Henry Lukman has a long history with martabak, the Indonesian street snacks. In Indonesia every time Henry Lukman and his dad were too lazy to cook they’d head to the streets for martabak.
Now, Lukman and Lo make one of the best martabaks in Sydney. They’re handmade daily, have a corn-chip crunch and are well seasoned. They’re packed with egg, curried-beef and shallot; meatballs, crab and smoked oysters; or Lukman’s personal favourite, corned beef.
Sweet martabaks offer an entirely different experience. Think of them as a hybrid between a crumpet and a Japanese pancake; they’re circular, wide, soft and full of crumpet-like perforations. The pores are necessary, because they allow the butter to seep in.
The most popular flavours are cheese, chocolate, peanuts, sweetened condensed milk or all the above. When it’s all piled on and layered it’s folded to make a pillowy but crunchy and crusted pancake sandwich that tastes like a breakfast-style cheesecake. It might not be wise to eat if you’re watching your cholesterol.
Although martabak is the speciality here (which is rare in Sydney), it’s not necessarily the most popular order. That title goes to the fried rice. For $8.50 you get a big bowl of dark and smoky rice that’s been blasted with wok hei – or “breath of a wok”, giving it a complex, charred aroma.