The Mamak Malaysian Cafe is a lunchtime adventure because it is located inside Pub 340. Pub 340 is an old dive bar in what is now a super hip area. You will find it right beside Meat & Bread.
You will find the cafe in the old smoking room of the bar.
See the sign? I have to give thanks to Anonymous Reader for this tip. I would never have known that there was an awesome Malaysian cafe inside of Pub 340 were it not for you. There is no signage outside of the bar to let you know that it is there. It made our lunch outing feel like a covert mission.
Big thanks to Courtney, Adele and Cristina for being brave enough to join me when I asked if they wanted to go to a Malaysian cafe in a dive bar. I would have gone by myself anyway, but it does help to keep the old 12:00 drunks in the pub section away when you travel in a group.
From what I can gather, the cook has struck a deal with Pub 340 that if he cooks the pub food he can run his cafe as well. One side of the menu has regular pub food offerings and the other is the menu for the Mamak Cafe.
The service was a bit slow as the waitress for the cafe is also the bartender for the pub. We didn't make it back to work in the 1 hour time frame, but the food was worth being a bit late.
They were out of Roti on the day we went so we all just ordered a main.
Cristina ordered the Kari Ayam (Malaysian Chicken Curry)Chicken curry cooked in freshly ground spices and coconut milk $8.90
She liked the curry and the presentation was nice with the fresh salad and the molded coconut rice.
Courtney ordered the Sambal Ayam (Chicken Sambal)Stir-fried chicken with homemade sambal sauce $8.90.
She really liked this and everything seemed really fresh.
Adele was smart and went with Nasi Kandar A sample of Beef Randang, Kari Ayam and Sambal Udang $9.90
(Beef Randang-beef simmered in aromatic spices, lemon grass and toasted coconut until tender, Kari Ayam- stir-fried prawns with homemade sambal sauce) It was served with rice and a papadum.
She said it was fantastic. It was a large amount of food but she finished it all.
I have been obsessed with Laksa lately so that is what I went with.
Malaysia Laksa Rice noodle in curry coconut milk soup with chicken, shrimp, egg and fish-cake $8.50
You might notice that most of what is described in the menu was not actually in the bowl. Maybe they ran out of ingredients that day? Didn't make that much of difference to me in the end though as the soup was fantastic. The oil in the spoon added a nice kick to and already flavourful soup. I ate the whole thing.
Mamak is currently open 11-7 Monday to Friday. The waitress said that sometimes they are packed, sometimes, like the time we were there, it is empty.
It was certainly an adventure. I have been in Pub 340 many times, it wasn't even the first time I have eaten there, but I did not expect such a great meal. Great food and lunch time bar drunks- downtown eastside fun.