Everything done at Mamalan is about Ning’s love of food. From wings and baos, to noodles and bubble teas, her dishes are designed to put a smile on your face! Mamalan want to get away from the old image of Chinese food as greasy and heavy and show you just how fresh, delicious and exciting it can be. Their inspiration comes from a long tradition of cooking in the family. Ning likes to feel that she has built on that to create something modern and new. But she doesn’t like to be confined by just one type of cuisine – she will experiment with anything that she loves the taste of!
“My family’s story stretches right back to the 1940s, when my great-grandfather ran a bao shop on the roadside in Beijing. Though the baos he served are, a little different from what we have on offer today, that tradition of feel good street food has always been what it’s all about.This tradition continued right through to the 1970s when my mother and grandfather sold baos, dumplings and other delicious snacks from the back of a bicycle. It was those divine flavours and aromas that I grew up and fell in love with.
My parents moved to London in 1993 and I joined them in 1998. Though there were Chinese restaurants everywhere at that time, I found that all the magical flavours of my childhood just weren’t there. I wanted to recapture the way all those smells and flavours used to make me feel – that same sense of sheer wonder and excitement I felt every time we opened a fresh batch of steaming hot baos!” – Ning, Mamalan
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