Down in Peckham you can find some of the best Malaysian food in London. Mambow, which originally started out in Spitalfields, has made the move south recently, taking over a unit on the ground floor of the Market Peckham – Tonkotsu, Forza Wine and several other traders can be found here too.
Mambow has an open kitchen and counter where you can sit, or a handful of tables in an area shared with other traders. The menu is a short, sharp selection of hits created by founder Abby Lee. Abby grew up in Singapore, working in family bakeries before coming to London via stints in Malaysia and Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy. The menu represents the broad landscape of influence and cuisine found in Singapore and Malaysia, blending Chinese with Indo-Malay ingredients, flavours and spices.
A must order is the spiced fried chicken with sambal mayo – so good, we finished it and immediately ordered another one. It was the same for the Lor Bak, crispy fried slices of pork and prawn roll, served with an insanely good sticky chilli vinegar, which needs to be bottled up and put on sale pronto because we want to put it on everything from now on.
There were plenty more great things to come too – a black pepper chicken curry, a family recipe from where Lee is from in Perak in Northern Malaysia, made with Sarawak black peppercorns, an Indian-style curry powder, curry leaves and red onion; fish curry with aubergine and okra; and perhaps our favourite of the three, the yellow jackfruit curry. Order plenty of turmeric rice to soak up all the juices.
We have to be honest and say that the dessert wasn’t really for us, but every savoury dish we tried gets full marks. There’s a small selection of natural wines and beers too, so it makes a great place for a quick dinner and a couple of drinks after work. It’s right opposite Peckham Rye station, so if that’s part of your commute home, then lucky you.
133a Rye Lane, London SE15 4BQ