The Best Mamak in Sydney
Mamak is Malaysian Indian Muslim and their food is the marriage of Malay and Indian food and they are very popular in Malaysia. Mamak food is patronized by Malaysians in regard of race or religions. Some of the food includes roti canai, nasi goreng (fried rice), mee goreng (fried noodle) and drinks like “teh Tarik” or pull tea. You can find mamak stalls and restaurants almost everywhere in Peninsula Malaysia.
The idea of bringing the tradition to Sydney was visualised by three Malaysians. They were University graduates from Sydney and they had this crazy idea of bringing the Malaysian Mamak scene to Sydney. Thus, they went back to Malaysia and learn how to cook Mamak food and went back to Sydney and started off by selling their food in stalls. As the food is widely accepted by the locals, they opened their first restaurant at Chinatown.
In a short time, they make names by winning multiple awards and getting raving reviews by the locals and press. Thus, they are also highly recommended by the tourism board as well as tourism booklets and guidebooks.
They are located at 15 Goulburn Street, Haymarket, Sydney and the queue starts from 11.30 am till late. Even though there are competitors around, you can never miss the queue in front of the restaurant at most time. Hence, you can’t make reservations and they don’t advertise and don’t offer media reviews. Yes, they have strict rules and policies and their marketing approach is by word of mouth only.
Well, you don’t find any fancy food here but almost exactly the same mamak food from Malaysia, in a better presentation and service, quality and good food.
Teh Tarik or pull tea is a popular milk tea in Malaysia. It is often sweet, no thanks to the condensed milk but it is addictive. It is great to see “Teh Tarik” in Sydney and this is a must try.
Start with chicken satay. Malaysia version of chicken satay is marinated with turmeric powder and then grilled to perfection and compliment with spicy satay peanut sauce, chopped cucumber and onion. This is similar to the ones back home, good stuff.
If you watched the latest season of Masterchef UK, one of the winning dishes of the final episode by Malaysian Ping is “Nasi Lemak”. In Malay, it is translated as fatty rice. The coconut rice is compliment with spicy “sambal” (chilli paste), fried anchovies, peanuts, chopped cucumber and curry mutton. For a taste of the Malaysia most popular dish, this nasi lemak is to die for. It is flavourful and you can taste the different texture from the crunchiness of the fried anchovies to the softness of the fragrant coconut rice. Nasi lemak is a typical breakfast food which is sinful but yet delicious.
Roti Canai is similar to the Roti Pratta of Singapore and a distance cousin to the Roti from India. This is usually taken with dhall curry. Hence, you can also dip it onto chicken, fish or mutton curry for different curry taste. Roti Canai is also a popular Mamak food back in Malaysia.
We spent less than A$ 35 on our lunch and it consider as cheap eats in Sydney. You can’t convert and compare to the prices you pay in Malaysia. The food in Mamak generally good and you will not be disappointed with their swift service. They need quick hands to fend off the hungry customers queuing outside of the restaurant. Due to its popularity, Mamak opened two more outlets in Australia, one in Chatswood Sydney and another one in Melbourne. For those who never tried authentic Malaysian food, this is the place you should visit and for Malaysians who are homesick, this place is considered home. Be there early to beat the crowd or else enjoy queuing up for some good simple Malaysia Mamak food.
Mamak Sydney Chinatown Address and Contact:
15 Goulburn Street,
T: (02) 9211 1668
Mamak Chinatown Opening Hour:
lunch 11:30 – 2:30
dinner 5:30 – 10:00
supper til 2am (fri & sat)