Last Saturday was a long one spent in the city enjoying a short (unfortunately, due to traffic and an event I had in the afternoon) hangout with the food bloggers of Sydney. It was great to briefly meet our hosts, Helen & Suze, plus several other bloggers whose writings I’ve read (and photos I’ve drooled over!), plus meet a few new ones too!
By evening The Malaysian and I were starving again, and being in the city couldn’t possibly pass up the eating opportunities. After some iPhone blog surfing and debate we decided to head back to Mamak in Haymarket; it had been months since we ate at the Temple of Malay Cuisine.
The queue wasn’t intolerable for a Saturday evening, and the queue at Mamak gives you time to watch the roti making action in the window.
Making Roti Canai
Within 30 minutes or so we were seated inside the buzzing low-ceilinged eatery, hungry and ready to dive in.
“I am going to enjoy EVERY bite of this tonight!” I vowed.
We can’t pass up Mamak roti, so both of us start out with Roti Canai, which comes scrunched on a tin plate with sambal and two curry dipping sauces – one a rich, potatoey tasting mixture and one a more fishy sauce. Both a pleasure. The roti is crisp, fluffy and light, with just the right amount of butteriness so you don’t feel sluggish and heavy.
Roti Canai on the grill
We both also order Nasi Lemak – coconut rice accompanied by sambal, roasted peanuts, ikan bilis (dried anchovies), cucumber (yum!) and a hard-boiled egg. This is basically the national dish of Malaysia, and it is mouthwatering.
The Malaysian orders chicken curry with his Nasi Lemak while I go for the fried chicken.
This fried chicken is truly finger-licking good. It may have just been the hunger on the night, but I actually admitted that this was some of the best fried chicken I had ever eaten. And I am from America.
The chicken is tender and juicy inside – and meaty, not too much fat. The outside is crunchy, hot and spicy. So flavoursome you want to fall off your chair. Really. You do. Goodbye, Colonel.
I don’t feel like any Malaysian dinner (wait…or any dinner at all…) is in fact complete until dessert is had.
Cendol took the spot wonderfully. Starchy, fresh noodles made from pandan leaves with a mild coconut-and-grass flavour topped with shaved ice, coconut milk and gula-melaka (palm sugar) syrup.
The best part is slurping up the icey palm sugar!
15 Goulburn St
Haymarket NSW Sydney 2000
(02) 9211 1668
New second location now open in Chatswood.