Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mamak shop VS Macha shop

I'm writing this based on my own experiences, accept and reject at your own will.

We have been eating at both mamak (Indian Muslim) and macha (Indian) restaurants. Its safe to say, city folks will have at least 1 meal a week in any of these 2 places. Over the years, I've been patronizing many of these places and I do have some preferred and some 'I never come in here anymore' places. While most of the eateries share common cuisines, there's more to just serving food to the hungry souls.

Here are my observations:

Mamak Shop
Macha Shop
Customer Service
When I enter, at least 1 staff will attend to me, at least will signal that I’ll be served soon
I have to call, raise my hand or voice to get their attention. I do notice that they are quick to serve non-Indians eg. Sri Paandis, Kader (Leboh Ampang)
Order Taking
Systematic, rarely makes mistakes. When busy, there might be delays
Systematically chaotic, always makes mistakes, sometime even got the guts to ask us to eat the wrong stuff given (staff was slapped by buddy in that occasion). Some are really good eg. Vishal, Sam’s, Betel Leaf, Saravana Bhavan
Food variety
Always the same, even their placing. You can order with your eyes closed. Lacks creativity in buffet section.
Tend to have variety changed. Makes effort introduce new recipe/items
Food quality
Well known places eg. Pelita, Ali Maju maintains quality, although some fluctuation is seen. Others cannot guarantee you’ll get the same quality every time
Typically 1st 6 months of opening, quality is maintained well, after making good $ and regular patrons, quality goes downhill in most places. There was a time another buddy punched the staff after being repeatedly served rudely with SPOILT curry, despite rejecting TWICE. Very few maintain same quality over years eg. Sam’s, Lotus, Dewis, Jai Hind, Santas
Note for non-Indian patrons, spicy & salty food is not necessarily authentic Indian food.
Food portion
Standard, you’ll get the same portion +- few grams here and there.
The longer they are in business, the smaller the portions are. If you take meat items, you’ll realise more bones & fat makes up the dish. eg. Seetharam, Vishal, Lotus, Ganesh PJ
Same for both. Some are very clean, some are very dirty, most are so so. If you visit their ‘backroom’ you might not go there again. I make a point to visit their washroom before ordering. Yes, I’d leave if its filthy
Acceptable for the food they serve, they’ve learned to increase their price steadily, but slowly in small increments. Very seldom you realise price has increased. If you ask them for itemised pricing, most of the time they can break it down from the total billed
Getting worse, with no control. Personally seen sudden jump in large increments in prices eg. Sangeethas, Seetharam. Worse, they tend to increase their price at the whims and fancies. Eg. A plate of mutton cost RM7 when opening, after 3 months its RM11 at Seetharam KL. If you ask them for itemised pricing, most of the time they can’t break it down from the total billed, you may even see you’re over charged from 50 cents to RM3!!
Most of the places, you can expect mild-mannered staff, willing to smile and polite when attending to orders. You may also complain to the supervisors if things are not right, they are will to listen, at least they act like listening. They do remember their customers well.
Very small number of places have polite staff, most behaves like you’re eating for free or they are paying you to eat. If you complain to their supervisor, you’ll feel they are not interested to listen to your complains, heck they won’t even acknowledge the problem.


  1. You eat out once a week and I eat out almost everyday.
    Not much difference between both, but at least you know that the Machaa fellows are not in Perkasa. :)

  2. Come to AYC in USJ - fantastic choice, good service and reasonable prices too!

  3. Good write Sashi. Same sentiment here. ;)
    It would be better if it isn't single sided. Anyway this is what sashi got to say huh? :)

  4. Engge oor pakem vanthe parenge...sore potu..*****.....