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Mama Lan Restaurant

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by Tammy Facey (subscribe)
Read. Write. Run.
Published January 28th 2015
Little Chinese dumplings
East Asian dumplings don't get any better than Mama Lan in Brixton, this side of SE London.

Mama Lan, dumplings, Chinese, fresh, salad, lunch, dinner
Mama Lan

Judging by the full outdoor seats, we'd made a good choice. Thanks to the outdoor seating, we could see we'd made a good choice because every table was full.

We'd passed this place only an hour before as we were meandering through the market and had visited other stores in the area before choosing somewhere to eat. Alas, when we were hungry and ready to sit down there were no free tables, but the host-come-waitress spotted us and told us a table would be available in five minutes if we were happy to wait.

Thankfully Brixton Village market is pretty lively, and although somewhat crowded, we had no problem just standing there for a couple of minutes whilst another group vacated the table.

Mama Lan, dumplings, Chinese, fresh, salad, lunch, dinner
Sesame seaweed

The menu was on the table as we sat down, and it being relatively small, it was an uncomplicated affair choosing our mains.

I chose two dishes from the 'streetfood' part of the menu, with chicken wings and sesame-seaweed salad. I had underestimated the chicken wings, they were phenomenal. I was served six bites of crisp, meaty, spicy and salty coated wings. Coupled with the fresh, full bowl of seaweed, it was perfect.

Spicy wings, Mama Lan, lunch, dinner
Spicy wings

My friends shared the dumplings (£6.00) and the spicy beef noodle soup (£9.00). The meat so incredibly tender, but not that flavoursome; the broth in which it came, with the noodles floating around at the bottom, was the best part of the dish. It was a spicy, powerful kick of a dark broth. It was full of flavour and, though broth-like, rich in texture.

The dumplings were reminiscent of Ukrainian ones I've tried at my friend's grandmother's house. Instead of being steamed, the dumplings were lightly fried and had some colour on either side.

Mama Lan, dumplings, Chinese, fresh, salad, lunch, dinner
Beef and dumplings to share

Inside was minced chicken and thinly sliced vegetables. They were like pockets of food, all encased in flavoured dough.

Whilst we found the service borderline, my friend's food was served within minutes of us being seated, but whilst I waited for my dish I sipped on the Jasmine green tea, which was served in traditional, small ceramic cups and in Chinese tea pots. It was lovely.
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Why? Delicious dumplings
When: Monday 12:00 – 4:00pm Tuesday - Saturday 12:00 – 10:00pm
Where: Brixton Village
Cost: Dishes start from £5.00
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