Friday, August 19, 2011
Old Town Kopitiam Mamak - QVB Melbourne
Hello my friends! I found a 'Mamak stall'! I have been meaning to try this place out despite the average reviews I have read about it. I must say that my experience at Old Town Kopitiam Mamak at QVB was an overall positive one. There weren't many people there when we visited on a Monday lunch time so service was prompt and friendly. Instead of the mamak stall look with plastic tables and chairs and multicolour umbrellas if you're lucky, this is decorated more as a coffee house with an influence from olden days. It's definitely cleaner! I quite liked it. Reminded me of the OldTown White Coffee franchise back home in Malaysia. What we call 'Posh Mamak'.
Some drinks to start. Carl went for Milo Ice which is what he misses the most. It was nice but still not quite there, nearly but not there. Probably lacking the extra scoop of Milo and bit of condensed milk. I went for Teh C Ice. Teh C is basically tea made with evaporated milk. Carnation is the brand of evaporated milk used and possibly how the letter C made it to the name of the drink. I actually liked it very much.
On to the food, we decided to try a few things. Carl really wanted a curry puff even though I was skeptical about it but here it is. It was a disappointment unfortunately. The filling was not flavourful enough and the pastry was soggy. Interestingly Ikea in PJ, Malaysia makes good curry puff which is what Carl always compares it to. Anyway, Ikea 1 - 0 Old Town Kopitiam.
I decided to order Nasi Kandar with Nasi Briyani, Ayam Masak Merah and Ayam Goreng. Nasi Kandar originated from Penang, Malaysia and is basically rice served with a variety of curries and side dishes of your choice. The origin of the word is quite interesting. Nasi means rice and Kandar means a balancing pole as in the olden days vendors used to sell things balanced on the pole over his shoulder. You will probably still see it in smaller towns.
The Briyani rice was very nice with the curry chicken sauce that I chose. We particularly liked the seasoned fried chicken (Ayam Goreng) which was tasty, well seasoned and well cooked through. No bloody bits and no overcooked bits. The Ayam Masak Merah (chicken cooked in red sauce) was delicious but I had two very bony pieces of chicken. The chicken there does come on the bone with is fine for me but I expected a more meaty piece for the price.
Next up, Carl's favourite obsession - Roti Canai! It was pretty good and pretty close. I have heard bad reviews on it but the one we had was pretty good. Maybe it could have been more flaky but overall it was good. I loved the sambal even though it was sweet!
We also ordered Roti Jala (Net bread). It's like our version of a crepe. It's very lacy and made from a cup with a few holes at the bottom to create that effect. It's very thin and doesn't have much flavour but a great accompaniment for curries, usually served with curry chicken. I must admit I expected more curry chicken considering the higher price and usual serving size in Australia. The Roti Jala was a little too thick for my liking but the worst thing about it was not having enough curry to eat with it. They should probably serve a bowl of curry chicken instead.
All in all a good experience and it did satisfy my homesick-ness. I would definitely go back again to try other things and have my Teh C!