Last Saturday, Jac and I had lunch with my sister Juji and her boyfriend Jay at Makan2 cafe (357 Albany Highway, Victoria Park). I’d walked past this place before and heard about it from friends and other Perth food bloggers.
We ordered at the counter and started with a round of drinks – Nescafe tarik for Jac, A&W Root Beer for me (if I had to choose my favourite ever soft drink, A&W Root Beer would be it), Angostura Lemon Lime and Bitters for Jay and Milo tarik for Juji. Both “tarik” drinks were variations of teh tarik or “pulled tea” (“teh” means “tea” and “tarik” means “pulled”). At Makan2 you can even get Horlicks tarik! This was Jac’s first time trying a “tarik” beverage, and she really liked it. I had a taste too – it was strong but sweet, and thanks to the “tarik”, was a perfect drinking temperature with a delicious frothy top.
There was a buffet on offer that looked pretty good, but we all wanted to try Makan2’s nasi lemak. We decided we’d each have nasi lemak and share a couple of serves of roti as starters. This was the first – roti butter garlic (AU$6.90), which was served with curry gravy for dipping. This was fantastic – the bread had a crisp texture on the outside, but was soft and flaky. Served fresh and hot, it was a little tricky tearing it apart with fingers, so we had to carve it into four with a fork and knife. :) Within the folds of the roti was fresh minced garlic. If you like garlic bread and garlic generally, this is highly recommended.
Next came a serve of murtabak, roti filled with with curried beef mince, egg and chopped onion, with curry gravy for dipping.
The murtabak was generously filled with meat. You could easily eat a serve of murtabak as a meal on its own.
The curry gravy was clearly chicken curry gravy – the others weren’t as keen on the the bits of chicken meat and chicken skin in the gravy, so I claimed them for myself.
SRM, my friend now in Canada, these next photos are dedicated to you! :-D
If you order nasi lemak (AU$6.90), which includes coconut rice, cucumber, fried ikan bilis (anchovies) and peanuts, chilli sambal and hard-boiled egg, you can then choose one from a selection of meat dishes. Juji chose the chicken goreng (fried chicken).
Jac wanted beef rendang, but it was not available that day, so she had the lamb curry instead. She said the lamb was very tender.
Jay and I both had curry chicken. Jay scored the jackpot with a huge piece of curry chicken thigh. Not that I had chicken thigh-envy, or anything. Heheheh.
This was my nasi lemak.
- Jac said she preferred the nasi lemak from the Orchard Road stall at Spencer Village.
- Juji thought Makan2’s nasi lemak was better than Munch Terrace’s nasi lemak mainly because of Makan2’s sambal (to her, the sambal is a very important component of nasi lemak, and Munch’s is too sweet and not quite right). Juji, I forget where you said the best nasi lemak can be bought – would you be able to mention it in the comments, please?
- I quite enjoyed Makan2’s nasi lemak but the rice wasn’t coconutty enough in flavour for me. I guess thanks to my mum’s and my late grandma’s fantastic home-cooked nasi lemak, I have very high expectations. I also would’ve liked a whole hard-boiled egg, rather than just half. I’d have been happy for the dish to cost a little more if it meant I got a whole egg – a little more money for greater pleasure is not at all unreasonable to me. :)
- Not sure what Jay thought… Jay?
My savoury stomach was pretty full at this stage, but luckily, my sweet stomach had just enough room for a little something else! It’s not just me, right? Do some of you also feel you have separate appetites/capacities for savoury and sweet foods? (Seriously, I’m asking! :)) Juji and I were very keen to try the roti seri kaya – roti with margarine and seri kaya (coconut jam), and we ordered a serve to share for sweets.
The roti seri kaya was served with a big blob of mystery goo. We were intrigued – what was it? The speculation and mystery was quickly ended by Juji, who stuck her finger in it (with our blessing, don’t worry!) and tried some. It was condensed milk- why didn’t we think of that?! Yum!
Jay got to work carving up the roti so we could all have some.
I used to love eating condensed milk with white bread as a child in Malaysia. We usually had a tin of Carnation brand condensed milk in the cupboard. Now, I only ever buy condensed milk on rare occasions, like if I’m cooking a recipe that has condensed milk as an ingredient. Despite not having it often, I still love condensed milk. Dipping the roti into condensed milk was such a treat!
There was only one staff member taking orders and payment at the counter and running food out. She did her best, but we were left sitting with all our dirty dishes for ages; the cafe got a little busy with the arrival of new customers between our nasi lemak course and our roti seri kaya course and she didn’t clear our nasi lemak plates away until she came out of the kitchen with our roti seri kaya, which took quite a while to arrive. I’m not complaining, just commenting – as I said, we could see she was doing her best to look after everyone on her own. Jay’s side plate (we used side plates to eat our shared roti starters) was dirty – it looked like a little bit of crusted curry, someone else’s crusted curry – eww. We’ve eaten superior nasi lemak elsewhere, but the roti was definitely the highlight – well worth the trip. We’ll probably return again sometime to try the buffet. I’d definitely like to try the roti sardine (roti with sardines, eggs and chopped onion), and would Jac. Yum yum yum. Regarding the dirty side plate – I’m not that concerned about a one-off incident, but if we got given dirty plates again next time, that would certainly be a problem.