Roti and satay superstar Mamak opens its first Brisbane location in The City
It’s not unusual to see lines stretching out from Mamak’s Sydney and Melbourne eateries. So beloved is its Malaysian-style fare that folks will patiently wait for a chance to taste Mamak’s nasi lemak, mee goreng, roti canai and fried chicken. Now, Brisbane has a Mamak location to call its own over on Charlotte Street, a tremendous addition to the inner city’s lunchtime and evening dining scene. We took a look inside before its opening on Monday March 28 – have a peek for yourself before joining the queue to try!
Mamak’s Brisbane expansion has been eight years in the making. The team behind the blossoming brand first gave locals a taste of its Indian Malay street food at the Night Noodle Markets, where its fresh serves of roti canai, sizzling satay and cups of warming teh tarik (Malaysian sweetened tea) left an indelible impression on foodies. In the years since, Mamak has flourished into a restaurant empire, now boasting bricks-and-mortar locations in Sydney’s Chinatown and Chatswood, and Melbourne. Throughout all of this, the team kept an eye to the north, watching as Brisbane evolved and grew. Now, after years of planning and location scouting, Mamak has arrived in town with a spiffy new eatery on Charlotte Street. The 70-seat restaurant, though the smallest of Mamak’s portfolio, is, perhaps, the most modern. Where previous locations were designed by the Mamak team to resemble the bustling street eateries of Kuala Lumpur (from the plastic stools, dark timber furnishings and traditional mugs and crockery), the Brisbane location has been crafted in collaboration with Faculty Designs and commercial construction crew Lowry Group with a more modern interpretation of the street-vendor vibe in mind. Blonde timber tables and a sharp red-and-yellow colour scheme make for a visually striking aesthetic, with potted greenery and black-and-white photos of Mamak restaurants in action adding extra personality to the space. An open kitchen runs along one side of the space, with the roti-making counter visible to the street through large windows, allowing foot traffic to gawk as the flaky flatbread is stretched, kneaded and artfully flipped.
The Mamak offering has grown considerably since the Night Noodle Market days, expanding beyond the original three pillars (roti, satay and tea) to include a bounty of Malaysian eats crafted from authentic recipes. Any visit to Mamak must start with roti (which is always accompanied by curry dips and spicy sambal sauce), be it the classic roti canai, the rich and buttery roti planta, the murtabak (roti filled with meat, cabbage, eggs and onions) or the sweet roti tisu – an extra crispy paper-thin roti served as a pointed cone. From here, diners can snack on flame-grilled satay skewers or dig into hearty mains like kari ayam (classic chicken curry with chunky potatoes), sambal udang (stir-fried tiger prawns with spicy sambal sauce), ayam goreng (Malaysian-style fried chicken), nasi lemak (Malaysia’s national dish of fragrant coconut rice served with sambal, peanuts, crispy anchovies, cucumber and hard-boiled egg) or mee goreng (wok-tossed hokkien noodles with eggs, prawns, fish cake slices and bean sprouts). Mamak’s hot drinks will be the ideal beverage this winter, with frothy cups of freshly hand ‘stretched’ teh tarik, kopi tarik (Malaysian white coffee), hot chocolate and black coffee sure to warm the insides. Cold drinks such as iced milk tea and limau ais (fresh lime with syrup on ice) are also available, as is BYO beer and wine.
Mamak is now open to the public seven days a week. Head to the Stumble Guide for operating hours and other need-to-know details.
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