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Monday, January 10, 2011

Mamak Village, Glebe

Barely two weeks old, Mamak Village is good news to inner west locals keen on a Malaysian roti fix but not quite prepared to brave the queues at Chinatown stalwart Mamak. The set-up is smaller, but a gleaming stainless counter out the front offers a peek at the theatrical display of roti production for passersby.

Only a few tables line the narrow corridor, but most customers are shepherded upstairs, which includes a shaded verandah that overlooks Glebe Point Road.

More More Tea $3.50

The A3 laminated menu has 24 savoury options, although a number of them are erased with masking tape, presumably yet to be launched. The More More Tea is explained as tea with condensed milk and palm sugar syrup, although it doesn't quite arrive as I expected, the tea more sweet than strong and bitter. Mixing the layers creates a milky brown tea but the taste of palm sugar overrides anything else.

More More Tea

Inside the main dining room, the walls are plastered with blown-up images of Malaysia, including Penang Bridge by night, a candy pink and blue More More Tea Inn, and a More More Tea sign. Asking our waiter about the significance of the inn offers only a blank look in reply, but Google has since told me the fictional resort was built on Redang Island for the Hong Kong movie Summer Holiday. The movie - starring Sammi Cheng and Ritchie Ren - was a huge hit across all of Asian in 2000, and the set was such a popular tourist attraction, it was reinforced to become a permanent structure in 2003. Now I just have to hunt down a copy so I can watch it!

Teh tarik $3.50

Teh tarik is much more my style, the strong tea brew balanced with condensed milk and poured from cup to cup to create a frothy foamy top.

Roti canai $4 ($5 at dinner)

On our two visits to Mamak Village, we order something different each time. Roti canai is a crisp rectangle of pastry - not as fluffy as the version at Mamak - but still enjoyable ripped into shreds and dipped into the two accompanying curry sauces and a splodge of chilli sauce. Roti bawang is slightly sweeter, filled with finely shaved slices of Spanish onion.

Roti bawang (roti with onion) $5.50 (dinner $6.50)

Roti grill

The roti chefs do well given the equipment they have to work with, using a heavy tray sitting directly on top of a four burner stove instead of a customised flat grill.

Pandan chicken $6
Chicken skewers in pandan leaf

If there is one dish you must order here, it's the chicken skewers in pandan leaf. This triangular snack is wrapped up in a pandan leaf like a birthday present, holding moist patties of chicken that are fragrant with lemongrass and garlic, and grilled to a caramelised and smoky sweetness.

Ayam berempah $4
Authentic Malaysian spiced fried chicken

Ayam berempah Malaysian fried chicken is juicy, covered with a golden crust that offers crunch and spices.

Nyonya tofu $6 and satay chicken $6

Satay chicken is reasonably good value at $1.50 per skewer, and we douse the char-grilled chicken with lashings of peanut sauce, nibbling on chunks of cucumber and raw Spanish onion in-between.

We bite through the golden fried Nyonya tofu and are surprised to find pillows of soft tofu seasoned with tumeric and studded with peas.

Penang char kway teow $9.50 (dinner $12.50)

Penang char kway teow comes with fish cake and prawns only, a welcome discovery given the price. The noodles are fresh and slippery, with deliciously caramelised edges, tendrils of bean sprouts offering a contrasting crunch.

Mee siam $9.50 (dinner $12.50)

Mee siam is a lighter noodle dish, thin strands of vermicelli fried with prawns in a spicy, sweet and sour sauce, served on a refreshing bed of shredded lettuce.

Sago gula melaka $5

The mound of pandan sago pearls that make up the sago gula melaka is easily torn down with our eager spoons. A moat of coconut milk is sweetened by a generous dousing of gula melaka palm sugar syrup, almost painfully so, by the time we reach the bottom.

Roti planta $5.50 (dinner $6.50)

The size of the makeshift roti grill downstairs means that roti tisu is not on the menu (and trust me, I pleaded). We order roti planta as consolation instead, a rectangle of roti cooked with lashings of butter and plenty of sugar. The roti does have an extra element of crispness, but I found the stuffing of butter rendered the pastry inside a little too greasy and soggy for my liking. We did enjoy the patty of pandan kaya on the side, a coconut jam made with coconut milk, eggs, sugar and pandan.

