By Shereen Shabnam
After over a decade of living in Kuala Lumpur, we moved to the UAE and missed eating freshly made Roti Canai with delicious frothy Teh Tarik in the mornings finding out that the local parathas just did not give the same satisfaction. Until we found Mamak based in the Al Wasl Square next to Safa Park and it continues to bring immense pleasure to us and anyone who is a fan of Malaysian food.
Malaysian food has a combination of Malay, Chinese and Indian influences and is usually spicy and aromatic with rich tastes of herbs and spices commonly found in Asia and rice is an essential staple. Hence the popularity of dishes like nasi goreng (Fried rice) or chicken rice worldwide.
At Mamak in Dubai we love everything. From spicy mee goreng, smoky Satay skewers, nasi lemak and traditional Malaysian drinks like Teh Tarik, Mamak has everything to satisfy your taste buds when craving for Malaysian food.
My current favourite starter is the mango kerabu salad that has the perfect balance of sweet and heat combined with the crunchiness of the mango and onions.
This is usually followed by satay (marinated meat skewers) which is done to perfection and served with sweet and spicy peanut sauce and served with cubes of rice, cucumber pieces.
Having roti canai, a fluffy flatbread accompanied by three dipping sauces of varying levels of spiciness is a must. Mamak at Safa Park serves the perfect nasi lemak, a dish of rice steamed in coconut milk and served with dried anchovies, peanuts, hardboiled eggs, chopped cucumbers, and sambal. They also do a good mee goreng (fried noodles).
For dessert I usually opt for Aid Kacang, which is a mountain of colourful shaved ice with sugar syrup and has jelly, laichi fruit, corn and red bean to help balance out the sweetness of the syrup.
Teh Tarik at Mamak is also authentic – it is a tea containing black tea leaves, condensed milk and sugar prepared by skilled tea makers who pour the tea and milk through the air to create a smooth frothy texture. A perfect way to finish a satisfying meal.