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.
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.
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).
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.