Roti pisang $5

Roti pisang is roti filled with thin slices of banana, scattered with chocolate sprinkles or meises. We hack into the crispy banana crepe with gusto, made even better with a dollop of coconut kaya on top.

Fancy some free gourmet goodies? Don't forget, today is the last day to enter the Grab Your Fork competition to win a $100 gift voucher from online delicatessen Audrey & Marco. Entries close 9.30pm tonight so enter now!

View Larger Map
Mamak Village on Urbanspoon

Mamak Village
25 Glebe Point Road, Glebe
Tel: 0414 675 880

Opening hours:
Lunch Wed to Mon 11am-3pm (closed Tue lunch)
Dinner 7 days 5.30pm-10.30pm (til late Fri and Sat)

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Malaysian - Kopitiam, Ultimo

Glebe - Flying Fajita Sisters (Mexican)
Glebe - Friend in Hand (Pub Grub and crab racing)
Glebe - Na Zdrowie (Polish)
Glebe - San Churro (churros and hot chocolate)

Food bloggers' tour of Malaysia
30 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 1/10/2011 12:07:00 am


  • At 1/10/2011 12:36 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    hack away into roti mmm sago gula malaka drowned in syrup is the way to go!

  • At 1/10/2011 4:06 am, Anonymous eatmarvin said…

    The fried chicken looks nice! And $1.50 satay chickens? Fantastic! By the way... they're not related to the Mamak at Haymarket and Chatswood, are they?

  • At 1/10/2011 4:57 am, Blogger joey@forkingaroundsydney said…

    I've heard of this place from somewhere; the 'More More Tea' wall is rather quirky! :)

  • At 1/10/2011 5:24 am, Blogger Gourmet Getaway said…

    Ooh looks so delicious, I love noodles and they looked gorgeous.

  • At 1/10/2011 7:40 am, Anonymous Min Ai said…

    Oh wow! Definitely going to give Mamak a run for their money I think! :D

  • At 1/10/2011 9:18 am, Anonymous Betty @ The Hungry Girl said…

    I do have a soft spot for roti canai, so I will definitely be checking this place out! And that pandan sago looks awesome!

  • At 1/10/2011 9:30 am, Anonymous john@heneedsfood said…

    I couldn't help but get excited when I found out about this place a few days ago. Looks great. If I weren't in Brisbane I reckon I'd have gone last weekend!

  • At 1/10/2011 10:48 am, Anonymous Clarissa (Eat My Shots!) said…

    ooh i'm liking the sound of extra stuff on the menu! i'm curious... is it owned by the same mamak people? just a more casual take with the village feel :O

    yummy i wanna go!

  • At 1/10/2011 11:50 am, Blogger Sheena said…

    Everything looks simply delicious, and all at reasonable prices too!

  • At 1/10/2011 1:29 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    Wow, the photo at the top of the man rolling the super thin roti? I swear, just looking at that made my fingers feel about forty times fatter and clumsier than they normally do.
    No matter! Fat fingers just makes for easier eating of roti planta, I'm sure ;)

  • At 1/10/2011 2:36 pm, Anonymous Simon @ the heart of food said…

    Lol! Love how you pleaded for roti tisu. Maybe if enough people ask for it, perhaps they'll eventually cave?

    The ayam berempah looks awesome. Same too for the sago gula malaka :)

  • At 1/10/2011 5:01 pm, Anonymous sara @ Belly Rumbles said…

    Like the look of the char kway teow, is one of my fave noodle dishes. No queues :)

  • At 1/10/2011 5:04 pm, Blogger Mel said…

    it's been a while since i've eaten roti and there's always a queue at mamak in chinatown. another place to try out roti. i'm craving for it now!

  • At 1/10/2011 6:56 pm, Anonymous Nic@diningwithastud said…

    The sago looks awesome! The tofu sounds really interesting. Might have to make a special trip :)

  • At 1/10/2011 7:22 pm, Blogger Mel said…

    ZOMG - so excited about this place. I will be going here as soon as I head back to work. Roti Canai here I come. I'm going to give the Teh tarik a try too - I saw it being made when I was in Singapore but was too dumb struck by humidity to bother trying it.

