Mama Lan

Address: Unit 18, Brixton Village Market SW9 8PR

As dumplings are fast becoming one of my favourite foods the news that a dumpling restaurant was to open in Brixton Arcade came with much excitement.  With our first visit at prime time for lunch we were worried that due to it only opening a few days before we would be out of luck however we were surprised to see that we had a whole bench to ourselves free.

With minimalistic decor and straightforward menu this place knows what it’s about and doesn’t seem ashamed by it. With three different types of dumplings (Beef and carrot, Pork and Chinese leaf and Dill and spiced tofu) , chilli oil chicken, slow cooked beef with Chinese herbs and spices as well as a smattering of vegetarian options the fact that you can pick 2-3 dishes brings variety to your meal. We chose a few dumplings, the seaweed salad and the chilli chicken between two of us. Although the salad was lacking in flavour, the abundance of it found in our other choices more than made up for it.

Aside from the food the cosy atmosphere created by sharing your meal with both your neighbours and the chefs brings me back to the backstreet dumpling houses I experienced during my time in Beijing . You can watch as ‘mama lan’ creates her dumplings with quick fingered precision as well as spy on your fellow diner’s food to see what looks good. Service was great and came with a smile.

Price came in at just over a tenner each, a little pricier than some of the other places in the arcade. However we left with satisfied and full tummy’s. Will definitely be visiting again.

They also run a supper club: http://www.mamalan.co.uk/index.php

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