Sunday, January 1, 2012
Mamak Corner @ Bank St Adelaide
My first food post of the year! Finally I made it to Mamak Corner. Twice in fact (just so you don't think I'm a pig with all the food I'm about to post!). A few other bloggers and friends had already been there and as you know, I don't venture into the city that often so on a fine Friday night we happened to be there on other business, I just had to go and try it out. Coincidentally, exactly a fortnight later I ended up in the city on "other business" too. So what is Mamak you ask. Mamak is actually a term for Indian Muslims and also the food stalls that are found in every corner of Malaysia often open 24 hours a day (I've seen one open for 23 hours. I guess they must close for cleaning). Here you go to a cafe like Cibo's for coffee, in Malaysia we go to a Mamak Stall for hot food and a variety of drinks. Over time some of these stalls have evolved into cafe or coffee shops with proper tables and chairs and some are even air conditioned. Anyone and everyone goes there at anytime of the day and is quite a popular place to hang out and watch football matches or just to catch up with friends as it's quite cheap. The food served there are Indian Muslim food which consist of roti, variety of curries, tandoori, naan, nasi lemak, nasi goreng, mee goreng etc. Some modern ones also serve fish and chips!
I was quite excited to hear about Mamak Corner and really hoping it would be good and that it would satisfy my cravings. It's a little well lit and clean place that also does takeaway. The staff are very friendly and efficient and definitely give good service. They even checked to make sure the curry is not too spicy for Carl.
After perusing the menu we went up to the counter to place our order. Straight away I noticed the old fashioned ice shaver in the back and I got excited for some reason! That green thing! Over the course of our two visits we had tried nearly everything on the menu. There isn't a huge variety and it really is more of a lunch style place where you get your dish with rice so don't expect fine dining because that's not what Mamak is. Food comes out quick which is good when you're really hungry.
Carl had to have Milo ice! I just knew it. It was thick and sweet and pretty darn close to home. I just had Limau Ais which is iced sweetened lime drink. The second visit I ordered Cham which can be had hot or cold. It's a Malaysian style coffee and tea blend which will keep you awake if you are not used to it. Similar to the Hong Kong style YinYeong.
We tried their Roti Telur and Roti Planta. It was actually quite delicious and satisfying. Roti telur is roti canai filled with egg. It is more filling and also rather fragrant. Roti Planta is basically roti canai base with extra margarine and a bit of sugar. It's called planta because of the brand of margarine used in the mamak stalls in Malaysia. Roti Planta tends to be more crispy and of course greasy but oh so tasty and fragrant. All rotis are served with sugar, dahl and I believe fish curry.
|Roti telur $5.50|
|Roti planta $5.50|
Nasi lemak was something I just had to have. It's a dish of fragrant coconut rice served with in this case, curry chicken, fried anchovies, peanuts, sambal, boiled egg and cucumber slices. It was tasty and the serving was quite big. I couldn't finish the rice as I had already had some roti. The only thing is the coconut rice wasn't quite fragrant enough. I don't know if it's lacking more coconut or pandan leaves.
|Nasi lemak with curry chicken $9.80|
Over our visits we have also tried the other curries. Fish curry was one of my biggest highlights. It was a beautifully fragrant and rich flavoured curry with succulent pieces of fish fillet and eggplant. I don't normally go for fish curry but this is really up there. The beef curry was also up to standard with tender pieces of beef that fall apart in your mouth. The chicken curry does come with chicken on the bone and potatoes so if you are particular about that, may I suggest you avoid the chicken curry. Mind you the meat just falls off the bone anyway. And before you ask, no, the curry bases are not all the same. The essential paste I would imagine is the same but they do all taste different and have slightly different spices.
|Fish curry $10.80|
|Beef curry $8.80|
|Chicken curry $8.80|
Finally we had to try one dessert from that green machine! The old fashioned manual ice shaver. We went for the good old Ais Kacang. It's a shaved ice dessert topped with red beans, corn, grass jelly, flavoured jelly, rose syrup, Gula Melaka (palm sugar) and evaporated milk. I'm not sure if they used Gula Melaka as that sugar fragrance wasn't quite jumping out at me and believe me, there's nothing like Gula Melaka. It's not just any palm sugar.
|Ais kacang $6.80|
Overall it was a good experience. I've had some comments that they're not quite authentic but that really depends on individual experiences and taste. There's also a lot of bad Mamak stalls in Malaysia. Personally I enjoyed my meals and it reminded me of home. Can't wait to have Cendol and Maggie Goreng!
8 Bank Street
Adelaide SA 5000
08 8410 9888