A little advertorial (the restaurant paid for the food I ate, the drinks bill I paid) post for you, today, in the form of a shout out to Mamasan’s, a new pan-Asian eating and drinking spot, which has their launch party this evening, 30 November. I popped along to check things out a few days ago to see what was what.

Peace crane cocktail garnish

Well, actually I first visited back in August. To say the last few months at Mamasan’s have been a rollercoaster ride would be something of an understatement, as there have been high, lows and sick-making twists. Perhaps most hospitality businesses start like this, at least to some extent. Whatever the case, it’s great to see them finally up and running.

The food element comes from the team behind popular taqueria Bodega, on Elm Row. Following a couple of false starts, they have now enlisted the help of Toby Jones of Jones & Son Bespoke BBQ fame to take the helm on the development of a pan-Asian food menu with the likes of Taiwanese bao buns, Asian wings, and Korean cauliflower as the backbone.

Toby treated me to a little selection from the new menu after he showed me round the compact but well-appointed kitchen that he has refit.

Bao wow wow

It’s worth pausing to mention the interior which is bedecked in geishas reflecting the Japanese influence. The name Mamasan’s comes from a term for a woman in charge of a geisha house or bar. The artwork is absolutely splendid throughout.

I took a seat at the bar and in no time food was arriving. First up was a pair of buns, one with pork belly and one with fried chicken. The pork belly came with crunchy cucumber and carrot and a house sauce in the hoisin style, made from the pork juices. It was spot on.

Toby is no stranger to fried chicken as appreciative audiences at Salt Horse will remember. His core recipe has been adapted for the Asian style but retains the excellent crunch to the coating and succulence to the chicken. He’s making his own kimchi which is always good to see and the chicken is topped with a light wasabi mayo. It’s another winner winner chicken dinner.


The buns came with a side of Korean cauliflower, a dish I’d first come across at Ninja Kitchen and which was one of the best dishes I ate in 2016. This was a very promising rendition which I was assured was still a work in progress. A little more crispness to the coating was my only note of feedback as the spicing was dead-on.

So overall, this has been a bit of a ramble which somewhat matches the long and winding road that has got Mamasan’s to its launch party, this evening. Make sure to pop along and give it a look, either this evening (where I hear mention of some free buns when you order a drink) or in the coming weeks. It’s a place that deserves your attention as what they have on offer is delivered to a really pleasing standard. And thanks again to Toby for cooking and buying me my dinner.

Written by BKR