Test Driving Mambow - a Malaysian wonder in Peckham

roomThe counter at Mambow

What can you tell us about Mambow?

Mambow comes from Abby Lee, a chef who originally worked at her family's bakeries in Singapore and Malaysia, and later at Michelin-starred Pashà Ristorante in Italy. Mambow started life in Spitalfields in February 2020 - but, well, you can probably guess what's coming next. The original restaurant was a victim of the pandemic, but now Lee and her restaurant have returned, taking up a prominent space on the ground floor of Market Peckham. 

The menu is pitched as focusing on Nyonya dishes, a cuisine described as blending "Chinese cooking ingredients and recipes with Indo-Malay flavours."

roomThis is Market Peckham - Mambow is on the ground floor

Where is it?

It's about a two-minute walk from Peckham Rye station inside the Market Peckham building which also hosts Tonkotsu and the rooftop-based Forza Wine. You'll find Mambow at the back of the ground floor as part of a collection of food stalls. Mambow has one of the largest kitchens there, as well as a fair few high tables. If you're looking to get closer to the action, you'll want to book one of the stools up at the kitchen counter. 

So what's on the menu?

It's a short menu - about six to eight dishes, including some snacks. So it'd be very easy to work your way through the entire menu which, frankly, is well worth doing. Here's what was on offer when we visited,

roomLor Bak - five spice pork and prawn bean curd roll (£6) which comes with a dark chilli jam for dipping. One of the very best snacks we've had of late - something that's definitely worth crossing town to get your hands on. 

roomIkan Assam Pedas - seasonal fish curry, tamarind, laksa leaf (£11.50). There's a very definite kick to this, so if you like heat this is everything you've ever wanted. If it proves a little challenging, then there's...

roomBlack Pepper Curry Chicken  with sarawak black peppercorns , red onion (£11) - a dish with less heat but still damned good. That sauce is described by Marina O'Loughlin as leaving "taste buds pleasurably jangling" - an apt description we're hard pressed to beat. 

roomCendol - coconut granita, pandan jelly, aduki bean and gula melaka (£6.50). Everything here blends perfectly - beans, jelly and perfectly coconutty granita. A strong finish. 

Anything else to note?

There is one important addition if you're heading to Mambow before 5pm. That's the Hainanese Chicken Sando (£9) with chicken fat chilli sauce, ginger and spring onion oil, kewpie mayo and crispy onions. That all comes in sourdough from hot new(ish) Camberwell bakery Frog. By all accounts, this sandwich is a thing of wonder and should definitely be ordered if you can.  

And if you're vegetarian/vegan, you'll be heading straight for the jackfruit curry (£11).

What about drinks? 

Mambow's tagline is "Malaysian heat and juicy wines" so yes, the wine list is definitely worth a look. You'll find one sparkling, three whites/reds and a couple of rose/orange wines. The entry-level wine is very decently priced at £24 a bottle (Tule Bianco, Terre Siciliane for the white, Tule Rosso, Nero D'Avola for the red) heading upwards only to £34 (where some wine lists in London start in price),

So even if you're not up for a full meal, we'd say that if you're in the area, it's well worth checking out if you can grab a table for some wine (and maybe several portions of Lor Bak...). 

roomChef Abby Lee in the kitchen

Overall thoughts

After the pandemic hiccup at Spitalfields, it's great to see Mambow Peckham go on to become an instant hit, getting a rave review from the Sunday Times' reviewer Marina O'Loughlin right out of the gate. With excellent Malaysian food, a great vibe and very well priced dishes we can see Lee going onto big things after this, so head down there as soon as you can.


More about Mambow

Where is it? 133a Rye Lane, London SE15 4BQ

How to book: Book online

Find out more: Visit their website or follow them on Instagram @mambow_ldn


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