Restaurants, Polish Elephant and Castle
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(20user reviews)
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A no-frills, counter-service Polish restaurant.

At weekends, this Polish counter-service restaurant is so popular that staff greet diners with instructions to ‘sit wherever you can find a space’. Its hefty portions of Eastern European comfort food attract students from nearby Westminster and South Bank Universities as well as a sizeable Polish-speaking crowd in such numbers that it’s often a case of squishing on to a communal table while you wait for staff to call out your order number.

It’s all very no-frills, but the appeal of this little place is down to the prices. The cooking is variable – enjoyably thick and gelatinous pork belly came with lumpy mash while beef stroganoff was decent if a tad dry. But most mains come in at less than a tenner, and the often very good £3 soup and wide selection of Mama’s £5 lunch deals offer astonishing value. For us, though, it’s Mamuska’s extensive booze range that’s the real highlight. There’s a rotating cast of more than 20 excellent Polish beers, some of which are seriously strong (you have been warned). The range of delicious flavoured vodkas (stored in the freezer) is long enough to make you pity the staff when they’re asked to recite them. If you’re worried about trying Polish food for the first time, remember the Mamuska mantra: ‘Everyone loves Polish food – some people just don’t know it yet.’ This is definitely a decent place to grab a bite if you need to fill up on a budget, but it’s an even better spot for a drink or three – if you can bag a seat, that is.

By: Alexi Duggins


Venue name: Mamuska!
Address: 16 Elephant and Castle
Opening hours: Meals served 9am-midnight Mon-Wed, Sun; 7am-12.30am Thur-Sat
Transport: Tube: Elephant & Castle
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £50.
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Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:13
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:2
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Katie D

Great value for mountains of delicious food, the tongue in cheek menu is good fun. Love it. Try the schabowy - it's glorious!

Izzy K

Please don’t get discoursed by its location in the Elephant and Castle shopping centre and even more by the unappealing look of Mamuska. One you forget these two, you can have a great home–made Polish meal for a very low price. 

It’s incredible how this place evolved during the years. It started as the only Polish milk bar (equivalent to English greasy spoon) in London (if not in UK) with a section with spoons on chains – a reference to the 80s Polish cult comedy 'The Bear,' but it slowly evolved into the locals favourite café-restaurant with menu offering more than just dumplings and borsch.

The times when all mains cost £5 are long gone (unless you catch a daily lunch deal), but Mamuska still serves inexpensive great home-made Polish food. The portions are very generous. Try Placki Tower (potato pancakes with mushroom sauce) or Chlodnik - the summer chilled soup with beetroot and yogurt.  For the brave meat eaters, I suggest Polish pub classic - sourdough with lard and cucumber in brine. With the recently open outdoor space, they also offer BBQ dishes with a Polish twist. 

It’s also worth visiting if you want to try some of the best flavoured Polish vodkas and craft beers (ask for Honey Ciechan, it’s amazing!)

What’s interesting, is that the owner is not even Polish, but Canadian, which makes me appreciate it even more, as you won’t find many foreigners in London promoting such an unpopular cuisine.

Basil S

A must go to place. Belly filling, rib sticking, homemade polish food. From soups to pierogies, plackies, cabbage rolls you can't go wrong. Beer and wodka too. And prices you can't beat. Open late. Delivery available. Forget the Elephant, this is where you want to be. Naz drovya!


brilliant place, great Polish cooking, huge portions so value for money - what else could you ask for?!

Brian l

don't know why this place gets such good reviews. first time - last time. 

first it's a canteen - not a restaurant! You get plastic trays and a miserable person to deal with. I can usually get a laugh or smile from most people but FAIL at this place. Food was ok-ish. All the drinks un-drinkably sweet. Water was warm and ice cubes clearly rationed. Don't bother!


It's a good place to go if you want to try typical Polish, good food in affordable places. Definitely one of the best Polish polices in London


Bit of a mean-spirited review for a very fun, affordable restaurant - Polish peasant food isn't haute cuisine but it's hearty and filling and Mamuska! has zero pretensions about itself...


Fantastic food! that's all I can say.. A real gem tucked in Elephant & Castle.

Dazza V

This is a no frills sort of place that serves nice, big, hearty home cooked meals for a fiver a dish. The potato pancakes with goulash or mushroom sauce is rich, yummy and filling. It is all stodgy but that's home cooking for you - everything comes with a side of veg, potato and sourkraut. If you want a lighter bite then go elsewhere. This place will always be on my go to list.


