There is something very similar about the tinkering of a recipe and the tinkering of a song. There's a lot of heart and soul that goes in to both. Long after it is created, you don't always get to hear about the moment its enjoyed by others but you hope they received your love.
We recently heard Powderfinger is set to release a new album of unreleased songs this year (2020).
It got us thinking about this one time at Makanan Indonesia, when Bernard Fanning, (singer and writer Powderfinger) came up to the counter to pay for his meal and he said you're my grandparents favourite restaurant!
The funniest thing at the time though, we weren't struck by his stardom, but more excited that A) we were his grandparent's favourite restaurant and B) that he was trying out the restaurant based on word of mouth, he even said they will be mad I didn't bring them with me! If only we did frame his signature on the payment slip.
Makanan Indonesia, West End brought a lot of amazing people through our doors. We soon became known as just 'Makanan' and although we weren't renowned necessarily for our musical genius, people did come to listen to Mono's love songs and Star Wars finale.
Now, with a bridge named after the go betweens, West End was always arguably a musical hot spot. Its no surprise we had a run of some of Australia's home grown talent come through to try our fare - Regurgitator's Ben Ely and Kate Miller-Heidke, to name a few.
If you're looking to reminisce those Makanan music nights, you will find Willie and his 'garage band' playing along Victoria Street on a Saturday with their harmonies of the old crooner songs.
Makan means to eat and Makanan means cuisine and the restaurant also attracted a different kind of maestro. Masters of the kitchen who looked to equally enjoy their experience of eating out.
Chef Ben O'Donoghue and family came by, when they were just getting their toes dipped in to finding an abode of their own, in and around West End too (aka Billy Kart).
Chef Ainsley Harriot came by for some Siomay. Mie Mie and Willie were watching TV one day with the family and they said hey look at that guy on the TV, he looks very familiar and similar to the guy that came to the restaurant that time. "Mie mie remember?" Mie mie looks up, "Yes he ordered dim sims."
UMMM you didn't know who he was? "No, he was just really tall and had this English accent, he was having a snack. Dad was telling jokes.”
That is the beauty of Mie Mie and Willie. For them its not about whether you are famous or whether you are 'not famous', customers were like family. And when you are family you get spoiled with our mantra of bringing people together around the table to enjoy the experience of connection and love.
Now, its about much more than just Makanan. Combining the elements you knew and loved about Makanan; celebrating all of the recipes of our mothers; Mamaku Street Food, Clayfield, is about authenticity to what we eat at our very own dining tables.
SIDE NOTE for next time:
Before Makanan in 2005, the family found a connection with Natalie Hall Management who suggested we sign up with her. We did. During our "EXTRAS" career, we met many many people, and we got to be quite 'normal' with them. We still think it was a pretty amazing time in our lives.
Recording this time in our lives is more for the possibility of our own dementia, and to keep our stories alive.
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We are a family of shopkeepers. We share our journey with the world, right from where we are. If we were to plot on a map where our family hails from, of course, the majority are from China and Indonesia, and now Australia, however we are still discovering the facts of our heritage so much is still unknown. We were raised in Darwin, Northern Territory, and when our ancestors arrived to Darwin, unfortunately, after the tropical cyclones Darwin is renowned for, a lot of our records disappeared. This journey we share is about documenting our lives now, for our next generations and also for providing the difference we want to make right now.