Sunday, 17 January 2010

Restaurant Review: Mamak, Sydney

Mamak quite possibly has the longest queues of any restaurant in Sydney. It's unusual not to see a line of people coming out the door and disappearing round the corner. After it was recommended to me as having the best Malaysian food in Sydney I've made two abortive visit. Tonight with a steely resolve to brave the queues we went early. And it transpires the queue is pretty fast moving.

The first thing you notice is the kitchen right next to the front window where they are making fresh roti, stretching out impossibly thin sheets of dough.

As there were five of us we managed to order a good range of dishes. First up was a Nasi Goreng which is a simple fried rice. Standard street fare and nothing too elaborate. Our second rice dish was Nasi Lemak which was an assortment of curried chicken, tofu, crispy anchovies and cucumber. It would be a great dish to order if there just a couple of you eating due to the variety that you get. The chicken was very tender and the anchovies a surprising hit.

We had an unbelievably tender lamb curry called Kari Kambing. The menu billed the curry as spicy, although even my weak constitution didn't think it was too hot. Our final main dish was a Malaysian salad called Rojak. A mound of cucumber covered in a peanut (satay stlye?) with tofu, prawns, coconut fritters and other goodies mixed in. I think the peanut sauce would make it too heavy to eat the whole salad, but a one fifth taster was perfect.

Finally we had two of the house speciality rotis. There were some elaborate pyramid shapes coming out of the kitchen, but ours were disappointingly flat. Peasant food, they are served with two curry sauces, medium and hot.

Are the queues warranted? The food is fantastic value, the service is swift and the restaurant has a great atmosphere. However, as you've noticed I haven't yet mentioned the food. It was good and I'd go again but there is no spark like there was with the Chinese Noodle House. There restaurant has probably become a slight victim of it's own success.

Mamak on Urbanspoon


  1. expectation...or the unexpected, both very powerful elements I feel.

  2. I think you are correct. Chinese Noodle House was unexpected and I loved it.

    There may have been too much anticipation surrounding Mamak.