Mamak Revisited

366 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Date visited: 14th November 2012

We're back!  Was it only two weeks ago that MerlinFan and I found Mamak?  

MerlinFan was having Roti kaya cravings, so we brought AS here for a quick lunch.  There was a little queue, nothing spectacular, and we were third in line.  We were seated again at the corner of the room - the other corner with nice booth seats where we could watch food come out from the kitchen at the back.

Mamak has a list of lunch specials.  I hadn't realised that everything on the lunch special menu was in Malay until AS kept asking me "what's kambing" and "what's ayam berempah?"  I'm sure they explained everything in English on the regular menu, but if I didn't understand Malay like AS (who is Malaysian but lived in Australia most of her life), I'm sure I would have thought it was inconvenient.

AS had the Kari Ayam (chicken curry) Lunch Special.

Kari Ayam $11.00
The Kari Ayam came with a plate of rice.  There was a small but generous bowl of curry.  Now we absolutely love chicken thigh portions - they're the most flavoursome and tender part of the chicken and there were about four pieces of chicken thighs in there.  Again, the rich curry is not for the faint hearted - it had a quick rising, intense heat and sure packed a fiery punch even for spicy-food lovers like AS.  It had a nice, complex flavour of a combination of herbs - I couldn't resist a few bites, although I stayed away because like our first visit, our drinks hadn't arrived and it was way too spicy for me.
Woo!  Close-up with flash to show you the amount of red hot chilli oil in there!
MerlinFan had her Teh Ais again (won't post pic cos I had it in our first visit already) and AS and I had the Kopi Ais.  Now, one of the waitresses plopped down the wrong order of two glasses of Cham Ais (Coffee and Tea mixed) in front of us and we had to tell her it wasn't ours.  She apologized and brought our correct orders a few minutes later.  Not long after, one of the other waitresses plopped down two plates of Ayam Berempah on our table and rushed off without another word.  I had to wave madly to flag her down and tell her we didn't order it - she whisked it off briskly, not to mention mutely @.@

Our Kopi Ais was similar to the Kopi Tarik I had the other day - for some reason, their coffee had a chocolatey taste to it.  Not bad, though, did satisfy my Kopi Ais cravings.
Kopi Ais
MerlinFan's Roti Kaya.  I already mentioned what I thought of it on our first visit, and obviously it was good enough for us to return so I won't reiterate.
Roti Kaya
As promised, I had the Roti Bom.  Roti Bom is a thicker and sweeter flatbread, usually a round rolled danish, not unlike an escargot pastry.  Now the Roti Bom needs an extra 20 mins preparation time but boy was it worth it.  It was served hot; the inside was fluffy and slightly savoury like a traditional roti canai, but the outside... wow.  Sweet and sticky with a satisfying crunch, the layers flaking off like a croissant as you cut into it.  Heck, had it been smaller I'd pick it up and eat it with my bare hands.  The ice cream on the side was forgettable. 
Roti Bom
Look at that glorious glisten!

As we were finishing our meal, a plate of Satay was brought to the table next door and it smelt sooo good (and looked authentic too) that AS asked if we should return for dinner.  LOL.

I would say Mamak is an example of a place I would frequent again because of the quality of the food.  Service could use a little tweaking of course; during our lunch we noted we weren't the only people getting wrong orders brought to our tables and other people trying futilely to flag down a waiter/ waitress.  MerlinFan also pointed out that as one of the staff members cleaned the table beside her, he did it with so much force that half the surface of our table was covered with the cleaning solution and we were glad our food hadn't arrived for it would have been doused with table cleaner!

Having said that, they were extremely busy and staff were not unfriendly, but there's always room for improvement.  Food, on the other hand, agrees with our Malaysian tastebuds so will definitely be back for more when I'm craving a taste of home.


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