Mamak restaurants are part of our Malaysian culture and it is the place for most of us to hang out and have a sip of coffee and relax.
The term “mamak” is often used to refer to the Tamil Muslims, and in general, mamak restaurants are owned and operated by them.
Nonetheless, Malaysians of all races do enjoy hanging out at mamak restaurants and some of these operators even came up a menu with fusion dishes, giving their customers a taste of “harmony” in Malaysia.
Recently, a netizen took to his Facebook to share on how to differentiate the “original” muslim mamak restaurants from those that were operated by the Hindus. There were 6 indicators in total and they are:
1. Hindu mamak restuarants will not operate on Deepavali
The netizen explained that it is similar to Muslims who usually closes their shop during the Aidilfitri festival, and the Chinese who goes on leave during the Chinese New Year season.
He then said that he once wrote about this, where there was a mamak restaurant owner who was on his Deepavali holiday, sent him a personal message and admitted that his employees are mostly Hindu, even though he is a Muslim.
He said he was surprised by the fact despite him visiting that mamak restaurant several times.
He also said the main issue here is that the Hindus disguised themselves or give the perception to its customers that they are mamaks. For example, employees of a mamak restaurant all wore ‘kopiah’ and they gave the impression that they were Muslims.
He also explain that after this incident, he became more careful when going to Mamak’s restaurant.
However, he say that this method does not give solid evidence that a Mamak restaurant is truly Muslim-operated or not. He explained that some may just go on a holiday at any festival or there could be other reasons too.
2. Check if their menu has beef
The netizen said that “original” mamak restaurants will usually serve beef, while those Hindu-operated mamak restaurants will not serve beef as it goes against their beliefs.
However, he said that this method is not exactly the best method too, as there are “original” mamak restaurants that serves only mutton on their menu and no beef.
3. Greet with “Assalamualaikum”
The netizen said one should greet their boss and employees with Assalamualaikum and if they mutter in response, you should walk away from the mamak restaurant.
Nonetheless, he explained that there are some Muslim bosses who employ non-Muslim workers too. The netizen said he had used this method several times and found that there are also “original” mamak restaurants that hire Hindu workers.
He said that there are some famous mamak restaurants who failed his test and their employees failed to greet him properly. He added that he was disappointed by this as to him, mamak restaurants bears the Muslim image and they are supposed to hire Muslims only.
Meanwhils, he said this method is more effective when compared to the other methods. He said that it is impossible for a Muslim to be unable to answer greetings.
“If you want to be more dramatic, asked them to recite “surah al-fatihah”. I once tested on a beggar after Friday prayers, and he finally confessed that he is not a Muslim.” he said.
He then stressed that the issue is not about mamak restaurants employing Muslim employees, but rather the Hindus who disguised or giving the perception of being a mamak.
4. Muslim mamak restaurants will close during Friday prayers
He said that some mamak restaurant operators will prepare suraus for its employees, and if they don’t, they are not muslim mamak restaurants.
5. Do not be deceived by posters or pictures of Jawi writings
The netizen explained that mamak restaurant operators often use these decorations to attract Muslim customers to their restaurants.
6. Check the name of the restaurant at the website of Malaysian Muslim Restoran Entrepreneurs Association (PRESMA)
He explained that if you are not sure whether it is operated by a Muslim, you can check whether the mamak restaurant is listed in PRESMA’s website at this link.
He said this association was pioneered by Muslim mamak restaurant operators and their database covers restaurants nationwide.
The netizen then explained that based on his observation, there are also Muslim mamak restaurants who do not register themselves as PRESMA members.
Nonetheless, he stressed that the matter here is not about the halal status, but the Hindus who disguised or giving the perception of being a mamak.
It is not a problem if the restaurant is halal despite the Hindus confusing the Muslim customers. He said that he would avoid it if he knew so.
What do you think about this? Share your thoughts!