I must, very briefly, tell you about the wondrous fried chicken at Mama Lan’s in Brixton Village; the best I’ve had anywhere in a while. The skin has the kind of crunch one always wants fried chicken to have, but it so rarely does; I’d kill for the recipe. I do manage to find out a few of the ingredients from the waitress; star anise, coriander seeds, garlic, sesame seeds and to serve, loads of chilli oil, which they make themselves. This is borderline perfect fried chicken; it’s sweet, it’s spicy and it doesn’t so much hit the spot as take a massive run up and face plant it. Five pieces for £4.50.
The dumplings are worth a quick mention; they’re not anything amazing but I am rather fond of the wood ear mushroom and Chinese leaf pot stickers. The king prawn and water chestnut steamed version are also tasty. A couple of rounds of these, dunked in Chinkiang vinegar and soy bust right through a hangover. Not before I’ve had my chicken fix, though.