On the Northern end of the busy Albany Highway cafe strip is a Malaysian cafe that is open till late hours. A popular place amongst many university students, Makan 2 has a casual atmosphere for catching up with friends for a chat, or going for a quick cheap meal. Given the Malaysian cuisine, a large amount of the customers appear to be Malaysian.
Makan 2 has a decent amount of seating for a Malaysian cafe but is packed quite tightly. It has an al fresco area too, as well as some couches inside. The rest of the tables are a light brown wood, which along with the incandescent lighting gives a warm feel.
The Makan 2 menu offers a variety of Malaysian meals starting with rice dishes served with 1, 2, or 3 sides. From the sides, you have a few choices depending on the type of meat (or vegetarian) you want, along with the method it is cooked or the sauce it comes with. Such choices include rendang and curries. Alternatively, you choose from other made to order dishes such as prepared to order rice or noodle dishes, or roti (a type of flat bread - see below). The prices are on average between $8-10.
In addition to the food, there are a range of beverages available including Malaysian drinks such as the Teh Tarik (see below) and other tea drinks. The food and drink give the place a distinct Malaysian flavour catering for the Malaysians who are used to the cuisine, or others who have acquired a taste for or are willing to try it.
The Roti rendang consisted of a piece of freshly made roti (a flat flour bread that is cooked with a bit of oil) filled with some beef rendang. Even though the roti was a decent size, the overall size of the dish, given it consisted of one beef rendang filled roti with sauce, was not that large.
The roti bread itself was soft, sweet, tasty and slightly fluffy. The beef rendang had a good rendang taste (i.e. beef cooked with various spices such as chilli, lemongrass and ginger, and reduced with coconut milk). The lemongrass itself was strongly present in this dish. Even though there wasn't a large amount of beef rendang in the roti (I could have done with more), its flavour was definitely present, making the roti even more tasty though not chilli hot at all.
The curry sauce provided to dip the roti in was a slight bit oily (as they usually tend to be), but tasty. It definitely had a strong tasty curry flavour that made this a very tasty dish.
Beef Tom Yum - $8.90
Tom yum is a soup based noodle dish that is hot and slightly sour in flavour. It is usually cooked with various ingredients to give it lots of additional flavours, whilst remaining a thin water based stock/soup.
Makan 2's tom yum consisted of egg noodles with beef, cabbage, carrot, celery, capsicum, curry leaves. The serving was not large, and the amount of each ingredient wasn't huge (e.g. there were only a few pieces of beef in the bowl).
The taste of the tom yum was largely as it should be - hot and slightly sour, though with a strong noticeable lemongrass flavour which helps to characterise the tom yum flavour. As I ordered the tom yum with a "normal" level of spiciness (as opposed to extra hot if you request it) the tom yum was reasonably spicy similar to many other places that cater for a wide audience of various tolerances to chilli, but otherwise could be more spicy for a tom yum soup.
Teh Tarik $3.30
Teh tarik is a Malaysian milk tea that is brewed and sugar is added. Makan 2's teh tarik comes out reasonably quick from the kitchen, served hot or cold, and was quite sweet but not too sweet to be sickly. It had a strong tea flavour, and a tea consistency with a bit of milk.
Makan 2 seems to be a hang-out for many groups of people wanting to come for a quick meal, and/or a Malaysian style beverage followed by lots of conversation. The prices are pretty cheap for the food but the servings aren't that big either.
Points to note: A good variety of basic and traditional Malaysian food plus various teas in a casual environment conducive to casual conversation. Reasonably cheap, but the serving sizes don't seem to be very big either.
Go for: Some tasty Malaysian food in a casual, social and young-ish environment.
Makan 2 cafe
357 Albany Highway
Victoria Park WA 6100
(08) 9470 2333
Monday to Friday: 11:30am to 12:30am
Saturday and Sunday: 12noon to 12:30am