Apr 30, 2012

The Weekend Forces of Good and Evil. Mamak, Chinatown.

The weekends are often a time of extremes in behaviour.  And Mondays are often a good day to reflect upon them.

One day I was congratulating myself on not buying any shoes from the infamous Luisa sale at The Hilton.

All trying and no buying.  I did a good thing walking away from those Tod's pumps.  

And the next, Mr SSG and I became the proud owners of this $480 Dyson Hot + Cool heater and fan device.

Now that I've read the reviews after buying, it turns out it's better as a heater than a cooler.  It does look snazzy though.

It's tiny and so user friendly it came with labels telling me where to click parts together.

The feature I love the most is the in-built magnet onto which the remote clicks.  No more lost remotes!

While I'm on the subject of in house climate control, this is our new humidifier.  Mr SSG has claimed it for his bedside table.  It looks like a lava lamp with benefits.  I'll test it out tonight and I'll tell you tomorrow if it glows in the dark.  When filled with water, it's also too heavy to lug around the house so I guess it's staying where it is for good.

I try hard to have a 50:50 rule with meals on the weekend.  Half can be fun and the other half as healthy as I can be.  The healthy part of this weekend involved an Asian Avocado and Salmon Salad, the recipe for which I found in the current Woolworth's freebie magazine.  The vegetable component is 1/4 thinly sliced red cabbage, 2 sliced Lebanese cucumbers, a chopped spring onion, coriander, a grated carrot and an avocado.  You also need a can of red salmon.  The recipe also calls for mint leaves which I didn't have on hand today.

The dressing is 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, 2 teaspoons of brown sugar, some chopped chilli as well as the juice and rind of one lime.  Mix these together with a whisk until the sugar dissolves and set aside.

To assemble the salad, just combine the vegetables and salmon.  Then top with the dressing and devour ASAP.

The hardest part of making the salad was removing the bones from the salmon.  Then, for me, it was to find a way of slicing the red cabbage as thinly as possible.  All that effort was worth it, though, it is a delicious and surprisingly filling salad.

You're waiting for the calorific counterpoint to this salad, aren't you?

Roti tisu - served tall and sweet.  You wouldn't think it but this works with curry!
As the weather gets cooler, what says comfort food in Chinatown better than the original Mamak?  Mr SSG and I were there for dinner with my brother in law and his family.  The best think about going to Mamak is that the more there are in your party, the wider the variety of dishes you can order to share.  We ordered both the roti tisu and the famous roti canai ($5.50) but we were all so hungry, there was no time to take a photo of the roti canai.

Limau ais - $3.50.
The beverage of choice for the table was lime juice.  The icy, citrus sweetness was the perfect contrast for the rich spiciness of the dishes we ordered.

Ayam goreng - $14 for 4 pieces.
We each had a piece of Malaysian fried chicken.  The batter was crisp and light and the chicken breasts skinless.  The overall effect was crunch of batter with moist chicken following quickly.  There is no comparison to KFC though I'm an occasional KFC lover too.

Kari ayam - $16.
It wouldn't be dinner at Mamak without a serve of the classic Malaysian chicken curry.  Its sauce is my favourite thing for dipping pieces of roti canai into.

Kari kambing - $16.
 The slow cooked lamb curry was very tender.  It's a spicier curry than the chicken but just as moreish.

Mee goreng - $11.50.
To balance our meal, we did order vegetables.  Or perhaps more accurately, dishes containing vegetables.  The mee goreng was spicy and generously studded with prawns, chicken and fish cake slices.  One of my favourite dishes of the night.  We also had a serve of Kachang Panjang Belacan ($14) - stir fried long beans in chilli and shrimp paste.  Which I neglected to take a photo of because I was too busy eating them and taking photos of our guest of honour.....

My 6 month old nephew who was in Sydney for the first time in his life.  He'd even learned to sit up just in time for this trip and all the restaurants it would take him to.

We got along very well and bonded over many things, including a mutual interest in Zhanel.  Though to be fair, I think his interest was more to do with the tactile rather than fashion elements of my jacket.  The child is already a star.  His photo already has received over 30 likes since it debuted on my Facebook account a night ago.  I shall tell his parents he needs either his own Facebook fan page or else his very own account.

Mamak on Urbanspoon


  1. I too have walked away from Tods. I too own that Dyson. But I don't think we even HAVE Malaysian food around here. Boo! That all looks delicious.

  2. Sounds like a fabulous weekend!  

  3. That heater/cooler think looks the Business. I'd buy one but I think it would become a very expensive cat toy. I keep meaning to try Mamak at Chatswood but Mr K can't be swayed from New Shanghai. Very annoying. My parents (who don't even live in Sydney and have been) say it's fantastic.

    I want a pair of Tods loafers. I might look into them in the US.

    K xx

  4. Well done on resisting those shoes.  I'm avoiding purchasing by not even entering shoe shops at the moment.
    Those curries look amazing!  Mmm, my mouth is watering and I just had lunch!

  5. Oh, Mr. BB wants that Dyson reverse fan but we have ceiling fans as well as gas heating so I can't justify it. As for Mamak, we have tried to go two Saturdays in a row (once we trekked to Chatswood, no luck, and then faced with a freezing hour-long wait in Chinatown we ended up settling for another Malaysian place across the road which was incredibly tasty and equally as well-priced. I think if we want to get in to Mamak we have to be there earlier in the evening...

  6. I have to try that recipe for the salad - looks fabulous! Funny, but the free Woolies mag (and the similar cards from Coles) are some of my favourite recipes at the moment.

    Anna (My Design Ethos)

  7. Tinned salmon? Eat the bones! They're soft, and a great source of calcium.

  8. Brigitta HuegelMay 1, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    Dear Sydney Shop Girl, 
    That Dyson fan looks good - I hope we could use it in our temperate climate - will have a look at it. 

  9. I do not do well when it comes to making asian salad dressings. The balance is always off. I shall try this dressing!! Your nephew is gorgeous. Clearly he has good taste in fashion, & I'm sure it's far more than the tactile appeal ;) he's related to you!
    Heidi xo


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