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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Mamak, Haymarket Chinatown

Roti tisu $7.00
Paper-thin extra-crispy roti served tall

On a second trip to Mamak the roti tisu was the first thing that had to be ordered. The majestic appearance of this golden brown roti, shaped into a witches hat, had caused us all to swivel heads as it sailed past our table and over to the other side of the room. Today it's our table that receives looks of envy as neighbours poke one another in the ribs and point towards it. It is with more than a little self-satisfaction that I break off a shard.

The roti tisu, explains the friendly roti flipper out the front, is stretched out into a paper-thin rectangle and grilled until crispy. It's brushed with butter, sprinkled with sugar, then allowed to caramelise; three swift diagonal cuts follow and it is quickly folded into its final conical appearance.

The roti is crisp but markedly sweet. Nevermind that it is listed under the Sweet Roti setion and recommended with ice cream. It's also available with two curry dips and sambal and a quick glance around the room shows we're not the only ones sporting a sweet roti peak.

Teh tarik $3.00
Milk tea

A beer mug of teh tarik is the favoured drink here. Warm and slightly sweet, the milky tea has a foamy head of froth, traditonally created by pouring the drink at great heights from one cup to another.

Nasi goreng $8.50
Malaysian-style fried rice with prawns, cabbage and fried egg

Nasi goreng is a colourful mound of golden fried rice, Malaysian-style. Kecap manis, a thick sweet soy, gives the rice a sweet brown tan. There's a background hum of chilli, a handful of fried shallots providing crunch, and a few slices of cucumber and tomato to refresh the palate.

Mee goreng $8.50
Wok-tossed hokkien noodles with prawns, fish cake slices,
fresh bean sprouts and a fried egg

Mee goreng also has a chilli kick. Thick chewy strands of hokkien noodles cavort with a smattering of prawns, cubes of deep-fried tofu, wilted bean sprouts and splashes of green onion.

Kari kambing $12.00
Spicy lamb curry slow-cooked until tender
with rice $2.00

The kari kambing lamb curry is reasonably tender, the thick sweet gravy perfect for ladling over steamed white rice.

Nasi lemak $6.50
Fragrant coconut rice with sambal, peanuts, crispy anchovies,
cucumber and a hard-boiled egg
with fried chicken $3.00

I'd chosen the nasi lemak, the Malaysian version of a ploughman's lunch. A compacted mound of steamed coconut rice sits with a smudge of sambal and a halved boiled egg. Diced cucumbers give sweetness, fried peanuts and anchovies provide the crunch.

My fried chicken leg is straight from the fryer, a golden batter encasing flesh that is moist and juicy.

It's a little bit of everything and we eat everything up.

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Mamak on Urbanspoon

15 Goulburn Street, Haymarket Chinatown, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9211 1668

This has been included on Grab Your Fork's Top 10 Sydney Eats for Tourists. Read the entire list here.

Open 7 days (no reservations)
Lunch: 11.30am - 2.30pm
Dinner: 5.30pm - 9.30pm
Supper: till 2am on Friday and Saturday

BYO $2 per person
10% surcharge on public holidays

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Mamak, Haymarket
(30Jul09), (15Jul09), (Nov07) and (Oct07)

Malaysian -- Kopitiam, Ultimo (Dec08), (Apr07) and (Apr06)
Malaysian -- Makan at Alice's, Thornleigh (Feb08) and (Jun07)
Malaysian -- Malay Chinese, Sydney (26 Apr 07) and (3 Apr 07)
Malaysian -- Mc Lucksa, Haymarket
Malaysian -- The Malaya, Sydney
Malaysian -- Tan's Malaysian, Ultimo

Malaysian -- Temasek, Parramatta (Jan09) and (May08)
18 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 11/01/2007 09:15:00 pm


  • At 11/01/2007 10:14 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    roti tissue!!! oh man that was my fav food in malaysia when i was a kid i would call it my party hat...

  • At 11/02/2007 10:26 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The nasi lemak plate looks very much like a lunch you'd find in a cozy diner. What a delicious meal...and I love the witch hat!

  • At 11/02/2007 2:00 pm, Blogger Julia said…

    Ohhh that all looks so good. All those golden colours...

