Mamak is a Malaysian restaurant with franchises in two different locations in Sydney (Chinatown and Chatswood). If you’re going to the one in Chinatown, get ready for a long queue! My friends and I thought we’d go on a Monday night. Not very many people eat out on a Monday, right? Totally wrong. The queue at Mamak took about half an hour for us to get in (we were a group of three). I’ve been to the Chatswood one too, and I didn’t have to wait.
There’s two great things about Mamak that’ll make this review simple. Firstly, they have good food. The spice combinations are tasty, the roti is wonderful, the curries are hearty. Secondly, it is fairly cheap. The roti prices range from $5.50 – $12, with the cheapest being a perfect side dish whilst the most expensive is quite filling.
Between the three of us, we ordered two types of (planta and bawang, butter and onion roti respectively), nasi lemak, vegetarian curry, and hot teh tarik. As is often the case with busy (and cheap) restaurants our meals came at separate times, and my friend waited about a quarter of an hour for her curry.
I love roti. There is something about the oiliness that makes me want to eat more. I found that the roti bawang with the two curry dips and sambal sauce was a fairly filling dinner, especially with the teh tarik. Mmm, kilojoules. The roti planta was flaky and tasty. The vegetarian curry was a little too spicy for my friend, but bear in mind she doesn’t eat much spicy food. The nasi lemak arrived with sambal prawn for an extra $3, and was devoured pretty quickly.
To sum it up: at Mamak you get plenty of bang for your buck. The three of us ate for $51 in total, which is pretty cheap for a dinner in Sydney. I have had better Malaysian food elsewhere, but Mamak does a great job all the same. The worst thing is the queue, which appears to be ubiquitous no matter which day you go to dinner on. Don’t expect good service, it’s not what you’re paying for at Mamak anyway.