Mongolian Grill

Restaurants, Chinese Clapham
18 Love It
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Please note, this venue is now closed. Time Out Eating & Drinking editors, Nov 2016.

For the uninitiated, this backstreet restaurant in Clapham’s Old Town may set alarm bells ringing. First, there’s the ‘red light district’ glow (caused by a host of Chinese lanterns), but more unnervingly, the kitchen specialises in hotpot (sometimes known as ‘Chinese fondue’, a dish with its roots in Mongolia) and Korean barbecue (where food is cooked at an on-table grill). There’s an enormous help-yourself buffet of fish, meat and vegetables – all raw. However, food hygiene is scrupulously maintained, with the steel containers frequently replenished by fresh items, and individual tongs used. To cook your ingredients, we recommend choosing a half-and-half hotpot. One side of our pot contained a subtle broth infused with juniper berries and dried plums – ideal for cooking delicately flavoured ingredients (from prawns and squid to broccoli and spinach). On the other was the popular spicy stock, laced with dried chillies, sichuan peppers and chinese peppercorns the size of garden peas: perfect for the more robust raw chicken wings and slivers of pork belly. The cheery female manager is on hand to explain how to make the best DIY dipping sauce; the remaining staff work silently but efficiently. More Soho than south London, Mongolian Grill is certainly not boring.



Venue name: Mongolian Grill
Address: 29 North Street
Opening hours: Tue-Fri 5-10pm; Sat 4.30-10.30pm; Sun 4-10pm
Transport: Tube: Clapham Common tube or Wandsworth Road rail
Price: £16 all-you-can-eat hot pot or barbecue (£2 extra per person for both). Specials and dim sum extra.
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Average User Rating

3.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:7
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:4
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Given the poor reviews we were in two minds about trying the Mongolian Grill, but we're so glad we did as we had a new food experience, good quality food, and excellent service.

We visited on a Saturday night around 8pm and it was packed - we got the last table for two, not all the tables have the BBQ pits and our table didn't meaning we only had the option of a hotpot but as that's what we wanted anyway it was not a problem.  If you specifically want the BBQ then I'd suggest booking ahead as we saw many people turned away who hadn't booked.

They had a special soup on the night we were in - Laksa, so we had a split hotpot with one side Laksa and one side spicy Tom Yum.  Both tasted as we expected and had the right level of heat for us (you get asked how spicy you want it).  We'd never tried a hotpot before so the owner showed us what to do and started us off with a dipping sauce (after checking with us about allergies etc).  Then it's all help yourself - there's a bar with fresh meat, fish, prawns, bamboo tofu, and veg.  You go up, fill a plate, then cook - the menu had guidelines for how long each type of food should take.

Service was swift, friendly, and effective.  For £16 a head for the basic hotpot (chicken soup), and an extra couple of quid for the Laksa and the Tom Yum, and then as much as we could eat, it was excellent value for money.  Definitely on our list of places to go for no-fuss food in the future.  In the context of a good-value no-fuss restaurant this definitely gets five stars from us.

My housemate and I popped in as we fancied trying a new place for dinner. Something a little different from the normal restaurants you'd find in Clapham. The lady who served us was really friendly, and to be honest the atmosphere in there was quite fun, we had some banter with a couple of guys who were cooking their own food on a table next to us. We ordered the crab along with some Dim Sum. The Crab was cold in parts, as if it has just come out of the freezer. This really put us off, and when we asked our server, she said that the chef said it was 'ok to eat' but would take it off the bill. Needless to say, we both felt a bit ill afterwards :s. I wouldn't recommend this place after this experience.

Brilliant place. The food is really good quality and cooking your own at the table is great fun! Good atmosphere, friendly service and good value for money. Highly recommended.

Pretty bad restaurant. The food may be cheap at £12.50pp but that's no excuse for the tasteless tripe we were fed. The decor is shabby, the food is shabby, the toilets are shabby and the service is even worse. I had to ask 3 times for the bill and was still offered no apology when I had to walk to the bar to pay. Do yourself a favour and visit one of the many gastro pubs on the opposite side of the road instead.

