IMAGE Jericho San Miguel

It's Always an Italian Party at Mamma Mia

We wish we could stuff ourselves on their pasta and pizza every day.

Mamma Mia
G/F Uptown Mall, Uptown Bonifacio
Open from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. (Monday to Friday) and 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. (Saturday to Sunday)

 

 


 

(SPOT.ph) If transporting you to Italy is one of Mamma Mia’s goals, then they’ve succeeded right from the get-go. From the mosaic tiles, the high arches leading inside, to the plates and other colorful knickknacks hanging on the rustic brick walls, the space channels the villa from Under The Tuscan Sun all throughout. We can almost imagine an Italian family throwing an elaborate wedding feast here, with dancing and all.  

 


 

But the experience doesn’t stop at the décor. Owner Giulius Iapino wants to bring the full Italian resto-bar experience to his space at Uptown Mall. “We want to be a one-stop shop,” he shares. “In the morning you can relax here and have a coffee, then late at night, our ambience changes. We dim the lights, we play louder music, and we have DJs. This is something that’s really happening in Italy, and I wanted to bring it here in the Philippines.”

 


 


 

It’s no surprise then that Mamma Mia covers all bases, from coffee and breakfast to pizza, pasta, and entrées, plus a full bar. “We serve traditional and modern Italian food,” says Giulius. “The trends in Italy are changing so we went along with those. And we also chose dishes that we thought would suit the Filipino palate.”

 

Italian Bacon & Meatballs Bomb

 

Melon and Pumpkin Wrapped With Prosciutto Al Forno

 

If ordering gets a little too overwhelming, you can do as the Romans (and the rest of Italy) do and start with an antipasti. They weren’t kidding when they named the Italian Bacon & Meatballs Bomb (P375) because these bites explode with an intense smokiness that verges on peppery. The flavors of the Melon and Pumpkin Wrapped With Prosciutto Al Forno (P375) are relatively milder in comparison, but that’s not a point against it. Not when you have an enjoyable contrast between refreshing melon and pumpkin against the saline of the prosciutto. Dunk everything in the tangy yogurt dip, and you’ve got yourself an addicting antipasti you’ll polish off in minutes.

 

Spaghetti Carbonara Alla Mamma Mia

 

Served in a giant ceramic serving tray, a sharing-sized Spaghetti Carbonara Alla Mamma Mia (P365/solo, P1,350/sharing) will remind you of family dinners—and it’s big enough to satisfy one or two families, too. “We wanted dining at Mamma Mia to feel like eating at your mom’s kitchen,” says Giulius. “It’s like when your friends would drop by, your mom will cook up a huge tray of pasta and you’ll all fill up your plate from that tray.”

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What makes this carbonara extra special is a heaping pile of melted parmesan cheese loaded on top of the dish. The gooey cheese gives the creamy carbonara (made with eggs instead of cream, like a true Italian would) extra richness, and the slightly charred top adds an extra smoky crunch that mixes up each bite. And as if that’s not tasty enough, you also get thick chunks of savory pancetta tossed in the mix.

 

Mortadella e Pistachio

 

Of course, no Italian restaurant is complete without pizza—we’d even go so far as to say they should be judged by it. Luckily for Mamma Mia, their Mortadella e Pistachio (P595) passes with flying colors. The crust is chewy, with the distinct smokiness only being baked in a wood-fire oven can provide. But what’ll make you fall in love with it is the stuffed edge, filled with a blend of Taleggio, Mozzarella, Cream Cheese, and Mascarpone. The creaminess and subtle sweetness of the cheeses is the perfect finish to a slice packed with the punchy flavors of smoky mortadella (or Italian luncheon meat) and the earthy and nutty pistachio bits. Or you could always eat this pizza crust-first. We won’t judge.

 

Giulius shares Mamma Mia was named for its literal Italian translation, ‘my mother.’ “We wanted [Mamma Mia] to feel like a home,” he shares. “Where you can visit and your mom will cook for you and pamper you.” Though it could also be because feasting in this restaurant will have you channeling your inner Italian and exclaiming “mamma mia!”

 

Photos by Jericho San Miguel

 

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