Tetangga Kita: Sweet or savoury, stuffed Indonesian-inspired martabak
June 26, 2021
Making magic out of martabak, the friendly neighbourhood Tetangga Kita infuses these Indonesian-inspired street snacks with everything from Milo to Lotus Biscoff, cheese to chicken to Korean noodles.
Indonesian martabak is inventively irresistible. It comes in sweet and savoury varieties, as thickly stuffed pancakes or thin and crisp like Malaysia's apam balik.
The sweet types are typically known as Martabak Manis, nicknamed 'terang bulan' or 'bright moon,' while savoury, eggy ones are Martabak Telur, sometimes called Martabak Malabar.
With one of its original founders hailing from Jakarta to champion authenticity, Tetangga Kita prepares each order fresh off the griddle. These treats are fun and playful but also fulfilling and pleasurable - if you're seeking the ideal introduction to Indonesian martabak in the Klang Valley, check out Tetangga Kita, serving and delivering from Hartamas Shopping Centre and Paradigm Mall. Order at tetanggakita.com
Tebal or nipis? Tetangga Kita's thick dessert-friendly choices are fluffy with a buttery-rich, indulgently luscious chew.
Top of the pops, the Meises Keju (RM20, sufficient for sharing) is reputedly the original Indonesian martabak, considered the King of Martabak, its history stretching back to the 1970s - the meises chocolate sprinkles offer a decadent cocoa base that buoys the savouriness of shredded cheddar cheese, for beautiful bursts of well-rounded sweet-saltiness in each bite.
The Martabak Manis Milo (RM28) retains the mild grated cheese, coupling it with a triple threat of Milo - Milo nuggets and Milo powder in Milo-laced batter - for an ooey-gooey masterpiece of malt, marvellously moreish for the young at heart, pure and perfect for kids of all ages.
Other funky flavours span the newly introduced Green Tea Red Bean martabak to crowd-pleasing favourites like Nutella Keju Kacang (Nutella with shredded cheddar and roasted ground peanuts), Jagung Keju (prepared with a pandan batter), Red Velvet Oreo (with red martabak batter topped with premium house-made cream cheese and heaps of Oreo crumbs), Skippy Peanut Butter and Jam (the classic PB&J), Kit Kat Green Tea Keju (with a green tea-infused batter), Lotus Biscoff, Ovamaltine, and Kit Kat Kacang.
All the sweet flavours can be ordered as thin martabak too, with a crispier, wafer-like quality.
The Lotus Biscoff (RM17) boasts lovely notes of the unmistakable caramelised biscuit spread that's increasingly coveted by Malaysia's bakers and their customers, while the Ovalamaltine (RM15) is also full-bodied in its comforting chocolaty-malty nuances that all generations will enjoy.
You can certainly make a complete meal with Tetangga Kita's Martabak Telur. As its name suggests, these are constructed with an egg mix, yielding a gently crisp skin, packed plumply with stuffings.
The Ayam (RM20) is the safe hearty bet for the entire household, protein-powered with chicken breast, onions and leek, with no skimping on the tender, tastily marinated meat.
The Samyang (RM22) is the intriguing novelty, bursting with oodles of noodles for a cushion of carbs, namely South Korea's famed spicy instant noodles. The firepower is kept in check, with just enough heat to keep your tongue tingling, making for a memorable cross-cultural culinary creation.
These Martabak Telur comes with condiments of ABC sambal asli, the quintessential Indonesian chilli dip. Other options for Martabak Telur include Dendeng (with daging dendeng and torched rendang gravy), Sapi (with beef tenderloin, a special that sometimes requires preorders) and Hot Tuna.
At a time when Indonesia remains off-limits for travel, Tetangga Kita brings us exuberant flavours from one of our closest neighbouring nations. Many thanks to Tetangga Kita for this sampling.
Tetangga Kita can be found at:
Level 2, Hartamas Shopping Centre, Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur.
Lot LG-10, Lower Ground Floor, Paradigm Mall, Petaling Jaya, 47301 Petaling Jaya.