I found this restaurant when walking pass the neighbourhood one evening in Oct 2012 and thought giving it a try! I went back twice within 2 weeks now since. This restaurant is good and definitely good value! The choices are plenty and enough, of course in China, everyone has their own favourite items to cook in the hotpot, but come on, they offer fish, prawns, squids, beef, chicken, lamb and pork plus many of other veg and tofu ingredients etc in their selections and charging less than £13pp.... what do people expect????? Food quality is also good and my friends and myself all very happy with it... Service is good (far better than most of other Chinese restaurants in China town anyway). As a person who dine out 4-5 nights a week in different budget restaurants, I think this is a real bargain and we should all support a non-chain restaurant like this. I will definitely go back again in this long boring winter and if you never try hotpot before, prepare to have an open-mind and give them a chance!! By the way, I found this timeout review after my first visit and was reading it on my way of my 2nd visit and I can say their review was accurate. (by the way, the restaurant has a sign on the table mentioning about the time limit for 2 hours but on both night of visit we were not told to leave (being on Tue and Sunday evening).

This place was amazing somewhere you must book though we went on a wednesday night and it was packed! We were seated by an amazing waitress who explained everything as the people i was with had not been to hot pot before she made up her favourite sauces for us helped picked stocks that we absolutley loved and showed us the proper way to eat everything. It was like being invited to somebodys home, the food range was amazing everything from lamb to tofu and on occasion they would bring out rice or spring rolls at no extra cost! this place very highly recommened we had to drive 30mins to get here it was well worth it for a whole £12.50 we got all of this!

I love this place, having gotten old and boring china town has become a rare treat. Couldn't believe my luck when i stumbeld into the mongolian grill one rainy night. China right on my door step. Funny how we often fail to see to whats right under our nose..I love to impress my friends to a autentic night out. They have not been dissapointed. The food is top quality, being a local i often organzize my take away. with them. The best in clapham by far.( Won't mention the one that used to use, great but rapidly went down hill. .) Its a rare pleasure to have my mouth water at the sheer thought of food. but this place does it for me..Perfect yet differant eating experiance.That fact of the chinnesse from china town are coming to this reasturant say's it all. They also have a following from wood green north london speaks for itself. My only advice pre booked as to avoid dissapointment. My Gem on my doorstep. Lucky me....

Cheap and cheerful atmosphere, lots of variety and very friendly staff. The food is delicious and we've been back several times. A great find!

An awful offal dinner - misled by TimeOut recommendation!!! A dinner with my friends to celebrate the New Year at this restaurant had turned out to become a nightmare. We were literally being shouted at and intimidated by a series of harassments from the restaurant's owners while all we had done was taking the time to enjoy a meal. Being a Chinese who had been craving for some hot pot and grilled food in this wintry weather, I searched online and found this highly rated Mongolian Grill Hot Pot Restaurant in Clapham that was also recommended by London Timeout. When the gas inside the hot pot's camping stove ran out, we asked the waitress to provide a new bottle of gas. However, she refused and asked to leave the restaurant in 3 minutes time because we had reached our 'time limit' and there were customers waiting for a table. This was the very first time we were told there was a time limit – they didn't tell me when I booked the table, they didn't tell us when we were being seated, this isn't on their website, not on their menu nor any signage inside the restaurant. Therefore, we refused to leave based on the fact that we had NEVER been informed and we hadn't finished our dinner yet. After the waitress left the table, an unfriendly big woman approached and shouted at us – asking us to leave immediately because 'time's up'! We reinstated the reason why we're entitled to stay because they had failed to inform us in advance, so we hadn't yet finished our dinner. Followed by a threatening big guy came to our table shouting that because they're cheap we should have expected the 'time limit' rule....and this nasty drama carried on for a while. We are a bunch of principled people who won't be threatened by this psychological violence; so we just calmly stayed till we finished the dinner, paid the bill and left. However, the big guy once again threateningly approached and followed us when we were leaving the restaurant to SHOUT 'PLEASE DON'T COME BACK!' I can only say his final words are a sound piece of advice for those who don't want to have a disastrous night-out and being threatened. Food is really average – generally salty, wide range of internal organs (offal) and meats are paper-thin; inconvenient location and horrendous services

This might be the first time I do a review for a restaurant, but I think I should do it for my terrible experience that I just had with this hotpot restaurant. The food, I would say probably the worst that I have ever had in London. The service is horrify. The staff can shout in the face of their customer is truly unbelievable! Please don't waste your money on trying this one ever.

Really friendly staff. Excellent service. Very tasty. Meal plus two wines and two beers £47.

Great food, lovely staff! Definately go here if its your first hotpot. The main waitress explained everything! We had both hotpot and bbq grill, she advised on spicyness and not only showed us around the buffet section but also gave us a demo on how to cook on the bbq and in the hotpot, how to make your own dips and came to check we were doing ok later on. Hang around for the pork dumplings that suddenly appear from the kitchen. Way better than anything chinatown could ever offer!