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Photographs: David Straight

Here’s a tip: get to Mamak early or go late. The tiny shopfront in the Chancery has a handful of tables inside and a handful of tables outside and it’s almost always full. It’s smart – white walls, dark wooden tables and Malaysian phrases written on the wall in bright green; the service is efficient and friendly. It’s a step up from most cheap eats: there is – holy of holies – a handful of beers and a few wines. No more do you need to smuggle in a bottle of red.

The food is hawker classics, done very well. The laksa ($14) is huge – really huge – and the stock has a decent amount of heat to it, including fresh chillis, which a lot of places don’t bother with. The char kuey teow ($13.50) is beautifully smoky. It’s not perfect – we had a beef rendang ($13.50) recently that, while tasty, was on the chewy side rather than the fall-aparty side.

But you really need to eat the roti curry chicken ($15.50). On an early visit, we asked the owner what the best thing on the menu was. Curry chicken roti, he said. They make the roti fresh each day: generous and beautifully flaky, so good they make other roti taste old and rubbery. The curry is rich and generous, beautifully spicy with fall-apart chicken. It’s the kind of dish that you want to go back and eat again and again. We intend to do just that. SFG

HOURS Tuesday to Sunday, 11.30 to 3pm and 5pm to 9.30pm

ADDRESS Chancery Square, 50 Kitchener St, City, ph 948-6479.

IMPORTANT DETAILS Try the Malaysian coffee – it’s a treat.


  1. Ben Green wrote:

    What makes their Malaysian coffee so special/unique? (I couldn’t find their menu after a quick browse online.)

    I presume Malaysians do it differently to the Vietnamese?

    Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink
  2. Pen wrote:

    MY GOD there’s something of worth at the Chancery?? Whoa whoa whoa you’re blowing my mind. This is good.

    Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink
  3. SFG wrote:

    Yes, quite different to the Vietnamese coffee though similar in that it’s quite sweet. The key is in the pour, as you can see here in this handy wee video.

    Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink
  4. Ben Green wrote:

    Awesome! Do you get to witness the theatre surrounding the pour at Mamak?

    Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink
  5. SFG wrote:

    You most certainly do if you duck around the counter a bit – it’s great to see.

    Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink
  6. Reeko wrote:

    Any relation to Mamak in Sydney (Chinatown)? Sounds like the same menu. That place always has a ~30 minute queue outside and is well worth the wait.

    Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink
  7. SFG wrote:

    Sydney’s Mamak is great indeed. Mamak is a pretty common name for Malaysian restaurants and the menu is pretty classic too, so I don’t think there’s a direct link. Not 100 per cent sure on that one though!

    Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

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