Monday, December 15, 2014


After all this time, I've only just got around to eating at Mamak. I remember the hype surrounding the restaurant when it first opened, and the corresponding lines, and I shudder just thinking about it. The experience was much more pleasant now that it's no longer the darling of the Melbourne dining scene (especially with the massive expansion of Pappa Rich everywhere).

I arrived there for an early 6pm dinner with a friend and were promptly seated. The restaurant was relatively empty and fairly spacious, although the tables were smaller than I was entirely comfortable with (I need space to make a mess after all!) but not a-typical of an inner city restaurant. The menu is very Malaysian and very manageable - just what I wanted.

On to the food. I couldn't dine at a Malaysian restaurant and not order some Roti.

Roti Canai
The Roti was perfectly flaky and I had great fun feeling the layers off the roti ball. The curries were pretty uninteresting being both thin in texture and flavour, but luckily I'd ordered some additional curry in anticipation.

Kari Kambing
The lamb curry was rich and tender, with the faintest hint of spice (rather than what I'd call 'spicy'). I miss Australian lamb (the lamb in the USA isn't as flavoursome, tender or as abundant) and was incredibly happy with my order. In hindsight, I should have ordered more roti to soak up the juices.

My friend ordered the Rojak, a Malaysian-style salad with prawn and coconut fritters, fried tofu, hard-boiled eggs, yambean (jicama) and cucumbers and the requisite peanut sauce. I've never been particularly fond of Malaysian-style salads, but my friend demolished it in record time, which suggests that they liked it a lot.

The food was delicious (especially the roti), prices were reasonable and the service was fast. The nly blip was the confusion of whether iced black coffee should or shouldn't contain milk (some things just get lost in translation). I can understand the attention Mamak garnered when it opened was mostly worth it, but I think the lack of lines certainly makes for a more enjoyable dining experience.

366 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Sun-Thu 1130am-230pm, 530-10pm
Fri-Sat 1130am-230pm, 530pm-12am

Mamak on Urbanspoon