A spot of pre-theatre dinner led me to Mamma Mia on the South Parade in Summertown. It was a pleasant evening and we were able to sit outside in the heated seating area and enjoy the calming atmosphere of our surroundings. This was also a necessity, due to the popularity of Mamma Mia, which gave the restaurant a breezy, bustling atmosphere that the staff were just about able to manage. It was a very welcoming place, complete with several nice aesthetic touches, including an Italian language poster for The Italian Job in the men's toilets.
My friend had selected drinks for us before my arrival; wine for him and a beer for me. The wine chosen, a Sicilian number, was a light white, a sweet and nutty variety that was rather delicious and easily drinkable, though could have done with being cooler. My birra moretti was tasty, hitting the remit I had set my friend of picking a light variety.
The menu has several pizza and pasta options and we agreed to try one of each. We shared a delicious starter of a mozzarella garlic bread. Baked to perfection and with the flavours just right, it was a perfect start to our meal. The spaghetti alla bolognese was equal delicious, a simple dish expertly prepared. The sauce was plentiful and supremely tasty, with the pasta cooked just right. Sometimes all you want is something as flavoursome and approachable as this. The firenze pizza (leaf spinach, parmesan, olives and a free range egg) was appetising, crispy with a good balance of flavours. Sadly the yoke was not runny, which prevented the pizza from achieving faultless status. But it was close. The salad was fine but there's really only so much you can do with tomatoes and onions.
Time sadly ran away from us, preventing a taste of their desserts. But with such promising items as profiteroles and a chocolate orange bombe (orange ice cream 'enrobed' in Belgian chocolate) surely a return visit to Mamma Mia must happen. I would also love to dive into their starters, which I spied on another diner's table, and which looked sumptuous.
The staff were efficient, polite and apologetic about any delays (the product of such popularity). The food at Mamma Mia is outstanding, and it is a very good example of Italian food in