By Annie Khan
One of the most popular ethnic based restaurants in Malaysia is Mamak restaurant. Mamak restaurant is observed continue to flourish and expand over the period of time. Mamak stalls' affordable food and modest atmosphere tend to create a casual dining atmosphere. Newer Mamak stalls have more of a cafe aspect, usually being well lit and furnished with stainless steel tables. Some are outfitted with large flat screen televisions, or even projectors, so that customers can catch the latest programs or live matches as they dine. Some Mamak stalls also provide free Wi-Fi service. Despite these innovations, many modern Mamak stalls attempt to retain their predecessors' open air dining atmosphere by setting up tables on a patio, the shop lot s walkway, or even on the street.
A Mamak stall usually offers different varieties of roti canai to eat and Teh tarik,coffee, Milo, and soft drinks to drink. Most Mamak stalls also serve several varieties of rice, such as Nasi Lemak and Nasi goreng, as well as noodle dishes such as Mee goreng (fried noodles). Some stalls also offer satay and Western dishes.
Recently, in order to attract more customers, some Mamak restaurants have added an extra stall in their restaurant. The stall, which is operated individually by either ethnic Malay from the North East Peninsular Malaysia or ethnic Malay from Southern Thailand, is known as Malay tom yam stall. This provides customers with more food options. Tom yam stalls first appeared in Peninsular Malaysia around late 1970s and early 1980s. Unlike local Malay food, the food is basically Thai based and somewhat similar to the cuisine in the state of Kelantan. The tom yam dishes have a mix of typically sweet, hot, and sour flavors. As the dishes are cooked immediately upon the customer's order, tom yam stalls are the Malay equivalent of fast food outlets although with Thai based cuisine.
Consumers attracted towards Mamak Restaurants because of below Factors:
When people dont want to order and wait for the food to come, they tend to go to Mamak Restaurants where all the ready food variety is served and there are no Service charges as well.
Due to the working women population in the cities, home cooking is almost obsoleted and eating out trend has taken over completely and Mamak restaurants is the biggest blessing for such women who will not only drop by ,eat but also grab something for the mid night snaking.
These Mamak Restaurants provide an easy facility of Take away locally known as Bungus, make people come and choose from the served buffet, a large variety to choose from every time they feel hungry.
Though youngsters are equally attracted towards fast food but being least conscious about their health, they prefer such restaurants to enjoy variety of local food, which is more close to their taste and lively environment.
As variety of food is served on an affordable price, people can choose and mix various food items on a very low price.
Availability is one of the major factors in Mamak restaurants popularity as the restaurants are almost at the corner of every street in both commercial and residential areas.
Most of the restaurants are open 24 hours, so those who work till late night or during night shifts have an affordable place to eat.
Both Malay & Tamil Indian Food variety is available under Mamak bistros or Cafes so people from all races can find food which suits their taste buds more than fast food or international cuisine. Now many have added Tandoor in their cafes so Tandoori Chicken and variety of Naan is also available, which attracts more north Indian and Pakistani customers.
Such restaurants have Free WIFI facility so people like to sit for hours and hours over a glass of a local non-carbonated drink or a cup of The Tarik (Tea) , so its an affordable meeting place for many of the residents of nearby vicinity.
So in a nutshell, Mamak restaurants have made their place in the market which is hard to take over and the popularity and need is even increasing every day