When it comes to restaurants I have to admit that I usually stick to my favourites. When it's Italian food in question, I know what I like and where to get it.
So when a friend suggested I try Mama's Italian Kitchen, in Newbottle I was happy to give it a go on her trusted recommendation, but also wondering if I would like it as much as my restaurants of choice. Dare I say it, it was excellent.
The restaurant, on Houghton Road, isn't the flashiest in terms of the decor, but the quality of the food more than makes up for it. It's quickly picking up a loyal clientèle and so even though our trio visited mid week, a Wednesday evening, we had to book a table.
Once there however we were seated immediately by the friendly wait staff. And after settling at the table, we addressed the menu, which isn't that typical of an Italian restaurant.
The list of starters is vast with three different types of gamberoni, three different types of bruschetta, it was almost endless. I strayed from my usual choice of pate or gamberoni and tried the bruschetta with pepperoni, jalepenos and cheese and was delighted. Bread, spice and cheese, what's not to like?
There was just as much to choose from the mains, and this time I stuck to my usual choice and went for a seafood option. The Siciliana pasta with prawns and a tomato cream sauce. The menu said it came with tagliatelle, but the pasta was wide strips, unusual but just as nice.
After holding down the table while we had waded through our two courses (plus a garlic bread, just to be greedy) and a bottle of wine, the lovely staff still didn't rush us along as we perused the desert menu.
I chose the vanilla cheesecake, while friends Leigh and Hannah picked the Dime bar pie, which they gave rave review. Absolutely stuffed to burst, we were a little bit over adventurous attempting desert, but totally satisfied.
Overall, the restaurant was a welcome change, and definitely worth a return visit.
The meal, for three courses each, plus garlic bread and wine was around £27.00 each, main course £8.45
Happy Hour runs Monday to Saturday, lunchtime 12 until two o'clock and evenings four until six thirty.