Absolutely fantastic, no-nonsense place. The food is great, the prices are jaw dropping and the whole idea just works like a charm. I've been there twice and each time I was amazed. The portions are generous, the hot chocolate thick and the staff extremely friendly.


I have recently moved to Elephant and Castle and have been to Mamuska twice now, it's well worth every penny for what you get! The atmosphere is lovely and the staff are friendly and helpful especially the manager everyone always seems like they're having a really good time here. :)


Mamuska's food is the best value for money I've found in London, having lived here six years. You pay at the counter when you order and then collect your meal on a tray, which means there's no tip for table service - so you can leave feeling full having only spent five pounds, or even three pounds if you get one of the wholesome soups. The portions are very generous. The beetroot soup in a glass is really delicious and great to have with pierogi. I live in Elephant & Castle and so virtually live in Mamuska and I can't recommend it enough. I don't know how it makes money because it's such an amazing deal and it deserves a lot of customers. A ten pin bowling alley and Mamuska are both inside the shopping centre and together make a great, cheap night out - Mamuska is open unbelievably late every day too. By the way the character of the 60s shopping centre is an experience in itself if you've never been in, and the tube and bus stops are right next to it.


Bardzo smaczny - Absolutely delicious. On a 5 day visit to London we stayed in the waterloo area and kept returning to Mamuska. Being of Polish descent the food reminded me of my wife's mom's cooking (although she cooked kosher…:-)


My mother's Polish so I've grown up on Polish home cooked food. I took my parents there for a treat (Not long out of uni, so I'm a bit of a cheap skate!). The food was tasty, well portioned and cheap for London. I felt transported back to Poland and obliged to make an effort and speak Polish. I've just came back from a two week trip from Wroclaw, a Polish city I've never visited before and loved everything about it. It's got such a cool arty vibe and it's got some great drinking/milk bars. The trip turned in to a mass pig out and brought back comforting memories. I plan to go to Mamuska again very soon and reminisce over the time spend in Wroclaw with an English girl I met out there. Bring on the pierogi!


We thought we should respond to Hanna's review. She is absolutely correct that there is an error on the menu, and that reprinting is very costly. (By the way, we are changing over to a new winter menu in 2 weeks!) Hanna should have been warned when ordering that the fruit pierogi come as a set of four, not five like the other pierogi. Unfortunately we had a new cashier working and she forgot. However, when we did try to explain and suggest some sort of solution, Hanna's boyfriend kept interupting and just got more angry. He did not give us a chance to make good. They also emptied the ketchup and mustard onto their otherwise-empty plates, so I guess between the cost of the condiments and the bad review, this group of people somehow feel better. I only wish they had given us a chance to offer a solution, but these customers seemed to be set for a fight! At £5 a main course of freshly cooked food, what we are doing is not easy. And when we get it wrong, we do offer refunds. But this time, we never got the chance. We only hope that readers will read our response as well as the review. Smacnego! Ian at Mamuśka!


The food is ok but the service is horrible. I asked if I could get 5 fruit dumplings for 3 pounds (in the menu as starter: 1/2 pierogi- normally you get 10 dumplings for a fiver) and the lady said: of course! Two other friends I was with got their food and my dumplings arrived shortly after. The only thing was, there were only 4 instead of 5. I went back to the counter, the lady apologized and gave my plate back to the kitchen staff. Then she got it back and tried to explain that there is an error in the menu and you actually only get 4 dumplings if you choose the ones with a fruit filing. I was really disappointed and regretted not taking 10, as the 4 I got were really small. I got back to the table. My boyfriend decided to speak to the manager about our complaint. The manager said that most of the customers understood that when you take fruit dumplings you only get 4 even though the menu said 5. (pure logic! fruit are more expensive than meat, said the manager). Also he said that printing menus is expensive, so they didn't manage to correct the error yet. Maybe they should then remove the menus and just write the menu on a big board? Or train their staff properly? Was not giving me one dumpling worth losing at least 3 customers? Even though the portions were small, the food was value for money. Such a shame that the customer service and the overall management of the place is so poor.


Perhaps ordering a bowl of kapusniak on such a hot day was a mistake, but it was worth the embarrassing sweatiness that ensued! Big bowl of sweet cabbage soup with some sausage & potato in it, served with Polish bread. Absolutely fab. I overordered by getting some minced pork pierogi as well. Very tasty though. Soup & pierogi to share would have been more than enough. Will definitely go back. Maybe when it's less oppressively hot!