Sexy Mamma Love Spaghetti – Italian – Nottingham
I don’t often go long without visiting a new restaurant in Nottingham, it’s even more surprising when it’s one that has won local accolades. There isn’t a particularly good reason why either. I got one or two pretty negative reports but they were outweighed by positive comments as well as the restaurant winning Best New Restaurant at both of Nottingham’s food awards. Its a pokey little place, down in Hockley one street further than is fashionable. As summer has turned sharply to autumn the tables that once sprawled onto the pavement are limited to just a couple. The only person utilising them was the owner, Edin who was sinking a glass of red. His little empire now includes a bigger version of Edins following their extension into Lee Rosey’s as well as a small plates Italian restaurant, Sexy Mamma Love Cicchetti.
This venue packs you in with 5 or so tables on both ground and first floors. Despite it being a Wednesday evening our lack of booking meant we were at some rather uncomfortable counter seating staring at a wall. It was also dark, seriously dark, to the extent that if you replaced my dining partner for someone vaguely similar looking I might not have noticed. I am struggling to really tell you what their range of starters were, as none inspired me. In the interests of having something to write about we decided to share burrata with heritage tomatoes (£7.50). A good portion of cheese, and of good quality but it was sadly almost fridge cold. The luxuriousness of that creamy mozzarella really needs to be at room temperature to shine. The tomatoes were good, though I would have preferred more for the right balance with the rich cheese.
Looking at main courses my problem was reversed. A number of appealing dishes made for a difficult choice, I almost went with prawn, chilli and garlic linguine but got tempted by the more hearty lentil stew that appeared on the specials. Despite the fact I could barely see it I thought it looked pretty much what you would expect. Not many frills but a deeply coloured mix lentils and vegetables with a broth that had a pleasing shine to it. There was a deep flavour from a good stock that had been seasoned well, a few more minutes would have thickened it up to the perfect consistency as well as giving the lentils the perfect texture. Whilst this was an enjoyable dish I would have been content to pay £12, £13.50 seemed a little steep.
On our visit the main issues with Sexy Mamma were the surroundings but the majority of people won’t be as unlucky. The food was certainly good, a little experience and not as strong as my expectations following other reviews and their awards. There is definitely something about the place with it’s rustic Italian charm that Nottingham has been lacking for so long. I might not be giving it the highest score… but would I eat here above our city’s many chains every day.
Restaurant website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sexy-Mama-Loves-Spaghetti/357701504597210