The Fried Chicken at Mama Lan’s, Brixton

October 29, 2012


Mama Lan's

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.

Mama Lan’s
Unit 18 Brixton Village Market

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  • Avatar
    Reply Alicia (foodycat) October 29, 2012 at 9:56 am

    God that looks good. I might be due for another round of fried chicken cooking.

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      Reply Helen October 29, 2012 at 9:57 am

      That’s what I thought too…I need to try and replicate this recipe. Then again I do enjoy sitting in Mama Lan’s with a hangover. It’s so…familiar.

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    Reply Paul October 29, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Mama Lans is ACES! Love it there.

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      Reply Helen October 29, 2012 at 10:39 am

      It got some really poor reviews when it first opened but they seem to have streamlined things a lot and found their stride now.

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    Reply Roger Stowell October 29, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    The absolute fucking deliciousness of that chicken has managed to penetrate through the studied ordinariness of your pictures all the way to France – very envious.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen October 29, 2012 at 12:25 pm

      Sorry! (not sorry really tee hee)

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    Reply Robert October 29, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    With all this recessionary gloom floating about. It’s nice to know that you can get great food at great prices. A must try. Thanks. Brixton village is superb. No chains, no clones…

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      Reply Helen October 29, 2012 at 1:17 pm

      Yep! Total satisfaction for £4.50

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    Reply Shu Han October 30, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    somehow always only associated mama lan’s with their dumplings. but time to look at THAT FRIED CHICKEN.

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      Reply Helen October 30, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      It’s the best thing they do, no question.

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    Reply Anna November 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    The fried chicken looks delicious and I am pretty sure that it taste’s too! 🙂 I wish I could visit Mama Lan any time soon and eat there.

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      Reply Helen November 1, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      might have a go at a recipe soon…

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    Reply Lizzie November 5, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    OH HELLO. Why am I reading this? I need fried chicken. Neeeeeed. For some reason I’ve never visited Mama Lan’s, but that will soon change.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen November 5, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      Wow. You really know how to torture your vegan self. My friend is VEGAN. She’s vegan FOREVER.

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    Reply Shekhav November 5, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Haha the first thing I thought when I saw this post was “hangover cure” – Mama Lan’s is my hangover SOS destination on a Saturday morning too. So excited for this, thanks for reviewing 🙂

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen November 5, 2012 at 3:15 pm

      See you there on Saturday…

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    Reply tonysw9 November 10, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Went with my partner and a friend for lunch on Thursday about 1:40pm. Partner ordered prawn dumplings; friend and I ordered the pork. Partners dumplings arrived about 15 mins later.. my friend and I waited, and waited.. and waited.. only to be told about 8 mins later that the cook had prepared all prawn dumplings for us by mistake and we would have to wait for our correct order to be cooked. By the time our pork dumplings arrived another 12 minutes later my partner had finished eating his (his were already cold by that time and not as enjoyable)! Very poor service! Could at least have offered us the prawn dumplings instead so we didn’t have to wait so long.. but no, we were told we just had to wait for ours to be made and cooked. Dumplings were AMAZING, best we’d ever eaten! Sadly, although we’d have liked to try their other offerings, we decided not to have anything else as we felt so let down by the poor service and long wait and didn’t feel confident enough to order anything else from the menu. I know everything is prepared fresh to order but this is still no excuse. No offer of any extra (not even the prawn dumplings that had been prepared in error..) Shame, as our first experience of this otherwise wonderful eatery was tarnished by poor service and poor lack of judgement. Paid £20 (incl begrudged tip) for our dumplings and 1 cup of Oolong Tea. Great dumplings Mama Lan.. but we felt really let down by our first experience.

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