i've never been a big St. Patty's Day fan. i just don't get what the hallubaloo's all about. as far as i can tell, it's a day to wear green and drink a lot.
but i can do that any day of the weekend (or the week, to be honest).
so i don't get it.
i didn't even realize it was St. Patty's day until Sully and i went out for dinner. we used a Groupon to go to Masak, which i've been wanting to try based on on good reviews of their burger and oxtail noodles. on our walk over to the restaurant, we were bombarded with NYU-ers wearing a multitude of green.
Masak is a cute little restaurant that serves Singaporean fusion cuisine. it's got a great casual vibe to it and upon entering, it felt like i had walked into my local neighborhood restaurant, even though i don't live remotely close to it.
it's a small restaurant, so be ready to be within eavesdropping and voyeuristic distance of your neighbor, which isn't a bad thing because they have some very unique dish presentations which makes it fun to see what others ordered.
the Groupon allowed us to each get an appetizer and entree so we started with the Chili Crab Dip and Mantou ($12) and the Black Pepper Manila Clams ($12). as Yelp will tell you, the crab dip is the way to go. i wasn't a big fan of the dip, it was a little too sweet and the sweetness didn't really mix well with the strong seafood flavor. however, the fried mantou that accompanies the dish are perfect. freshly fried and scalding hot when served to you, the outside is crisp and crunchy while the inside stay soft and fluffy with just a hint of sweetness-the kind that comes from frying bread. the amount of mantous they give you will not even make a dent in the dip, so make sure to get another order for an additional $2. the clams were essentially clams with black bean sauce and a better version can be found in Chinatown.
for entrees, i opted for the Rendang Burger w/fried egg, bacon, and fries ($19). this is a monster behemoth of a burger. the brioche bun provides a subtle sweetness to the burger which is juicy and full of south asian flavor. i couldn't tell you what spices are in it, but it has a cumin, turmeric kind of flavor that isn't overpowering but is definitely original. if you order this, keep in mind that your hands and mouth will be a sloppy mess. but in a good way.
Sully ordered the Babi Assam (tamarind braised pork belly, fried black rice, sweet potato) ($21). the pork belly was tender and i liked the tamarind flavor which packed a nice punch. the black rice was less a fried texture and more of a risotto consistency, but it was a good counterbalance to the strong flavor of the pork.
overall, it was a good meal, although i'm not sure i would come back if it weren't for the Groupon.