Absolutely reviews Richmond’s Mamma Mia, the family-run business with a fun, familiar atmosphere and authentic Italian cuisine
Words Paola Peralta
Having been nestled between local coffee shops and small boutiques for just over 40 years, Mamma Mia continues to be one of the most colourful, authentic Italian eateries in London.
We’re greeted warmly and led to our table and immediately offered a glass of prosecco as we look over the menu. The walls are covered in art and framed photographs and soft Italian music plays in the background, erasing any trace of the city and transporting us to the Mediterranean countryside.
To start, we opt for the grilled vegetables and the frisella topped with tomatoes, fresh buffalo mozzarella and balsamic vinegar. The vegetables are delicious in their simplicity and the tartness of the tomatoes and the balsamic vinegar meld beautifully with the doughy, cheesiness of the frisella. Upon recommendation, we also add the night’s specials – expertly seared portobello mushrooms and crisp asparagus.
The main courses come in the form of homemade spinach and cream tortellini with a tangy wild mushroom sauce that serves as a lovely compliment to the savoury filling; penne pasta with tomato sauce and bacon, brimming with flavour, and a small portion of fettuccine with smoked salmon and asparagus, tied together perfectly with a smooth creamy sauce.
Mamma Mia has an impressive wine selection, from which I chose a sweet moscato and my friend a suave almond-based red, to complement our meals.
For dessert, the owner recommended their signature cheesecake with an Italian twist – the twist being a pastry crust with wine soaked raisins and a creamy filling I won’t soon forget. My friend decides to take a more traditional route and tuck into a refreshing lemon sorbet gelato, garnished with fresh strawberries.
To conclude our meal, a shot of Limoncello – meant to be sipped, not downed.
From the gracious atmosphere to the attentive staff and the inimitable food, Mamma Mia redefines the meaning of a family business – customers come in as strangers and leave feeling like part of Leo and Rosa’s extended family. If there’s one thing that Mamma Mia does better than food, it’s hospitality.
459 Upper Richmond Road West SW14 7PR; mammamiarestaurant.co.uk