Lakaz Maman, Southampton

If there was one post I wish I could popularise more, this is it: Lakaz Maman is just so good but I feel it’s neglected.

We are extraordinarily lucky (some might say spoilt) to be able to eat a huge variety of foods from other cultures and countries. Lakaz Maman, with its take on Mauritian street food, is a welcome addition.

We visited with Misses Oblique #1 and #3 on a Saturday lunchtime. As you may know, our youngest daughter is ‘developmentally delayed’ and one of our unconscious criteria for a good meal out is how well she is received. At Lakaz Maman she was made welcome by a young, polite and attentive waiting staff. As a result, she was calm and happy and as a result we could enjoy our meal in a relaxed way.

lakazSo to the food. Mrs O. has a chicken and prawn ‘Magic Bowl’: a stir fry, delicately spiced, with a fried egg (which ought not to work but does). With some trepidation (I am famously wimpy about hotly spiced food) I try a braised mutton ‘Cari Lakaz Maman’ accompanied by fragrant rice, chutney and pickle, which is  the best curry I have ever eaten, and does not blow my head off as feared. Miss O. #1 has a special: a mutton burger, with soft and tasty meat, served with chips. The photograph is of my Cari Lakaz Maman and sadly does not do it justice.

(Why does one always slip into the present tense when writing a food review? Have I said this before? OK, but why?)

You can bring your own booze, for a corkage charge, but I wouldn’t bother; their range of soft drinks is excellent and appropriate. I have mint and lemongrass iced tea, which is surprisingly refreshing and a great accompaniment to the food; Mrs O. has iced coffee and there’s no fuss about finding milk for Miss O. #3. They happily provide lots of tap water. We even find room for puddings: chilli and lime chocolate pots, which have a suitable chilli kick, mango and lime chocolate slice, which satisfies even chocaholic me with its blend of chocolate and fruits and salted caramel sauce, and ‘Puddine Coco’, a dessert of coconut milk and fruit. The staff recommend this and it’s delicious.

Our youngest diner has samosas: adventurous for her, but amazingly she eats them. These are followed by chocolate ice cream (of course), with suitable toppings.

There is a reasonably wide but not bewildering range of food, with specials. On a future occasion I would like to try the ‘Gajaks’, which seem to be something like tapas, including prawn and fennel croquettes and ‘Octopus Dippers’.

I just can’t fault this place. The food is tasty, spiced sensitively and a fair price. It’s a light and comfortable atmosphere, and it’s conveniently located in Bedford Place. The service is excellent, attentive but not pushy. I thoroughly recomend it. (No, they’re not paying me or giving me free meals. I mean it.)

Lakaz Maman website

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