address: 69-73 Atlantic Road, SW9 8PU
telephone: 0208 127 8677
Wednesday & Thursday noon–11pm
Friday to Sunday noon–midnight
We have reviewed this Chinese restaurant a few times before (see here, here and here). The fact that it hasn’t moved on, as so many others have, suggests it is definitely meeting a market. We thought we would try it at lunchtime, rather than our usual evening meal ventures. It was empty, so no need to book and plenty of time and quiet for a good natter. There is a dining room downstairs but we sat upstairs, all alone in a window seat.
The menu is full of Dim Sum (a sort of Chinese tapas). But as well as steamed, fried, baked or grilled buns there are also lotus leaf parcels and Courtesan has tried to fit into the Brixton vibe with jerk chicken sticky rice in a lotus leaf or the jerk ribs. Continue reading
Unit 18, Brixton Village, SW9 8PR
Monday 12:00 noon – 4:00pm
Tuesday – Sunday 12:00 noon – 10:00pm
We haven’t reviewed this restaurant for four years (see here and here), so a revisit was essential. Mamalan is named after the chef’s mother and serves Beijing street food. They have developed a thriving takeaway and delivery service and spread its wings from Brixton to a couple of other venues. We needed to give up people watching to concentrate on other things so we chose to eat inside. Although there are tables for two or four they are really squeezed in, so you need to do a bit of mountain climbing to settle into place.
The Village fills up at 1.00 pm and so to make sure we had a table we arrived at opening time, 12.00. The menu isn’t taxing – four soups, three rice dishes, a salad and side dishes which all warn you about the level of chilli. Side dishes include hot chicken wings (“some say the best in London” – a bold comment in the heart of jerk chicken land). We ordered the Wonton Noodle soup and the Sweet Chili Chicken rice which were easily enough for lunch.
The Chicken lived up to its name, crispy chicken pieces with sticky sauce on rice with a little side salad.
The Wonton soup was also pronounced delicious, but the broth didn’t have much depth of flavour. The menu described it as “light” so was definitely not oversold. There were plenty of pork and prawn wantons.
Both bowls were demolished and were washed down with a ginger ale and a can of diet coke. My only complaint – plastic straws. The bill came to £27.50 for a very satisfying meal.
Unit 9 First Avenue, Brixton Village, London SW9 8PR
Telephone 020 7501 9362
Tiger and Pig is in the alley to left as you enter Brixton Village from Coldharbour Lane. The name is a play on the Chinese zodiac. They indicate compatibility in relationships, although what it has to do with the food is anyone’s guess – although it is a Chinese establishment. Small with just a few plain tables with benches inside and out. The ceiling is covered with lots of different sized white paper lanterns – really jolly. Continue reading
address: 69-73 Atlantic Road, SW9 8PU
telephone: 0208 127 8677
This is a little gem, filling a place in Brixton for a classier Chinese restaurant and there is lots more to read about from us here (click here for our previous post). There is now an extension downstairs which feels like you are entering an opium den with precipitous stairs and a dark interior. But this downstairs room is surprisingly spacious and would be great for an intimate party.
Our round table for 5 was set up in a corner and other guests were around much larger table for about 12 to 18.
Dim Sum is a sort of Chinese tapas – small plates or steamer baskets of highly flavoured food to share. There are lots to choose from – steamed, fried, baked or grilled and covered in pastry, cotton wool, see through or flaky. Courtesan has enhanced the Chinese dishes with some Brixton flavours like jerk chicken sticky rice in a lotus leaf or the jerk ribs.
This short post is just to say the food is even better. The fried squid was wonderful, jerk ribs soft and spicy and the grilled sea bass a brilliant way to start the meal. All our dishes were a delight. We had only a few as we had eaten our first course at home in case it was impossible to have a conversation – but it wasn’t. Despite the noise we contributed to the mayhem with political arguments and disagreements about student loans. The bill was about £21.00 per person including cocktails but those who are hungrier should expect to pay more as we had 8 dishes. Continue reading
address: 30 Market Row Brixton, SW9 8LD
This is an unprepossessing restaurant in Market Row which competes with Prima Donna and Provincial on the opposite side of the alleyway. It goes in for small plastic tablecloth coated tables inside or outside the restaurant with plastic chairs (outside) or plastic stools (inside) and a variety of leftover silver decorations from the Chinese New Year or Xmas. It started off in the early days of the transformation of Brixton market as just a small stall offering takeaways, but it has grown over the years, taking over adjoining units. Between us we’ve eaten there a few times but have never felt it lived up to it’s promise – Brixton could do with a really good mainstream Chinese restaurant. But now it does look like a proper sit down restaurant and often seems to be crowded, so we decided we had to give it another go. In the event, we don’t think the other restaurants have much to worry about in terms of competition.
Courtesan Dim Sum
69-73 Atlantic Road, SW9 8PU
0208 127 8677
This is a little gem, filling a place in Brixton for a classier Chinese restaurant. The unassuming entrance leads into a bar area filled with golden birdcages and low lights. The restaurant decor is not the eclectic throw it together kind – it is simple with matching tables and comfortable chairs and benches. Lighting is Chinese style but not on the bling side – no red lanterns. It is an area of calm – until the tables begin to be filled.
This is a Dim Sum restaurant with a Brixton flare. We have the usual steamed Dim Sum (prawn, chicken and roast pork) but there is the oddball of jerk chicken in rice wrapped in a palm leaf. This looked relatively unassuming when it arrived – just green on the outside and white on the inside. But it was really delicious – full of ginger with not a hint of chilli but a big dose that grew in warmth but didn’t overpower the delicate rice and the really well cooked chicken.
Address: 426 Coldharbour Lane, London, SW9 8LF
Telephone: 020 7274 1492
This place has been a restaurant since we can remember. It used to be an Eel and Pie shop which had an advert which said “Why stand outside and be miserable when you can come inside and be fed up” and we feel that it is still true now. This Japanese (hence the name – fried or steamed dumping) and Chinese restaurant is not a gourmet delight but it is a homely place for a cheap, fast, good meal. The staff are warm and friendly and the food comes in record time so even if you thought there was no time to spare before your film begins at the Ritzy you still get the chance to see the adverts if you eat here.
We usually have the hot and salty squid, prawn gyoza, fried seaweed and a quarter of duck to start and then a free for all for the main courses. Thick noodles, thin noodles, hot soups and your choice of meat fish or tofu – however, be warned that the main dishes all extremely generous. This is a Japanese style restaurant so chopsticks are assumed but you can ask for a fork if the seaweed gets a bit risky for your neighbours.
The alcohol is good beer – Asahi is our usual choice. They have others but why roam…