Home > Desserts, Malaysian, Syd: Haymarket, Sydney > Mamak, Haymarket

Mamak, Haymarket

Can you believe it has been three years since my last visit to Mamak? I can’t believe how popular they have become and now have TWO restaurants, one on Goulburn Street, Haymarket, and the other in Chatswood, which I have yet to visit. They have definitely done well for themselves!

As most of you know, the queue for Mamak is insanely long! I am not a fan of waiting, especially if it’s a 45 – 60 mins wait. I was catching up with a dear friend, C, for lunch. We originally wanted to go to Gumshara, however, there was a fire and the food court was closed – not sure for how long, think a couple of weeks – so he suggested Mamak. I was surprised there was no one waiting, however, the restaurant was full, and thankfully, there was one table for two left. I would have definitely suggested somewhere else if there was a queue.

I have been here a few times now (obviously, prior to three years ago) and have tried pretty much everything on the menu. C left the ordering to me, it was only his second time here. We started with the Roti Canai ($5.5). The roti was unbelievably flaky and soft that it melted in my mouth. Unfortunately the two curries offered were pretty average. It was a little watery and lacked flavour.

C had the lunch special, Kari Ayam ($10) – classic chicken curry cooked with freshly ground spices and chunky potatoes. The curry was definitely much better and I asked if I could dip my roti in it. C thought it was ‘ok’, too many potatoes and not enough chicken.

I had the rojak ($14), Malaysian-style salad, prawn and coconut fritters, fried tofu, hard-boiled eggs, freshly shredded yambean, and cucumber topped with a thick spicy peanut sauce and it was indeed a THICK peanut sauce. A little too rich and sickly for my liking. Aside from that, I do love the textures in the salad, the yambean and cucumber were both refreshing and tasty.

We couldn’t go pass the dessert – roti kaya ($7.5) filled with a traditional spread made from pandan and coconut topped with vanilla ice cream. This was absolutely delicious, I love the pandan flavour, the coconut was subtle, and the roti was crispy on the outside and deliciously moist on the inside – it all just melted in my mouth! Divine!

I had kopi tarik ($3.5) – you can ask for it to be less sweet, as I am not a fan of sweet coffee, and it was good. It was refreshing and went down too easily. C had the teh tarik ($3.5) and he definitely enjoyed it.

I have to admit though, I am not quite sure what the fascination is. I have friends who absolutely love this place. I mean, the rotis and teh tarik are fantastic, but I find the other dishes quite ordinary. The sate is nice, but my parents are definitely better. The curries are also ok, I find it quite watery, and lack flavour. The fried chicken is nice, but I do prefer the Indonesian version of it and the nasi lemak is ok – I have definitely had better.

I would come back but only for their dessert, the sweet rotis and teh tarik, and to watch the ‘entertainment’ whilst I wait for a table. I wouldn’t be rushing back again though – maybe in another three years?

GA’s ratings: 6 /10


15 Goulburn Street

Haymarket, Sydney 2000

Ph: +61 2 9211 1668

Mamak on Urbanspoon

  1. March 6, 2011 at 2:31 am

    agree! once u take away their rotis, am not sure what is left? and there’s no reason why roti should cost more than a loaf of bread or pizza… but i guess it’s because they can.

    • March 6, 2011 at 2:35 am

      exactly! and to think roti canai costs 50c – $1 in malaysia! i need to organise a trip soon i think

  2. fluffy
    March 6, 2011 at 2:33 am

    I think the normal dishes there are just standard except for the roti, but I can never go past roti tisu/roti bom to have a sugar crash lol

  3. March 6, 2011 at 2:38 am

    I really loved Mamak, I thought the Roti was amazing as well as the fried chicken. And I’m totally addicted to Teh Tarik after only one cup in my entire life!

    I suppose when you grow up eating this sort of food all the time, as your parents can make it really well, it means you know more about what things ‘should’ taste like. I have no idea as I don’t have much to compare it too growing up with boring Aussie, or Hungarian food.

    • March 6, 2011 at 2:46 am

      hey mel, have to agree, their roti is amazing! but the fried chicken mum’s definitely better. took her there once, and she complained all through the meal (hers was better clearly) and never took her back! lol
      if you havent been, definitely go to Malaysia! where can i try hungarian food in Sydney?

      • March 6, 2011 at 3:06 am


        this has been on my list for a while, dunno if it’s good though, if you wanna go there just buzz me 😛

      • March 6, 2011 at 10:15 am

        Sounds like your mum should open up a restaurant – I want to try her friend chicken!

        There is a Hungarian restaurant in Randwick (Corner 75 Hungarian Restaurant)…I haven’t been there yet, but I want to go to see if it like the food I remember my mum cooking. Those strudel places on Bondi Beach are also Hungarian. Also Twenty One in Double Bay.

        And places like Una’s serve similar food, schnitzel, nokedli (little pasta type things). It’s all pretty stodgy and heavy food – for people living in cold cold winters.

      • March 6, 2011 at 10:17 am

        thats what i keep telling her as well but she’s not keen! next time she makes fried chicken will let you know in advance….

        oooo i know Una’s and really do enjoy it – warm hearty food in winter! thanks again for the hungarian restaurant tip!

  4. March 6, 2011 at 2:50 am

    my favourites are the fried chicken, roti and roti tisu. haven’t tried the teh tarik but perhaps next time and think most of the other dishes i’ve tried are OK but not neccesarily something i’d generally need to order again 🙂

  5. March 6, 2011 at 3:30 am

    isn’t it funny how suddenly everybody is back at Mamak and interestingly not everyone is leaving with rave reviews.. I only visited for the first time recently and enjoyed it, but I wonder if that’s just because I was lucky that day and there was no queue?!

  6. March 6, 2011 at 9:57 am

    I have no idea what the big deal is either, and neither does my Malaysian mum. Nice but queue-worthy? Nup.

  7. March 6, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    I used to live very near to Haymarket but I never saw Mamak anywhere…Is this restaurant quite new? I left Sydney around 3 years ago.

    • March 6, 2011 at 10:44 pm

      hey cooking gallery, mamak’s been around for at least 5+ so now… its on sussex street, the restaurant next to it used to be a dumpling place, but now it is the dessert place meetfresh.

  1. April 28, 2011 at 3:00 am
  2. September 7, 2011 at 12:05 am

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