  • At 1/10/2011 11:20 pm, Anonymous Winstrol said…

    Though I'm not a fan, those pictures look delicious. I'm heading there next time I'm in the area. Thanks for the tip.

  • At 1/11/2011 11:25 am, Blogger shaz said…

    Oooh, always good to know of Malaysian restaurants. Glad to see they have a different menu to Mamak, I need to get me to some mee siam and char kway teow. How cute is the roti planta with sprinkles, he he :)

  • At 1/11/2011 12:08 pm, Blogger susan said…

    So much roti! I love the roti banana pancakes that are all over thailand. I have never had one outside of thailand though. I must rectify this!

  • At 1/11/2011 12:41 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Tried this place - it is definitely good. Yummy nasi lemak, nice twist on some of the other versions I've tried in Sydney, nice touches are a little addition of pickled vegetables which cuts through the chicken curry nicely and good sambal. Teh tarik in Glebe is also an awesome addition to local landscape...I would say roti not as fluffy as mamak but still pretty nice. And kitchen is right there in front of you as you walk in, so gets close to the genuine hawker article.

  • At 1/11/2011 2:14 pm, Anonymous Iron Chef Shellie said…

    MUST MUST MUST try this place!!

  • At 1/11/2011 10:15 pm, Blogger Gummi Baby said…

    I haven't as yet queued at either of the other Mamaks, I was wondering what the fuss was all about, but you've made it sound very appealing, specially that banana one. I watched the episode of Poh's Kitchen where she introduced someone who threw the hugest, most translucent roti (almost the same size as him) I've ever seen, have been craving them ever since.

  • At 1/11/2011 10:44 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    *drools* OMG I'M SO HOMESICK! And I work on the corner of Glebe point road!!!!!!!

    I'm so going there. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • At 1/12/2011 2:53 pm, Blogger AliB said…

    Thanks Helen for alerting us to this new addition to GPRd! Went for lunch today and enjoyed the dishes but unfortunately in my opinion it did not stand up well against the 'real' Mamak in Haymarket, or even Malacca Strait. I was not a fan of the chilli sambal - secretly the entire reason for my malay food cravings - which was like a sweet saucy jam rather than the hot fishy version. Also surprised and disappointed that they do not have one vegetable dish on the menu.

  • At 1/13/2011 12:18 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi eatmarvin and Clarissa - No they're not linked with Mamak, but more mamaks in Sydney can only be a good thing!

    Hi Hannah - The roti makers are amazing. And your fingers are very thin and elegant!

    Hi Gummi Baby - You'll definitely have to go and get some roti into you soon!

    Hi Alison - Thanks for your feedback. I didn't try the sambal and I agree, we did notice there aren't many vegetable/vegetarian options.

  • At 1/14/2011 1:51 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We were there in the early days and ordered almost everything on the menu. We'd recommend the roti canai but skip everything else. Not that they're awful, they're just below par.

  • At 1/17/2011 10:21 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh that sago looks heavenly! I am addicted to the stuff and, while I can make a pretty decent homemade version, I'm looking forward to trying this one.

  • At 1/17/2011 7:29 pm, Blogger An said…

    For people who want to watch the movie "Summer Holiday"/夏日的麽麽茶:
    It's in Mandarin/Putonghua with English subtitles (at most places)
    Here's the youtube links/playlist: http://www.youtube.com/user/starcharmed8714#grid/user/20407F883FEBC28A

    Sigh...I miss Glebe's character and fun loving cafes.

  • At 1/17/2011 7:35 pm, Blogger An said…

    Caught the screencap of the painting in the movie: At 09:04-9:05 of part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bnT8yDnKuo . Its sign is EXACTLY as the one in the cafe here!

  • At 10/07/2011 3:48 pm, Anonymous catty said…

    OMG i drove past this place the other day and almost crashed into the car in front of me, i was SO excited to have a Malaysian place near me!!!!!! can't wait to try it out!!

  • At 5/03/2012 1:43 pm, Blogger Taufulou said…

    woah~ everything looks good and looks more authentic. .


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