Perry, the voice behind New York Street Food, brings you his latest review on New York City food trucks.
There have been a number of new street food vendors coming out in the past month or so, and Mamak is one of the more intriguing ones. They specialize in rendang, a Malaysian stew that’s popular throughout Southeast Asia, but there were other interesting things on the menu we wanted to try as well.
We started with chicken rendang for $10, then added calamansi tea to drink and a small pineapple tart for dessert.
From the photo, it looks like shredded barbecue chicken, but as it says right on the cart, it’s more of a stew.
The chicken is a combination of shredded chicken and large chunks, and it was fall-apart tender. But what made it so good was the sauce.
Rendang is rich in spices, and while every chef has their own recipe, you can expect coconut milk, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, chilies and turmeric, among others. The sauce was semi-spicy, with a small amount of heat (or a medium amount, if ou’re not into spicy food).
In addition to the rendang stew, there was pineapple achat, a salsa-type condiment with pineapple, carrots, cucumbers, cabbage and more with a sweet and vinegary flavor. Very tasty!
There’s also a hard-boiled egg included in the dish, and it’s all served over rice and on a bamboo leaf.
Oh yeah, they serve the rendang in a recycled bowl, so it’s better for the environment than all those plastic and styrofoam containers some street vendors use because they’re cheap.
The pineapple tart was small, only a couple of bites, but it was good. The crust was flaky and buttery, and the filling was pure pineapple jam.
The honey calamansi lime tea was a combination of sweet from the honey and tart from the limes, although the sweet won out in the end. We always make iced tea with honey at home, and the tea could have used a little less honey, but it was still refreshing in the heat.
Mamak is one of the better new vendors we’ve tried recently. Lunch consisted of a bunch of different tastes and textures, many of which you don’t see often on the NYC streets.
There are currently two carts, one is usually parked on 21st St & 5th Ave, and one is parked at 7 Hanover Place in FiDi, but check twitter to be sure.