I’m eating around the world without leaving London and this week I went to Mongolian Grill in Clapham for some Mongolian hotpot and BBQ.
Admittedly a there’s apparently nothing Mongolian about a Mongolian hotpot or the Mongolian BBQ, but I can tell you that it does make for a fun filled foodie experience.
The Mongolian Grill is a bit off the main drag, just beyond Clapham Old Town on North Street, so it seems to attract mainly Claphamites in the know. I booked a table regardless as their website stressed the urgency of it to avoid disappointment. And we don’t like being disappointed.
We were the first customers of the evening and the owner welcomed us in apologising for being on the phone trying to get her family on a package deal holiday some place hot. The house cat, Mr Ling-Ling who was sleeping on a chair, gave us a lazy glance, noticeably annoyed to be woken from his luscious dreams.
The restaurant has a very low-key atmosphere; simple décor dolled up with a couple of Chinese lanterns and red and gold baubles dangling from the ceiling.
After a short demonstration of Mongolian hotpot and BBQ techniques, we eagerly made our way to the buffet table where I stacked my plate with chicken wings, succulent slices of beef, dumplings, and veggies which soon disappeared in the bubbling broth. My friend Morven draped the sizzling grill with succulent slices of beef, chicken and onions and green peppers.
The flavours were amazing; the meat and the veggies in the hotpot had soaked up all those wonderful juices of the broth, while the BBQ-ed versions had that lovely grilled taste to them which was complemented by the coriander, garlic and satay dip that we concocted from the condiments bar.
We ate till we could eat no more, the result of letting a Dutch and a Scottish woman loose at a decently priced ‘All You Can Eat’ buffet. We both thought it was a lot of fun, grilling and cooking our own food at our table and I think it would be a great night out for a birthday or a group of friends. Even if it isn't really Mongolian.