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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sydney :: Mamak, Malaysian Midnight Snack

Late night Malaysian in Chinatown!
This is what Toronto needs - more tasty late night joints! While Burrito Boyz, Smoke's, and King's Noodle are quite reliable when you need more fuel to run amok the streets, I'd love to see more options. I tend to avoid the other choices: Frans, The Counter, and the ever-reliable McDonalds (but I'll admit that I do love their apple pie)?
I was so lucky in Sydney - S took me to Mamak for some late night nosh - great company and tasty food = good times! I was super excited just watching them toss the roti dough around.
I really love the murtabak-guy in Toronto. I can never leave a food festival without cramming one in, but I never have it otherwise. So imagine by delight when I saw murtabak on this menu! I was planning on having roti, but mmmm no way...
So I ordered the chicken murtabak and my mind was blown - I'm sorry Toronto murtabak-man, but I don't know if I'll be so loyal anymore! This one was hot, spicy, and crammed with chicken, eggs, onion, and cabbage. Freshly cooked and accompanied with sauce. Totally blew yours out of the water.

S also recommended that I try Teh Tarik and Ayam Goreng...okay, I'll admit that this is why I am not surprised that I came back from Oceania feeling somewhat unhealthy (but happy - so no regrets! Perhaps that's a personal-musings post for the future...). Culprit: Curiousity! Can I try these things in Toronto? I had no clue, but I didn't want to pass up on an opportunity especially when it was recommended by a local who is so well-travelled :) So I ordered away!

Teh Tarik- oooh. Condensed milk, tea, and frothy goodness that really started my obsession with wanting to go to Malaysia!! This brought back memories of my travels to HK, where milk tea was the rage. The frothy top is from "stretching" - no idea what that means, but I think that all of my drinks should be stretched from now on.

The Ayam Goreng arrived piping hot and fresh - Not that I'm a fried-chicken snob, but I do believe that it's actually hard to make/find really good fried chicken. Fresh oil, right temperature, and good spices - not an easy combination for a restaurant to master! Unlike the disaster that was The Counter, this was flavourful and juicy. Good call S!

Why is local fruit so expensive?!
This is also the night that I learned that tipping is diferent in Australia. I tossed a 15% tip before leaving - after joining S outside I got a "oh...yeah..." moment. So, you do tip, but it's not always expected - just round up and leave a bit of change. Thank goodness, with the price of mangoes (my recurring complaint in Australia - all I wanted to do was eat mangoes that wouldn't break my budget. Harder than you think).

We did a bit of walking around after - the picture at the very top of the post is from Chinatown, in World Square. I had a great time learning about S and felt really lucky to have met her :-). She also tipped me off to a program called "Pueblo Ingles" - what an amazing idea! Does anyone know of any other programs like this?

Looking back at this - I truly wish we had a Chinatown like theirs. Vibrant, loud, and perfect for hot summer nights! We have two Chinatowns and they're great...but, as M called it, not "Honky" enough :P (Hong Kong-ese)

S, thanks so much!! Can't wait for our paths to cross again.
Mamak on Urbanspoon


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