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A stylish Vietnamese restaurant between Ladbroke and Westbourne Groves.
Who’s up for a DIY Vietnamese taco? Okay fine, it’s not actually called that, but it should help you make sense of the signature dish at this stylish Ladbroke-slash-Westbourne hangout. Instead of a tortilla, you pile fillings on to a steamed rice noodle pancake (not unlike a Sri Lankan string hopper) or on to a leaf of baby gem. Or both. Then you add something off the grill. Of the four options, the beef in betel leaf (£4.60) is the best, though you can try three for £12. They arrive on a platter, piled high with not just those pancakes and leaves, but also Vietnamese herbs (delicate perilla leaves, scented Vietnamese mint), pickles, curls of crunchy veg and a sweet-with-a-hint-of-heat, fish-sauce-laced dipping sauce. It’s a Russian doll of a sloppy, fragrant roll that’ll have you licking your fingers, and possibly your palms, when you’re done.
But that’s just the one dish. What’s so great about Mam – from the same crew as Dalston’s Salvation in Noodles – is that it also does com (rice bowls), pho and snacky street food. Most of which was superb.
Take the prawn banh xeo: a crisp savoury crêpe, loaded with seafood and sprouts. Or a plate of dense, frilly-edged dumplings (similar to soft, steamed wontons), jammed with minced chicken, prawn and water chestnuts. There was another dipping sauce: this time fiery, oily, salty and sweet. Plus spring onions ‘two ways’ on the side (fresh and sliced, tiny and crisp). This is the kind of attention to detail I love.
Another thing: portions are huge. The beef shortrib com might seem relatively pricy at £13.50, but it was enough to feed two. And it was deeply moreish: fatty-edged, full-flavoured, velvety beef over squishy rice, with a tangy, fiery sauce and half a soft egg. It’s not especially refined, but it’s not meant to be: this is a dish to eat with a few beers, or better yet, a stinking hangover.
But Mam is also about the vibe. Staff are chummy and helpful. The look is Hanoi by way of London (warm woods, sleek lines and dangling warehouse lights, plus pots of exotic oversized foliage). It’s essentially one of those great little local spots you could quite happily eat at most nights of the week. Go with some mates and get stuck in.
16 All Saints Rd
|Transport:||Tube: Ladbroke Grove|
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £85.|
|Do you own this business?|