I haven't written about Mamak before because, quite frankly, there's very little point to it. The place is constantly chockers and anyone who wants to get good Malay or Singaporean food in Sydney knows about it. Chances are most of the people reading this have already spent a large amount of time waiting in that line, hoping to get a taste of their pillowy roti canai or one of their extremely solid curries.
But I'm going to write it anyway because I have an opinion and a keyboard and a blog and a cat that does magic (the keyboard is not wireless)
There's no denying the food at Mamak is good. The rotis are pillowy, the curries are definitely packed with flavour and tender meat. But is Mamak worth the reverence? Is it even worth waiting for? For mine, maybe not.
Though I love their rojak. Such a great mix of fresh, crunchy vegetable with deep fried tofu, egg, the satay-esque sauce and whatever else they chuck on there. It's too good to be considered a salad.
The murtabak has great flavour and excellent pastry, but sometimes questionable meat on the inside.
Satay is always a yardstick in a Malaysian restaurant and theirs is pretty solid, if tiny and lacking a little more char. I never know if it's a good or bad thing that there is always more sauce than is required. It always tends to find itself onto other things on my plates. Without complaint, I should add.
Kangkung belacan and kacang panjang belacan are trustworthy sides and succeed in making greens sexy.
Everything else is solid. The rice dishes, the noodle dishes, the desserts, the drinks, the super quick (if at times hard to get the attention of) service, the prices.
But is the at-times-50-deep queue really worth it? I don't think so. You're in Chinatown; you don't need to blindly follow the Mamak scripture. Sydney is great because you can get such an insane variety of good, authentic food.
Mamak is just one example of so many. But one of the only ones with such ridiculous queues. Sure, you get great food at the end of that wait, but you can get great food without a wait nearby.
RATING: Will return to [?]