7 Types of People You’ll Find at the Mamak

Mamak is like what McDonald’s is in the US. Day or night, rain or shine, Malaysians will always find time to go to the mamak. What makes mamak so appealing to us Malaysians is the whole atmosphere of eating at a mamak that you cannot get anywhere else in this whole entire world.

What will our world be like without the handsome mamak shaking his head, the cheesy hindi songs playing on loop and the sweet shouts of our orders in tamil?

To top it all off, there is one other reason that makes going to the mamak a special treat for us and that is the rest of the diners there. In every restaurant or eatery, you will notice a certain group of people, with specific sets of behaviour to frequent the place.

In a mamak, you will not only find just a group of people but in fact, seven of them with very distinct behaviour patterns that you cannot help but stare and judge them silently.

Counting down the 7 types of people eating in a mamak….

1. The Cencurut

This group of people are mostly males. They can either be sitting in groups or alone. What makes them known as the cencurut is because to them a tiny, high-pitch squeak that sounds just like a small mouse conveys so much more than words. Why call them  a cencurut?

A cencurut is a small mouse that has a puckered mouth. Kind of apt, right? So, to all the cencuruts, we know what you are trying to do. Emojis may be the the new-age way of communicating today, but cencurut is always FTW.


2. The Kaki Bola

If you happen to be at a mamak on a Friday or Saturday night, you will find yourself in a sea of jersey-clad men and also women, with tables filled with empty glasses and eyes fixed intently on the television screen in front. The deafening ‘Goaaaaallllll’  and spurts of outburst may be annoying at times but you cannot help but join with the crowd because the tension and excitement is so palpable!

The next thing you will know, you will be there with the other kaki bolas, complete with jersey and teh tarik in hand, rooting for your new, favourite football team.


3. The Budget Daters

You know how people say those who are in love do not care of anything else save the person they are in love with? In the case of the budget daters, place and money is not an issue as long as you are with the person you love.

When you look at them, somehow, your cold shrivelled hearts  will believe that true love is still alive and how simple food such as a piece of roti canai and glass of teh tarik can taste better when shared with the person you love.


4. The Mamak Connoisseur 

In every clique, there will be one person who is obsessed with eating at the mamak. For him/her, mamak is the best place on earth to get good, wholesome comfort food. They will be the one who is so enthusiastic when ordering for food.

Their enthusiasm gives you the vibe of eating somewhere fancy and they are actually ordering some escargot for you to try it out. One thing for sure, though, they do know their food because whatever they choose is good.


5. The Boss

The boss are usually people-pleasers or in this case, mamak-pleasers (pfft…) They understand that you do not mess around with those who handle your food and the best way of ensuring their food is not, urm, tampered with is by showing them some respect.

I mean, those mamaks are rarely been given respect that are due to them.  So, why not make them feel special for a bit with ‘boss’ peppered around when making orders, eh?


6. The First Timer

Based on the name, you would expect us to talk about an individual who has never eaten at a mamak before. Well, you are wrong. We do not judge those who has never eaten there and got super excited because their jakun-ness is expected. We judge those who ACT as if they are coming to the mamak for the first time and INSIST of asking for the menu EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

The funniest thing about these noobs is that they will always end up ordering the same thing after browsing and asking about every item in the menu. One good thing about the first timers, though is that they got to know and try new things offered at the mamak or old items in the menu that most people never tried.

Kind of like a trend setter in the mamak world, right?


7. The Roti Canai Lover

Who does not love a crispy flatbread dip in delicious gravy? We all love a roti canai now and then but not ALL THE TIME. The roti canai lover does not wail for breakfast to eat some roti canai. For them, they can eat it all day long without feeling sick of it.

If you happen to be at the mamak at 3am and you see a guy nicely enjoying a plate of roti canai, do know that you are in the presence of a roti canai lover.


Do you agree with our list? We do know for sure there are more types of personalities that we do not cover. Do us a favour and scout for us. If you happen to find a new type of mamak personality, do tell us in the comment section below!

Azrene Jasmine

Azrene Jasmine is a Penangite with a stomach of gold. Though currently she is in a love/hate relationship with the weighing scale, Azrene truly believes that every woman should choose a hunk of juicy steak over a bowl of salad on the first date because steaks are awesome and what man can resist a woman with a healthy appetite?

Love Malaysian food and culture? Find Malaysian recipes and stories on culture here in the Butterkicap community. Join us.

Sign up for Butterkicap

Tweet us 

Show the world just how amazing Malaysian food is.

Hashtag us at #butterkicap

Please check your feed, the data was entered incorrectly.