Jason Allen 08/06/22
Peckham just landed a new modern Malaysian restaurant & wine bar called Mambow.
Mambow number two.
Mambow number one opened on Commercial Street back at the start of 2020, which wasn’t exactly ideal timings-wise. So, sadly forced to shut by the fickle hand of fate – it then nimbly pivoted into roaringly successful meal-kit concept, before finally turning back into a restaurant earlier this month.
Life, indeed, is a rollercoaster.
It comes to us from chef Abby Lee, who has a) a diploma from fancy French culinary college Le Cordon Bleu, b) experience cooking in a Michelin Star kitchen in Italy, and c) a childhood spent in her family’s bakery in Malaysia. All three of which have colluded to create a chef with both the skillset & heritage to deliver what is both a brilliant and pretty unique new venue (just wait until you see the dessert).
Location wise, you’ll find it at the back of Market – the ridiculously fancy new co-working space/cultural hub opposite Peckham Rye Station. Walk through the clothes shop at the front, or head round the back as if you were headed to Copeland Park and there you’ll see the bottom floor has been transformed into a Boxpark-style mix of small independent restaurants and shops – everything from vegan skincare to sushi, with rotisserie chicken spot Rotorious and of course Mambow in between.
Overall, it’s a pretty casual affair, tables are first-come-first-served and you go up to the counter to order. Although there’s nothing casual about the menu (did we already mention the dessert?). It’s small but packed full of flavour and all of the dishes – which can be eaten solo or shared – are expertly balanced.
The Lor Bak for instance – one of two starters (the other being Acar Awak, a sort of fancy pickled veg) – sees a five spice pork and prawn roll, wrapped in a light, crispy bean skin, off-set by a sweet, sticky sauce for dipping.
Standout mains include a cold glass noodle dish packed full of prawns; the black chicken curry which is actually a family recipe from Perak (where Abbey grew up); and a Malay fish curry, served with okra, aubergine and sour tamarind, tempered with a lemongrass & galangal spice mix.
The absolute show-stopper however is the Malaysian Cendol for sweets. It’s a mix of shaved iced, coconut milk, palm sugar syrup, red beans and electric green padan jellies, which, to the untrained Western eye looks kaleidoscopically strange, however tastes delicious.
The final piece of the puzzle is an all-natural wine list, helping to ease it all down. For this, Abbey’s enlisted the help of the folks over at Les Caves de Pyrene (who also supply Soif & Brawn, among others). Their expertise is curating regularly changing natural wine lists that pulls together all the exciting, best stuff whilst also remaining affordable.
Hopefully, after the success of this we get to see a couple more Mambows… maybe even four?
NOTE: Mambow is open in Peckham’s Market now. You can find out more at their website right here.
Mambow | 133 Rye Ln, SE15 4ST
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133 Rye Ln, Peckham, SE15 4ST
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7.5 | Good
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