Commonly known as “Mamak” in Malaysia – the term refers to street side food stalls selling cheap eats like teh tarik, nasi lemak, roti canai, maggi goreng and other local delights. It’s a way of life for Malaysians as the place to hang out with friends and share stories while sipping a cup of teh tarik and eating roti canai.
Today, I am going to Mamak, a Malaysian restaurant that has taken Sydney and Melbourne by storm – well known for their fluffy roti canai that is comparable to Malaysian standard (or so they claimed and what most reviews say). People would queue just to eat here. Seriously? Anyone who knows me knows I hate waiting (especially when I’m hungry), so I arrived here at 11.30am sharp – just when the doors open.
The interior feels nothing like being in a “mamak” because it’s very clean and organised 🙂 Most of the waiting staffs are young, asian students who are very eager to serve the customers. Having browsed through their menu in the net, I already know what I wanted to order.
Teh ais tastes authentically Malaysian with the right amount of sweetness and richness – served in the same glass as a Malaysian “mamak”. I am very satisfied. Their roti menu boasts 10 different roti – some savoury and some sweet. Hubby ordered Roti canai and I ordered my all-time favourite Roti planta.
We were thrilled with the Roti canai which tastes very Malaysian – light, fluffy and crispy as promised. The dhal and fish curry is flavoured to my liking although some would say that the curry is a little spicy. I like the sambal and goes really well with the roti. At this point, my expectation is climbing up a notch but that was it – it stopped right there. The dishes that came following this was just disappointment 😦
Roti planta looks pretty good from the top. But when I flipped to the bottom, the roti was soaking in oil which makes it soggy and wet. It lacks the rich butter smell and taste. Sadly, I didn’t enjoy it.
Ayam goreng is missing seasoning and flavour although I have to say the skin is yummy crispy. *Breathes a sigh* Now, let me ask you a question: “What makes a good satay ?” If you ask any Malaysian, they will tell you, “It’s the sauce”. Honestly I can forgive the satay if the sauce is good. But sadly, the peanut sauce that comes with this satay dish lacks the rich peanut aroma and taste that I was looking for. Chicken satay is ok but the beef satay was over-grilled which makes the meat very tight and tough to chew. It also lacks flavour in the marinade.
The last dish to arrive was Maggi goreng. It is garnished with fried shallots and served with cucumber slices, bean sprouts and a slice of lime – just like how the Malaysian version is served. The similarity stops here. The noodles are quite wet and tastes a tad sweet.
Verdict : I find the food in Mamak over rated. I came here expecting a good authentic Malaysian food. Unfortunately, apart from the roti canai and the teh, the other dishes that I’ve tried didn’t quite make the mark. Looks like my hunt for Malaysian authentic food continues…
To die for : Roti Canai “the original”
Price : $
Yummy Factor : +2
Tip : Stop and look at how the roti canai is made – next to the window – it is entertaining
366 Lonsdale St, Melbourne, Victoria
P: 03 9670 3137
Sun-Thus: Lunch & Dinner
Fri-Sat: Lunch, Dinner & Late
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