Thanks to Catty on Twitter for recommending this place. I loved it!!! It reminds me of Singapore so much and what’s great about it, the place is being run by young Asians even the guys making the roti pratas were young. Again, when I got there the place was rammed with people dining inside and a queue out the door. I got really excited as I knew this was going to be a good meal. Plus there are a lot of reviews done on Mamak which was posted on their walls and doors.
Mamak, Tamil for uncle, is also the name for the Kuala Lumpur stalls serving cheap, fast Indian-Muslim inspired dishes. Owner-chef triumvirate Julian Lee, Alan Au and Clement Lee capture an authentic spirit, both in the bustling atmosphere and what’s on the plate. They did it the hard way, giving up corporate jobs in Sydney to head for Malaysia and learn how to cook the real deal. Cheap, bustling and alive with the sounds of spitting frypans, smacking lips and lively gossip, these spice-laden stalls dish out a unique hybrid of Malay, Chinese and Muslim Indian cuisine. The atmosphere at Mamak is much the same. Smack in the heart of Chinatown, the narrow, bright red room is buzzing at both lunch and dinner, and because, just like a real mamak, they don’t take bookings but they wait isn’t too long though. But don’t worry, you won’t be disappointed with the food at all.
Queuing customers are entertained by Mamak’s dedicated roti (flatbread) chefs, who prepare the thin, sticky dough in an elaborate dance of slapping, stretching and dousing in lashings of oil before frying on a hotplate and then moulding the round, flaky bread into shape. We definitely had to order the roti prata with egg (my usual order since I was a little girl) which is served with two curry dips and a rousing homemade sambal.
We also ordered the roti tisu which is a paper thin, extra crispy roti served tall where the underneath of the roti is spread with sugar. It was so good! You can either have it with ice cream as a dessert but I much prefer it with the 2 curry dips and the sambal.
We had to order the mee goreng which is work fried egg noodles with eggs, prawns, fish cake and bean sprouts and also chicken satays!
Six chicken satays huddled together on a small plate as waif-thin strips of meat beside a rubble of chunky raw red onion and cucumber. The taste is unbelievably authentic – slightly sweet with a perfume that’s both lemongrass floral and charcoal smoky. The satay sauce is equally agile and attractive.
Mamak’s not a place to linger. It’s best to set a good example and let others have a turn, since you’ll want to keep coming back. Between the two of us, we ordered 4 dishes and it came up to $40 which I thought was cheap compared to what we would get in Perth. That was inclusive of the 2 home made lime juice which again is something that I always have when I’m back home in Singapore.
On the whole, 10 for the food quality, 9 ½ for the atmosphere, 9 ½ for pricing and 9 ½ for service.
15 Goulburn St
02 9211 1668
Open 7 days lunch 11.30am – 2.30pm and dinner 5.30pm – 9.30pm