on mozzarella cheese. A small order ranges from P119 to P129 for 4 slices good for solo diners. A regular order goes for P179 to P199, with 12 slices good for sharing.
The fluffy, thick pancake-like sweet martabak also comes in small and regular sizes, while the crispy, thin sweet martabak (that tastes more like a sugar cone than a pancake) is only available in regular sizes. Current flavor options include chocolate, cheese, choco cheese, Nutella, and crunchy maltine, with red velvet, Oreo, and cream cheese flavors coming soon.
After two random visits, my early recommendations include the beef and corned beef for the savory martabak, and the cheese and Nutella for the sweet martabak. But one must also try the combination of choco and cheese, which is very popular in Indonesia and which happens to be the flavor of the first martabak I tried in Bali.
Lezzat plans to open more branches all over Metro Manila and establish a reliable delivery service soon. It is currently open Sundays to Thursdays from 11 am to 10 pm, and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 am to 11 pm. Parking is available in an open pay parking lot diagonally across The Portal and in the basement of nearby Soho Central, with both entrances located on Mayflower Street.
Lezzat Martabak, The Portal, United Street corner Mayflower Street, Mandaluyong City, (0917) 589-1028, IG: @lezzatmartabak
This article originally appeared on Metro.Style
Photos by Cyrene de la Rosa
Follow the author on Instagram and Twitter @cyrenedelarosa