I’ve managed to make a few trips to Sydney this year but during my time in the Harbour city I never actually made it to Mamak.  This acclaimed Malaysian restaurant has queues out the door and down the street most nights in Sydney so after failing to get there several times I was pretty excited to hear Mamak had come to Melbourne.  Problem solved.  I wasn’t the only person to think this obviously though as word of mouth spread so the queues in Melbourne for Mamak look just as long.  It’s not all bad though, the queues moved quickly on my visit and what’s more you also get to watch the theatre of the restaurant’s roti being rolled and twirled in the open kitchen which faces onto the street.

Roti action in the open kitchen at the front of Mamak

Mamak is a bit of an eating barn with bare wooden canteen style tables and the only decoration large black and white photographs on the wall capturing the frenetic action of Mamak in Sydney.  But there’s plenty of activity with the open kitchen, wait staff darting around and big groups catching up over roti and tea.

Mamak’s roti

Mamak is famous for its rotis and deservedly so.  You can have your roti any which way you want – sweet, spicy or stuffed.  MTV and I went for the roti canai ($5.50) and I think the Mamak roti may be the best I’ve ever had – tissue paper light and crispy while still soft.  The roti is served with lentil curry, a rich gravy and a dollop of spicy sambal made in house.

More roti making action

We also tried the spicy lamb curry known as kari kambing ($16) the lamb could have been a bit more tender but the curry had a good depth of flavour to the sauce and was just the right side of spicy.

Curry Mamak style

Mamak has a great buzz to it thanks to its cheap and delicious hawker style food.  It’s perfect for a catch up with friends or a quick meal when you are in a hurry.   I also loved it because you can BYO booze at $2 a head although (there’s a bottle shop right across the street) although most people don’t and instead sip on the teh tarik tea.  Welcome to Melbourne Mamak we are very glad to have you here.

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Details: Mamak, 366 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne (Ph 03 9670 3137) Open 11.30-2.30 and 5.30-10pm.
Damage: Such a bargain my mother would approve.

Mamak on Urbanspoon


  1. We walked past Mamak on our last trip to Melbourne and I couldn’t believe that there was NO queue…seems like that has changed. You’re right – their Roti is awesome!

  2. I wonder if this place will quieten down enough for me to visit – seems like I may have to give 1130 lunches a go 😀

  3. lol I totally recognise the roti guy in the top pic from the Sydney restaurant. I do admit that sometimes I don’t mind a bit of a queue as it gives me an excuse to watch some roti tv 😛

  4. Lucky you guys! Gosh I miss that place. The roti was always my downfall- I usually had to roll out of there.

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