Abby Lee’s Mambow goes permanent

Singapore-born chef Abby Lee opens the first bricks-and-mortar version of her modern Malaysian venture Mambow in Clapton next week.

Abby made her debut with Mambow as a pop-up in Commercial Street in 2020, and under lockdown she distributed Nyonya-style meal kits celebrating her Peranakan or Chinese-Malaysian heritage.

Moving on to Peckham Market, Mambow won rave reviews from critics and diners, with the new 2024 Harden’s restaurant guide acclaiming “chicken satay as good as any I’ve had in the UK“.

The guide also pointed out that the operation needed “more space, staff and flexible portions” – cue the new Clapton premises, where the addition of a hibachi grill allows Abby to introduce new recipes to her repertoire. Highlights will include Otak-Otak Toast, her take on prawn toast; Umai, a Sarawak-style ceviche with coconut milk; and Rempah Fish, charcoal-grilled mackerel stuffed with Abby’s signature sambal.

Drinks include a list of low-intervention and biodynamic wines, Malaysian-style tea and 100 Plus isotonic drink, and a range cocktails designed to complement the fiery food.

Abby says: “I’m really excited to be opening our first permanent site. It feels like the natural next step for Mambow and I can’t wait to be part of the community in Clapton. It’s been a lot of fun playing around with the menu in a bigger kitchen and coming up with new dishes – people have been so receptive to everything I’ve had on the menu so far, so it’ll be nice to be able to introduce even more Malaysian flavours to everyone who comes down to visit.”

While significantly bigger than its Peckham predecessor, the new restaurant is still an intimate space, with an open kitchen, 20 inside seats and a further 15 on a semi-covered outdoor terrace. The vibe is 80s, combining upcycled European furniture with Peranakan tiles and artwork by Malaysian artists.

Mambow Clapton opens next Friday, 24 November, at 78 Lower Clapton Road, London E5 0RN.

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