We are BIG fans of Mama Lan’s. This teeny tiny restaurant next to Clapham Common serves the most delicious noodles and dumplings – Beijing street food to be precise. Ning Ma started Mama Lan’s as a Supper Club operating from her living room. Mama Lan is her mum who helps her cook and the food is what Ning Ma’s grandpa sold on his market stall in Beijing – recipes from her childhood living in China.
Taking advantage of Lambeth Council’s scheme encouraging entrepreneurs to repopulate a run down part of Brixton market, Mama Lan’s opened up there, joining the cluster of new budget eateries doing wonderful things in this part of town. We’ve been to Brixton Mama Lan’s a few times but I prefer the Clapham one mainly because it’s not in a bustling market! We also go swimming once a week round the corner so this is the perfect lunch to look forward to!
Lexie absolutely loves noodles so she’s very happy here. There are no high chairs and it does get busy at lunchtime but if you get there at 12 and your child can sit on a chair (or sleep in a buggy) you’ll be fine! We ordered the beef noodle soup – unctuous beef, silky noodles with a fragrant broth – we love this so much. They served the spicy chilli sauce on the side so we could share this with Little Miss Noodle. We also had the pork buns and beef and spring onion beijing dumplings – both absolutely delicious. These were fine for Lexie – no chilli – and the pickled vegetables that accompany the dumplings are sooo good. In the past we’ve had the pork and chinese leaf dumplings – I felt a little sad we didn’t get these 😦 They are super yum.
The final thing we had was smacked cucumbers with chilli and sesame. I liked these a lot, they were refreshing and zingy and probably the only thing on the menu I’ll attempt at home. I’d have preferred a half portion – it’s quite a big bowl of cucumber to get through when really all you want is MORE DUMPLINGS. The waiter very sweetly brought Lexie a bowl of cucumber with no chilli so she could join in!
We drank a lovely white tip Oolong tea and Lexie had juice but they are licensed and on other occasions I’ve had a refreshing Tsing Tsao beer! The menu isn’t long and caters to all tastes, spicy, not spicy, vegetarian noodles/dumplings. We will go back again and again and if you can you should go too. I’m really happy Mama Lan’s has joined the other success stories of Brixton Village and opened up in another location (like Franco Manca, Honest burgers – my favourite burgers in London for sure, ooh their thrice cooked chips with rosemary salt ooh!!). For all the info on opening times, location etc visit the Mama Lan’s website.