Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of Mambow

Silver Award

Just a stone’s throw from Peckham Rye station sits Market – a trendy destination combining independent food outlets and eclectic fashion and beauty brands. Nestled in the back corner is Mambow, a laid-back and inviting space housing Michelin-trained head chef Abby Lee’s new modern Malaysian concept.

First impressions are good: an open kitchen with bar seating, a handful of small tables, low-atmospheric lighting and an order-at-the-bar policy, complemented further by the buzzy chatter of the full tables around us. We took our seats and reviewed the menu, which is small but boasts flavours that promised to pack a punch. Things were great from the off, with the zingy Acar Awak (pickled vegetable and pineapple with coriander and crushed peanuts) delightfully contrasting with the crispy, meaty Lor Bak (five spice pork, prawn and bean curd bites).

The mains took things up a notch, with the Gulai Nangka - an aromatic, coconutty jackfruit curry dish - providing a break from the zingy sauces of our starters, and pairing perfectly with fragrant turmeric rice. But the pièce de resistance was the Black Pepper Curry Chicken. Think melt-in-your-mouth chicken thigh, covered in a rich, peppery gravy, finished with a generous red onion garnish – a dish that we're still thinking about days later. To finish, we found space to share the only pudding on the menu: the Cendol. An icy, sugary combination of coconut milk, pandan jellies and beans, it’s definitely worth ordering to complete your Mambow experience.

For some restaurants, a limited menu can be restrictive, but here it just works. Small plates, big flavours, great wines and one showstopper of a dessert – Mambow ticked all the boxes for a low-key but memorable mid-week meal.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cool, Cosy, Fun, Lively
Other Awards
SquareMeal London Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegan options, Vegetarian options
Food Hygiene Rating


A portmanteau of ‘Mama’s Bowls’, Mambow is a street food concept that pays homage to her Malaysian heritage, whilst incorporating myriad influences from Singapore to Europe via the Middle East. The international slant is inspired by chef-owner Abby Lee’s experience working in food around the world, from Michelin-starred restaurant Pasha in Italy to her family’s bakeries. After a successful stint at Market Halls in Peckham, Mambow has moved over to trendy Clapton, nabbing a spot right on the high street.

Lee's modern Malaysian food focuses heavily on Nyonya dishes as well as fiery curries from different parts of Malaysia. The compact menu, as of the time of writing, kicks off with Nyonya pickles, then continues through five spice pork and prawn bean curd rolls and a punchy black pepper curry chicken. Also on the menu is a tangy pineapple curry with crispy garlic and chive dumplings, a grilled prawn glass noodle dish with sambal belacan, and a refreshing dish of wok-fried mussels with soybean and curry leaf sauce. Don't sleep on Lee's hulking Hainanese chicken sandwiches either - these poached chicken, ginger & spring onion oil, kewpie mayo, chicken fat chilli vinegar, fried onion and cucumber beasts are only available at lunchtime, so might require a special trip to South London.

Wine is a big part of the experience at Mambow too, with Les Caves de Pyrene putting together a compact list of natural wines to accompany those spicy dishes. 

The restaurant also focuses heavily on creating nourishing food from quality ingredients, as well having a big emphasis on reducing food waste. Leftover fruit and veg are often used up in soups and loaf cakes, while the design also picks up on the sustainable theme with vintage and ethically made furnishings.


Where is the restaurant?

You'll find the restaurant in Clapton in East London, on the main high street.

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Do you need to book a table?

Yes, we recommend that you book a table before visiting.

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78 Lower Clapton Road, Hackney, London, E5 0RN

Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri Closed
Sat 12:00-15:00
Sun 12:00-17:00
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 17:30-22:30
Thu 17:30-22:30
Fri 17:30-22:30
Sat 17:30-22:30
Sun Closed


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