Named after the owner’s mother, Mama Lan brings a taste of Beijing to Brixton. Inspired by childhood memories of the dumpling and snack stall her mother and grandfather ran in China, Ning Ma wanted to bring the food she grew up with, to London.
Ning Ma started with the Mama Lan Supper Club back in 2010, cooking her granddad’s recipes in her own home. The reception was so great that she gave up her day job as an accountant and opened her first dumpling outpost in Brixton Village (and later another on Clapham Common). Even today, the food served is the very same as was sold on her granddad’s humble little market stall back in Beijing – so these are some dishes with real longevity!
I visited Mama Lan with Richard for a quick dinner pitstop during September. The menu is short, and comprises handmade dumplings, noodle soups and street snacks from the heart of Beijing.
We drank Lychee Orchard mocktails (£3.50) and sampled hand- and home-made Beijing Dumplings stuffed with beef and spring onion (5 dumplings for £5) – so delicate and tasty.
Since the noodle recipes are made with fresh ingredients, the specials can change with the season – so I opted for a delicious cold noodle salad with free range chicken, and Richard slurped a bowl of spicy tofu noodle soup (~£9 each).
The teahouse collection is also impressive – with everything from Chrysanthemum, Goji & Rock Sugar to White Monkey Paw green tea – all priced at £2.50.
This place is cute, and serves the healthiest fast food around. The tried-and-tested recipes are 40-odd years in the making and steeped in authentic history, all the way from the market stalls of the Far East, so you can be certain they’re onto a really good thing. Best dumplings around.
Unit 18, Brixton Village Market, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW9 8PR