Tucked behind a corner and invisible from the main road, No. 1 Malatown in Mascot is not somewhere you end up accidentally. Sharing a very similar name to the decidedly disgusting but similar in concept No.1 Malatang restaurant chain, No. 1 Malatown’s Mascot store provides most of your ma la tang staples as well as the unusual addition of hot kitchen-cooked a la carte dishes.
The No.1 Malatown store in Mascot is a large store with two separate dining areas. The front room is dominated by the fridge, regularly restocked with frozen meats, fish balls, greens, and noodles, as well as a drinks table featuring two types of citrus infused water, cutlery and crockery.
The selection of ingredients at No. 1 Malatown is perhaps a bit reduced compared to its competitors, however this did mean that I was forced to try different ingredients that I’ve traditionally avoided, like spam. It’s worth a mention that I witnessed the fridges being restocked with frozen meat during my visit. The vegetables and other ingredients were quite fresh.
No. 1 Malatown offers a selection of either bone broth or tomato broth for traditional wet malantag, or dry spicy or non-spicy cooking techniques for stir fry. The bone broth is the spicy “mala” version, however does come with a bit of creamy bone broth flavour. There is no option to have spicy malatang without bone flavour.
I generally enjoyed my bowl of malatang. It’s always nice to try different takes on the same concept. The selection of tofu, something that is a bit of a malatang staple for me, was pretty narrow. There was no fresh silken tofu, only frozen tofu slices which had quite a strange , fish-ball like consistency when cooked. Despite this, the meal was pretty good.
No. 1 Malatown is unique in that it offers other a la carte options alongside its core malatang offering. The lamb skewers are OK, not great. I can’t really explain or express why, but they’re just not as good as what you’d get at a restaurant or stall that dedicates itself to this art.
There is a small board within the restaurant that explains bonus offers for certain purchase amounts. These include things like bonus drinks, bonus wings, bonus skewers for certain amounts of spend. The staff in the store make no effort to mention these bonuses or point out to the sign, so you are shit out of luck if you don’t notice it yourself. It was only while I was getting myself some water, some time after I had ordered, that I noticed the bonus board and asked for my chicken wings. A bit of a strange way to do business, if you ask me.
The chicken wings were actually pretty good, and I’m glad I was able to try them. They were moist inside and appropriately crispy on the outside.
No.1 Malatown is good, but probably not even the best malatang place in Mascot. While their a la carte sides are not bad, it’s clear that they’re not the restaurant’s true focus. The presence of a hidden bonus board put a bit of a bad taste in my mouth – they would’ve absolutely let me leave without my free chicken wings. I did also run into some other first timers whilst I was at No. 1 Malatown – an anaesthetic nurse from RPA with whom I had a brief but passionate discussion about the benefits of the Vygon arterial leadercath. At the end of the day I think Long Men Zhu is probably better, cleaner feeling, and certainly where I would take someone for malatang in Mascot over this place.
3.75/5 – Quarter mark lost for unwelcoming business practices.
No.1 Malatown 第一道麻辣烫+烧烤
Shop 3/260 Coward St, Mascot NSW 2020
0413 070 021