Masak is worth a try
Had a quick dinner at Masak the other night and in general we really like it. The space is nice, kind of rustic meets campaign meets tropics. The wait staff, although somewhat unpolished, was very good and efficient and a very pleasant/friendly guy. The FOH staff we encountered were all very nice.
We started with some quih pie tee, small pastry cups cups filled with different things, the shrimp was really really good, the pull pork was good. Then had crispy lamb tongue which was very different then tongue you would get at the deli, it was very thick pieces and had a crispy coating on it, it was very good eventhough it wasn't what I expected. I then had the pork belly which I liked a lot but the fried black rice that came with it was wonderful. They offer it as a side so get it if it doesn't come with your dish. GF had cauliflower soup, which I tried and liked, not as much as some other versions but it was solid. She then had the Greenmarket Sayur Lodeh which was very good (and vegetarian). No room or time for dessert.
I would recommend if you are in the area and looking for something a little different.
Thanks for the report, but I have some questions I hope you or someone else can clear up:
Masak means "cook(ed)" in Malay and Indonesian. What kind of cuisine(s) do they claim to be serving, and are you sure you spelled "quih pie tee" right? The word for "cake" in Hokkien, Malay, and Indonesian is "kue(h)/kuih," and then I have no idea what "pie tee" would mean or what language that is. The only dish that I really recognize is sayur lodeh, which is an Indonesian dish and not at all necessarily purely vegetarian: In my experience, sayur typically is made by boiling vegetables (for example, root vegetables, beans, or/and leafy vegetables) in a combination of coconut milk (santan/santen) and water, with fresh red peppers and little dried shrimp. Of course, some people believe shrimp don't count as meat, but that's another story.
Answering my own question with information from Masak's website http://www.masaknyc.com/:
"Masak is a Singapore-influenced restaurant by chef/owner Larry Reutens located in the heart
of New York City's East Village. A Singapore native based in New York, Chef Reutens (formerly of Aquavit, Tasting Room, and Alias) interprets traditional Singapore fare, combining flavors and ingredient from Southeast Asia with locally and seasonally sourced produce."
And "Quih Pie Tee" is the spelling he uses, but I've never seen it before. Thanks for describing it.
I think that's optional, but you make a good point. One time I went to Skyway with a party that included a woman who was allergic to shrimp (mistake! and in my defense, I didn't know about her allergies beforehand). Because of that, we inquired about the use of belacan, and were told that it was an ingredient in almost every dish. I think there were too exceptions, one of them an appetizer and the other, something steamed (maybe a Chinese-style steamed fish with ginger and scallions). So the upshot is that belacan/terasi is a basic ingredient in Malaysian and Indonesian rempah (spice paste), even in loads of dishes in which you wouldn't have any reason to suspect its presence.