Mammas Pizza Pasta Bar, Sydney

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Now and then I crave the sat­is­fac­tion and com­fort of car­bo­hydrate-rich dishes you find in Italian cuisine. My usu­al place to go is Dolci Dolmus — they’re loc­ated con­veni­ently and they serve tasty pasta dishes — and when one such crav­ing hit a few months ago, they were closed for renov­a­tions, unfor­tu­nately. And because such crav­ings don’t stop until they’re sat­is­fied, a new place had to be found.

A quick search on the Internet landed us at Mammas Pizza Pasta Bar, a res­taur­ant we’d walked past many times without even regis­ter­ing its exist­ence. There’d been con­stant road­work at its nearest inter­sec­tion so I’d been pay­ing more atten­tion to cross­ing the road than the shops around there. It has an open breakfast/​cafe style area just off the foot­path, and the res­taur­ant itself is just behind down a short flight of steps.

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I indulge in some Italian soft­drink: Aranciata Rossa (blood orange) ($4.20). It’s the per­fect level of sweet­ness and car­bon­a­tion — you can tell that it’s a step up from the 1.25L bottles of Schweppes.

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To start is the Pomodoro Bruschetta ($10.80), ‘diced tomato, basil & gar­lic on toasted ciabatta bread’. I love tomato and bruschetta is one of my weak­nesses. And this is one tasty bruschetta that’s stuck to the basics. The toma­toes are gen­er­ous and the bread is crispy . The fla­vours of the basil and the olive oil went togeth­er beau­ti­fully, although it could’ve used slightly less oil (it was pool­ing at the bot­tom of the plate).

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The pasta menu is extens­ive, and I have trouble choos­ing between my favour­ite spa­ghetti bolognese ($12.50) (‘slowly cooked tomato based sauce with beef, onions and gar­lic, served on a bed of spa­ghetti) and some­thing more adven­tur­ous. In the end, I stick with my favour­ite — the basic dishes are a good meas­ure of the stand­ard of pasta at a restaurant.

It’s a decent spa­ghetti bolognese — the rich fla­vours of the sauce makes it evid­ent that it’s been slow-cooked — but it’s a tad too much of a meat-sauce to me. I’m aware authen­t­ic spa­ghetti bolognese is a meat-based sauce, but the descrip­tion on the menu led to be believe this one might lean more towards the tomato side. So, kudos for being an authen­t­ic spa­ghetti bolognese, but I do prefer the more tomato-y beef-based sauce at Dolci Dolmus (no post for it exists in my archives, yet). Also, tak­ing up the offer for cheese prob­ably would’ve made the dish more tasty and the fla­vours pop.

In the future, I’d likely return to Dolci Dolmus, although they def­in­itely do a bet­ter bruschetta here!

Mammas Pizza Pasta Bar is loc­ated at 57 Liverpool St, Sydney NSW 2000.