  • At 11/02/2007 4:41 pm, Blogger case-in-point said…

    For the nasi lemak, are the cucumbers pickled? i'm used to achar with a bit more variety then that...the nasi lemak at Baba's @ Grace Hotel is pretty good, but their dishes are much more expensive.

    otherwise, everything looks great, would love to go for a visit!

  • At 11/03/2007 1:06 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Chocolatesuze - rofl. Party hat! I love it! I think I'm going to call it that from now on :)

    Hi Sherry - Nasi lemak is always comforting, and the witches hat, I mean party hat (hehe), was fun.

    Hi Julia - I agree. I love golden hues, especially if it means fried... :)

    Hi Case_In_Point - No the cucumbers weren't pickled. I've never seen achar arrive with nasi lemak in Sydney. I'll have to check out Baba's sometime.

  • At 11/03/2007 5:53 pm, Blogger Rachel said…

    Hi AG, not sure if you got my previous comment as it hasn't appeared here and there wasn't anything rude in it I promise!! :P

    Anywa, just wanted to say that even though I don't always comment, I do check yoru blog regularly. Thank you for covering such a wide variety of cuisines in sydney. Of late, the malaysian/ Singaporean food posts are dear to my heart (and tongue) and make me homesick. Fortunately for me, even though I am 300kms from sydney, my tastebuds can live vicariously through you :)

  • At 11/03/2007 9:29 pm, Blogger shez said…

    roti tisu is such a favourite of mine from malaysia...

    must stick it on the (ever growing) list of things i have to eat when i get back there!!

    my mum serves achar with nasi lemak when she makes it at home. it might just be because she likes it that way though.

  • At 11/04/2007 10:47 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Rachel - No, I promise I delete any previous comment from you. It must've been eaten by Blogger :(

    I'm glad you've been enjoying the Malaysian/Singaporean posts, altho' I can't imagine the salivary pain you must be in! Perhaps a small eating list to conquer the next time you're in Sydney :)

    Hi Bec - I could see how achar would really work with nasi lemak. Pickles always taste good with fried food, I think :) I would love to go to Malaysia. The thought of all that wonderful street food is enough to make me cry with hunger!

  • At 11/06/2007 12:09 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ooh what a coincidence - Simon Thomsen's got a review of Mamak in the SMH today.


  • At 11/09/2007 5:34 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Lindsey - Yep I noticed that :)

  • At 2/24/2008 7:16 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I went here the other night as I was staying just round the corner. The roti was great (I had the red onions), so was the satay (nice and smoky).

    No rojak when I went unfortunately as I was really looking forward to it.

    Definitely on the list for next time.

  • At 2/25/2008 9:08 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi mr_gimlet - Glad to hear your enjoyed your roti and satay. Hope you get your rojak fix next time :)

  • At 11/08/2008 12:54 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I tried nasi lemak there and it was sooo delicious. Even better than Kopitiam version because they give you fried chicken (my favourite) which is best eaten with nasi lemak, not curry chicken. The chicken satay is also very good and the sauce is so tasty. Not like your usual peanut sauce, this one is a mix of sweet, sour and mild flavour. The other good Malaysian place is Sam Satay in Surry Hills. You should try that place in your next foodie visit, Helen.

  • At 11/10/2008 8:15 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Hendra - I haven't tried Sam Satay yet but will have to schedule a visit with that glowing review :)

  • At 6/12/2009 4:41 pm, Anonymous hj said…

    there's a new singapore/malaysian restaurant in pyrmont, 50 Harris st. it's called drunken geisha...so un-singapore/malaysian. anyway, their beef rendang is good. they even have chicken rice, though only on saturdays.

  • At 6/14/2009 10:07 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi hj - Drunken geisha? What a crazy name! Will have to check it sometime :) Thanks for the tip!

  • At 8/27/2009 11:06 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    tried mamak.It was okay. Now drunken geisha (cute name) in prymont is a must try for sin/m'sian food!! loved the beef rendang and curry!! yummy! Their stir fried dishes are amazing too. glad i tried this restaurant out after reading their highly recommended reviews on eatability.

  • At 8/28/2009 1:08 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Anon - I have read a few reviews of Drunken Geisha. Thanks for passing on your feedback!


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