Alphabet City: Masak (Singaporean)

Masak | Winter 2013

Out and About with @SingleGalNYC

Another foodie adventure.  This time:  Singaporean was our target.  Sure, you can do all the Italians, the Thais, the Indians, the Chinese, Japanese, Spanish or Latino fares, but how many times will you have Singaporean?  Not many, I suspect.  So, off we went, Groupon in hand (yes, we had a Groupon — lucky us, but frankly, I’d go back in a heart beat without one).

Introducing:  Masak

Masak (Facade) ... East 13th Street

Before we talk about the food, first about the place:  It’s cozy yet comfortable.  The exposed brick walls, the beamed ceilings — this reminded me just a little of a beach house (just the ceiling), the quirky touches like the light fixtures, the dark wood tables — really charming.  Masak is a great place for singles, daters and small family gatherings.  There is a compact bar area adjacent to the open kitchen.  Loved the open kitchen.  Watching the chef and kitchen staff in action is a favorite of mine.

About the staff:  Small, but apparently, efficient.  My guess is, on the busy days, they make sure the coverage is appropriate.  They were all very friendly.  Couldn’t get a read on the kitchen staff, but my assumption is the same.  (They were in full concentration while we were there.)

Masak | The Chef in Action

Now, the food:  Delicious.  But a warning, and I’m putting this out there for those with mild palates…the food tends to be on the spicy side.  If you’re from certain parts of Asia and the Caribbean, and even Latin and South America, this isn’t a problem.  However, if heat is not your friend, go, but choose your meals carefully — and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with any patron at any restaurant to ask for sauces mild or on the side.  That way, you can put as much as you’d like.  My only “complaint”, and I’ve put it in quotes because it’s not earth-shattering — my entrée was small.  Compared to my foodie partner-in-crime’s, I was hoping for perhaps a half cup more.  Considering my appetizer was also on the small side, I needed dessert or I would have had to grab another appetizer or something from the choice of “sides”.  But, delicious, delicious, delicious!  Compliments to the chef…well done — and I’ll be back.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I stuck with tonic water and lemon for the night (don’t look so surprised…smh), but @SingleGalNYC sipped on a Singapore Sunrise.  I tasted it.  It was delicious.  I could easily have three of these. Easily.

Masak | Cocktail Menu

Masak | Singapore Sunrise

We had appetizers.  Yes, we did.  @SingleGalNYC had the Beet Salad.  I had the Grilled Octopus.  Mmmmm…  Here’s the thing…it’s easy to crucify seafood.  I find some chefs over cook things like shellfish (the usual — shrimp, crab, lobster, etc.), as well as other types of seafood like octopus (which can be very rubbery to the point of it looking like you have grandma’s full dentures in your mouth when you chew) and salmon — a staple at many restaurants (salmon is like the “chicken” of the sea — it’s on almost every restaurant menu).  But Masak’s chef did a nice job.  Will it be the same when I go again?  I don’t know. But what I do know is, it was “just right” on Friday night.

Masak | Beet Salad

Masak | Grilled Octopus

Then came the entrees. @SingleGalNYC had the American Red Snapper Fish Curry.  And I had the Spicy Rock Shrimp and Grits with a Quail Egg.  Oh my.  (I wanted to lick the plate.)  O_o

Masak | Fish Curry

Masak | Rock Shrimp + Grits

But, what would a girls night out be without dessert?  The dining experience would be incomplete, that’s what it would be.  So we indulged on these!  @SingleGalNYC had Cranberries and Cream.  I practically inhaled my Condensed Milk Cake.  There was a nice crunchy pistachio butter surprise on the bottom.  I also tasted something very familiar — I can’t put my finger on it — but I thought it was a little licorice-y.  Not exactly something I would enjoy, but I did.  Yes, yes, yes!

Masak | Berries with Cream

Masak | Condensed Milk Cake

So, are you hungry yet?  Join them for dinner.  And oh, yes, they’re open for brunch too.

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