London E1 6GU
Mama Lan is a chain of restaurants, originating from the Mama Lan Supper Club, that serves up authentic Beijing street food. Initially drawn in by the promise of the best dim sum in London (nothing to do with the rain at all!) we were greeted by a terse and simple menu, geared around small plates. We kept mainly to the dumplings which ranged from average to delicious, and, overall, there were several dishes that would get us back through the door.
Food: 6 / 10
Pork & Chinese leaf
The dumpling of the night, a simple combination that was bursting with flavour, and, to our amusement, juices too.
Beef & spring onion
Comparatively to the other dumplings the flavours here were lacklustre, a shame as it’s a classic flavour pairing.
Spinach, woodear mushroom & vermicelli
The earthy notes of the mushroom and spinach worked beautifully together leaving the vermicelli to play the third wheel.
Dan Doherty takeover: Duck, salted cabbage, spiced duck soup and homemade chilli oil
Even though it boasted illustrious origins (Dan Doherty being the executive chef at Duck & Waffle), these dumplings came in third place, with a weak broth that detracted from the dish.
Spicy chicken wings
Crispy, delicious and plentiful – what’s not to like?
Juxtaposing the clean lines of the dumplings, this bun is definitely a hangover cure, or a snack to have with a drink. There were only two real constituents; texture from the toasted bun, and flavour from a meaty – and slightly sweet – sauce that the pork was drowned in.
Service: 7 / 10
Friendly and efficient.
Price: Cheaper than the high street
Depending on the hunger levels, one will be spending between £10 to £15 – a bargain given how nice the food is.
In conclusion: Mama Lan delivers on nearly everything it promises – simple, hearty street food that is cheap and delicious (the dim sum was good, but not the best in London). If you haven’t already tried it, definitely give it a go.
TIP: Sign up on mamalan.co.uk for 20% off lunch. You’re welcome.