I'd heard so many good things about Mamak that I was becoming more and more...desperate...to go there. Talk of Mamak's soft, buttery Roti bread were driving me mad with Roti cravings.
I'd also heard many many things about the lengthy queue of hungry roti lovers waiting for their turn to try the magic of Mamak that I was a bit worried about how long I'd have to wait in line to finally get inside. I'd heard of people waiting upwards of 40 minutes to get a table inside due to their no-bookings policy.
Needless to say that my jaw nearly hit the floor when we cautiously approached Mamak one rainy Saturday afternoon to find a really small line-up. Niecy-Poo and I agreed we'd wait for 15 minutes and then abandon our mission as we were in a bit of a time crunch to head back to Newtown to meet The Boy who was referring Water Polo at Sydney Uni.
My jaw dropped even further when we were inside and seated within five minutes. Woot! This was my lucky day indeed.
It's just a pity that both Neicy-Poo and I were a tad full due to a morning of grazing at the Eveleigh Farmers Markets. Poor planning I know...rookie mistake really, but our trip to Mamak was totally unplanned. We decide to share a few things off the menu and come back another time for a full-blown Mamak feast with The Boy in tow.
To start with we order a serve of Roti Canai ($5.00). This Roti is surely a gift from the Roti Gods. It's beautifully soft and fluffy and just a little bit buttery, but not too oily. Perfection! The Roti Canai comes with two curry sauces, one of which is a lovely Dahl, as well as a spicy Sambal Sauce. Why I agreed to share this is beyond me...another rookie error I guess.
Sticking with our Roti theme we also order a Roti Bawang ($6.00). This iteration of Roti is served flat and not smashed and smooshed like a Roti Canai. The Roti Bawang is stuffed with sweet red onions that are "just" cooked so have a slightly crunchy texture. The sweet flavour of the red onions is the perfect compliment to the slight spicy sauces.
Neicy-Poo spied a piece of tasty looking Ayam Goreng ($3.50 per piece) on another table so we decide to order a piece of the fried chicken to try for ourselves, rather than stare longingly at the piece on the table next to us. Oh my, this was a delicious piece of chook. The skin was crisp to perfection and the meat still moist and tender. Once again I wonder to myself why we've agreed to share such tasty morsels.
Mamak also serves a range of Malaysian teas and coffees and we decide to order two different teas to share...of course. Niecy-Poo orders a Teh Halia ($3.50) and I order a cold Teh Ais ($3.50).
I'd not had "pulled tea" before, but was keen to try it after seeing people drinking it in coffee shops in Singapore. I was intrigued watching the man in the little Singapore shop I'd stopped in to have a cold drink pouring the tea from container to container to make a frothy cup.
Teh Halia (the cup in the foreground) is a hot pulled tea served with a hint of ginger. It is an absolutely beautiful drink and I could see myself quickly developing a habit for it if given half a chance. My Teh Ais is an ice-cold mikly tea that obviously has a generous spoonful (or two) of sugar. It's lovely and refreshing on a very muggy day in Sydney.
Despite the looming threat of a huge wait for our next visit to Mamak I know for a fact that it won't be long before my next visit. Roti = food love.
Mamak is at 15 Goulburn Street, Chinatown. They open for lunch from 11.30am - 2.30pm and for dinner from 5.30 - 9.30pm. They stay open til 2.00am on Friday and Saturdays for "supper".