Text and picture by Eki Qushay Akhwan
"Martabak San Francisco", the title of this post and the food stall you see in the picture, is not the name of an American food or fast food chain. This stall sells Martabak, a local food found mainly in Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia. San Francisco is a local Bandung trademark. I don't know why the owner picked San Francisco as the trademark for the kind of food he sells. It could be because San Francisco is a well-known city (I know it's beautiful too) in the most powerful country in the world, hence he probably expected that the product would be associated with something big and good, like the martabak he sells.
There are two kinds of Martabak: Martabak Telor (literally, egg martabak) and martabak manis (sweet martabak). They are two different kinds of food, despite the similarity in their names.
The former is a crepe-like dish filled mainly with vegetables, meat, and eggs. Martabak telur is made by filling the ingredients (the filler) in a very thin filo pastry-like skin and frying it on an almost flat custom-made heavy wok. It is usually eaten with pickles or cucumber and a dark brown sauce made of vinegar and palm sugar. If you are curious what this food looks like, you can look at this flickr picture.
The latter (martabak manis) is a thick sweet pancake topped with a variety of possible ingredients, like cheese, chocolate, crushed peanuts, condensed milk and sesame seeds. Here is the picture.
Martabak telor is said to have originated from India. Some varieties of Martabak can also be found in Malaysia and Singapore (where it is called Murtabak).
Interested in trying? Here are the links to the recipes of Martabak Telor and Martabak Manis. Bon apetit - Selamat makan!
Wikipedia and others.
Bandung Daily Photo