What – Beijing Street Food
When – Whenever that dumpling itch calls
Where – Brixton Market and Clapham Common
I am all about street food, I love it; it’s fast, fresh and delicious. One of my favourite places to eat street food is Beijing. It’s hearty and rustic; huge rolled pancakes, boiled dumplings, wonderful thick noodle soups and don’t forget those wiggly scorpions on sticks. In fact the only problem was coming home and missing out on this fabulous fare.
Thankfully, one ex-Beijinger spotted a gap in the market, launched a smash-hit supper club and rolled it out into two restaurants, simply serving Beijing dumplings and noodle-soups, in Brixton Market and now Clapham – thank-you Ning and mama Lan!
Ning and her mum produce some of the best Chinese food in the UK. Ning’s mum and grandfather used to run a popular food stall in Beijing. They used the freshest ingredients they could get and stuck to time-tested traditional recipes. The girls have carried on this tradition at Mama Lan. Their dumplings are all handmade (Ning’s mum can make up to 150 of these beauties in an hour), using the freshest of ingredients right from Brixton Market and their butchers in Clapham. The dumplings are Northern style; made with wheat and boiled to give them a lovely firm texture, and served with pickles, vegetables and pungent black vinegar.
Street food to me is synonymous with exciting ingredients, interesting recipes, traditional techniques and a bloody amazing finished dish. Ning and her mum have nailed this, and the fact that their two restaurants are packed from opening to closing is testament to why this style of eating is so popular right now. As Ning said, ‘street food is all about raw pride and the passion of the chefs wanting to cook a few dishes so well.’ I couldn’t have put it better myself.
It is lovely to see a family business that is producing something so fabulous doing so well. Ning and her mum have great chemistry in the kitchen and this is all reproduced in their awesome food. Long may it continue.
For more information visit mamalan.co.uk