Friday, 28 December 2012

Mamak - A Malaysian Surprise

I choose to eat at Mamak on Lonsdale Street frankly because the other places that I turned up to recently without a booking were not able to accommodate us on a whim. I had heard rumblings that Mamak, which flogs Malaysian food was decent but the queues were pretty intense every time that I wandered by previously. I really did not know what to expect so we fronted up at around 2:00 PM hoping to avoid some of the perceived madness, which we did fortunately.

The wait at 2:00 PM was not bad at all. In fact it took about three minutes to get a seat which was not at a communal table and I was grateful. Although the menus were thrust into our faces quickly, it still took about 15 minutes to get service to take our order. During this time I was able to admire the relatively modern fit-out, something that you usually do not expect in a Malaysian restaurant. There is an open and clean kitchen near the entrance for you to view whilst you either wait for a table or even relax whilst your takeaway is being prepared. Takeaway is available very late at night on Friday and Saturday and would make a somewhat healthy alternative to pizza and kebabs in the area especially if you have been pubbing it.

Multiple dishes were ordered including the Kari ayam ($16) which is classic chicken curry supposedly cooked with freshly ground spices and chunky potatoes. This was probably the only dish that I thought was average mainly because of the amount of cartilage which was probably enough to choke a small hound but we persevered. A lamb Murtabak ($11.50) also was served with two curry dips and was was purported to be a spicy sambal sauce but in fact it was quite mild. This dish along with the chicken skewers, was the highlight of my experience. It was a good blend of meat, cabbage and onion in a pastry. You are advised that you need to wait 15 minutes for the Murtabak to be made, which is fine especially when you are left to sip the Teh 'O' als limau ($3.50) which is iced tea and lime - damned good iced tea in fact.

I tasted a sweet roti, but as it has never been my thing, I really shouldn't comment either way however all of the desserts that I saw others ordering were large, colourful and looked rather good.

What I liked about this place is the modern fit-out and when you actually got your order in, the service was very efficient. Sometimes too efficient though as they attempted to deliver far too many plates to the small table at the same time which caused a problem, but in the end, you are not really paying much for decent food and atmosphere, so why bother getting annoyed about the little things - when essentially that is all they are.

Mamak, Melbourne
366 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone:(03) 9670 3137
My Rating: N/A
Service: N/A
Ambiance: N/A
Quality: N/A
Value For Money: N/A

Twitter: @epicurean3006
e-mail: epicureanofsouthbank (at) gmail (dot) com

At the time of this post, 68% of the reviewers on Urbanspoon also like Mamak Restaurant.

Mamak on Urbanspoon