Sunday, October 30, 2011

Old Town Kopitiam Mamak, Melbourne CBD by Bureaucrat

For services rendered, Beaker took me out to dinner at Old Town Kopitiam Mamak.

Ever since I arrived back in Melbourne, Beaker has been singing the praises of OTKM.

Apparently alot of Malaysians give this place the authenticity thumbs up.

We arrived early for dinner and chose our drinks of freshly squeezed apple juice, Ribena special (which had chunks of agar agar and lychees) and chrysantheum tea (which was served cold). And once again, Bubba Chuck couldn't wait for me to take a photo of the drinks before gulping down her drink. The drinks were served in these big mugs. Although big size, I still thought the drinks were a bit pricey.

We ordered the roti with egg and onion. It was served with three different curry - a mild dahl, a typical curry sauce (which wasn't too spicy), and a curry which had dried anchovies as the main ingredient. Beaker and I liked the dried anchovy sauce the best. It wasn't too spicy and the anchovies gave it a delicious umami flavour.

Next up was a dozen of beef satay. OTKM is known for its authentic satays, which are apparently are cooked over coals. It came served with cucumber, red onion and peanut sauce. I quite liked the satays, although I found the beef a tad chewy. Beaker said that they're not normally that chewy. But I quite liked the strong lemongrass flavour in the beef satay. The peanut sauce was the best I've ever had. Normally I find peanut sauces to be too sweet and runny. This one wasn't and had nubbly bits of toasted peanuts.

Next was Pan Mee Dry. Hand-stretched noodles, which had a pleasantly chewy texture (the texture was somewhere between al dente pasta and a freshly-baked sourdough bread). It was cooked with lots of dried shrimp, dried anchovies, reconstituted shiitake mushrooms and some mince pork - umami overload! Despite all the strong flavours, the flavours balanced each other. It came served with a chilli-based sauce, but we didn't add it to the noodles. Beaker and I both liked this dish.

I really liked the food at OTKM. Each dish was delicious and tasted authentic to me. And there was quite a varied menu, with lots of things that I hadn't seen before and would like to try.

However, the service was the big let down. When we arrived (before 6pm), we were given a small table. After the drinks had arrived, we asked if we could move to the next table, which was bigger. We moved. An even though we only moved one table over, the staff were confused for the whole night.

The dishes came out incredibly slow. Something obviously went wrong in the kitchen there. There was about a 20 minute wait for each dish. Other diners who arrived after us (and sat on our original table) had all of their four dishes served before our third dish was served.

Also, the staff didn't come to remove the empty plates when we were finished. They remained blissfully ignorant while all the plates piled up. I mean, it's not too much to expect the waiter to take away the empty dish when they served the next dish. We ended up having to put the empty dishes on the unoccupied tables. I noticed that this was happening at quite a few tables.

I would like to go back to OTKM, but the bad service is the only thing that's making me think twice.

Food - 9
Ambience - 7
Service - 4
Price - 6

Old Town Kopitiam Mamak
210 Lonsdale St
Melbourne 3000
Telephone: 9654 2682

Old Town Kopitiam Mamak (QV Square) on Urbanspoon

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