‘Mamak’ Review

Hey Everyone,
Tuesday has just passed and I missed my ‘Travel Tuesdays’ segment so, I thought a Sydney-based restaurant review is in order.

Where: 15 Goulburn Street, Haymarket, Sydney               Website: http://www.mamak.com.au/

Mamak has been the talk of the town for a while serving Malaysian cuisine and with my parent’s anniversary/ Dad’s birthday I thought I would take them here. It was a Saturday night and I knew there was going to be a massive line so, as soon as we hit Chinatown I power walked to ‘Mamak’ to grab a spot in the line. From the looks of the line, it was about a 30 minute wait and for ‘Mamak’ that’s a pretty fast wait.
When we reached the windows of ‘Mamak’ you were able to see how their famous hand-made roti in action. These chefs had amazing skill and to think how many roti breads they had to roll out individually each night is tiring labour. Truly admirable.

The Roti bread chefs hard at work.
          I love how Mamak is so brightly lit. There’s not much in terms of decorations going on but its simplicity works. It makes for a very friendly and delightful experience whether it’s a catch-up with friends or dinner before the night begins. It is a tad squishy but, understandable because the restaurant is quite small and there’s customers waiting outside.
           There were six of us and the menu is quite small so it makes ordering super easy. We ordered the ‘Kari Kambing’ ($16) which is a spicy lamb curry slow-cooked until tender. This stuff was delicious. It was spicy but the lamb was so tender, it basically melted in my mouth. It’s not sweet like Thai curries but, the spices and chilli pack it with flavour. Of course, we also ordered rice to accompany the curry. They both came out quite quickly (10 mins after ordering) and steaming hot. The only thing is all the dishes come out in a random order so you just have to eat whatever’s on your table.


Kari Kambing ($16) spicy kick and tender lamb.

Next, the roti is a must at Mamak. With every savoury roti, there are two accompanying curry sauces and a small dollop of spicy sambal sauce. We ordered the ‘Roti Canai’ ($5.50). It was steaming hot and so crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. The accompanying sauces were delicious and not too spicy. Especially seeing all of it being freshly made in the restaurant and by hand, it is a must at ‘Mamak.’

Roti Canai ($5.50)

We also ordered their ‘Mee Goreng’ ($11.50). This dish incorporates spicy-wok hokkien noodles with eggs, fish cake slices, prawns and fresh bean sprouts. If you love noodle dishes with spice, this is it. The prawns were cooked to perfection. They weren’t mushy and all the flavours just complimented each other. It’s one of those dishes that leaves a taste in your mouth and I honestly drool just thinking about it. I’m a sucker for these carbs.

Mee Goreng ($11.50)

We also ordered a dozen chicken satay sticks ($16) which is marinated in Malaysian spices and served with a sweet and spicy peanut sauce. The chicken on its own is pretty standard chicken skewers. There’s no wow factor about them but, swirl them in the peanut sauce and they are amazing. The sauce is certainly as it’s described. It is spicy but the sweetness from the peanuts balances it all out. Chicken satay sticks at any Thai restaurant are one of my favourite dishes but compare ‘Mamak’s’ peanut sauce to a typical Thai sauce, the Thai sauce is usually much more sweeter. While that is still delicious, the Mamak peanut sauce has more depth in its flavour.

Chicken Satay ($16 for a dozen). They do go by the half a dozen as well.

Another must form ‘Mamak’ is their traditional Malaysian dish, ‘Nasi Lemak’ ($8.50). This dish consists of coconut flavoured rice, sambal chilli sauce, peanuts, crispy anchovies, cucumber and half a hard-boiled egg. We added the fried chicken for an extra ($3). This dish is so different to everything I’ve ever eaten. Every component is boring on its own but mix this all up and it’s a combination of crunchy textures, salty, spicy and sweet flavours and this dish is a winner.

             The fried chicken is also a must. This came out steaming hot on the inside, crisp on the outside and with the best cut of the chicken. This was so delectable. I want more. While the crispy skin looked to have been marinate in amazing Malaysian spices, it wasn’t as potent as I expected which is a bit of a let down. But, it is a great accompaniment to all their other dishes and I would definitely order this again.

Nasi Lemak ($8.50) + fried chicken ($3) = MUST TRY

Of course, a piece of fried chicken was not enough so, we ordered another four pieces, ‘Ayam Goreng’ ($14).

Ayam Goreng ($14) delicious.

Altogether, the bill totaled to $79.50. Which for a party of six equated to $13.25 per person. My mum wasn’t feeling too well so she didn’t eat to her full potential but even if she did, it’ll only be another $15 on top of that. For a night out, that’s a great deal!

             I totally recommend ‘Mamak.’ Everything is quick, delicious and the staff were nice. It may be a bit hard getting their attention since they have so many people to attend to but, they’re very quick about everything. It is loud, but the cosy small tables are enough for a conversation with friends and family. The only thing to keep in mind is it is quite spicy and unfortunately, there’s no option to change the spice level. So if you’re not too sure, drag a spicy eating friend along.
             ‘Mamak’ in the city does not take reservations. But, if you want a table quickly I suggest going for a late lunch so around 1:30-2pm or an early dinner at 5-6pm. And, if you’re there on a Saturday night, why not catch the fireworks at Darling Harbour from 8:30 – 9PM depending on the month.
Fireworks at Darling Harbour

Hope you’re all having a lovely week! I have a little special post coming soon so subscribe if you want instant updates.

Nibble away,

Jo x.


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