Mamma Mia one of Dublin’s great hidden gems

One of the greatest things for a foodie is discovering a hidden gem. Restaurants that offer excellent food and are not as well-known as they should be. I have written briefly about this before and we must not keep them as our little secret. The pandemic has changed the landscape for restaurants and gastropubs. Any hidden gems needs more customers as they try to get back to where they were before Covid hit.

Don’t be afraid to give your local hidden gem a shout out on social media. They will thank you for it as they try to plot their way in an ever changing landscape. With Covid still hanging around like a bad smell and as welcome as a fart in a space suit. Anything we can do to help the hospitality sector is a positive. I have also noticed that various restaurants have closed or changed their menus and opening hours. We will never get back to the way the things were pre 2020 but every little helps.

This week’s restaurant is?

Well, it has to be a hidden gem that I found out about by fluke. Around 10 years ago my brother and I were in the Bar with no name on Fade Street. We bumped into an actress my brother knew who was about to appear in a play off Broadway. She was back home for a mini break before treading the boards and mentioned that we should visit her brothers restaurant.

This is the restaurant that I am reviewing this week. I should also add that I have no idea if Clint Walker the owner is an ABBA fan. You will probably soon be thinking is he?  The restaurant in question Mamma Mia Deli Café Bar offers rustic Italian cuisine and is based off Mount St Lower.

As you view Mamma Mia Deli Café Bar, from the outside you will notice a covered area, which you walkthrough to get inside  the restaurant. 

Mamma Mia Outside

William and I were lucky enough to come at a quiet time and could get a table inside. It’s a lot smaller than the covered area I mentioned. This is because the kitchen takes up some space and when its busy you might find it cramped. 

Mamma Mia Inside

Red and white chequered table cloth covers all the restaurant tables. With 80’s music playing in the background and the kitchen staff talking near us this was minor background noise. Allowing you to hold a conversation that did not involve shouting or saying pardon, something I despise. It’s a restaurant, not a nightclub. 

What did I order?

Before ordering our food we had to take out our smart phones, as the menu is two QR codes placed on our table. 

Mamma Mia QR Code Menu

Using your smart phone, the QR codes are scanned and the menu appears on your phone. Two things the restaurant does very well popped out at me, pasta and pizza. Anyone that does pizza with a potato topping is doing something interesting especially a pizza that is rectangular.

In the end I went with a dish I have had here on numerous occasions, Gnocchi Sorrentina and a Peroni. My dining colleague had carrot soup for a starter followed by a Pizza Piccante with a Moretti. If you crave more meat choices you will find more meat dishes on the evening menu.

How was my meal?

My Gnocchi Sorrentina, potato pasta dumplings with a tomato, basil & buffalo mozzarella sauce came with two pieces of homemade bread. 

Mamma Mia Gnocchi Sorrentina

It was absolutely delicious and the lovely warm homemade bread soaked up the tomato, basil & buffalo mozzarella sauce. Sometimes, Gnocchi can be used as a starter with smaller portions but I think it makes a great main course.

As for my dining colleagues meal, he really enjoyed his soup and said it was so tasty. He is not the worlds biggest pizza fan but he really loved his Pizza Piccante. 

Mamma Mia Pizza Piccante

The dough was thin and crispy covered with tomato sauce, a nice portion of cheese and spicy salami. There was one slight downside, the latte coffee ordered after the main course came in a glass with no handle. A napkin had to be wrapped around the glass before the latte could be consumed.

What did my meal cost?

My Gnocchi Sorrentina cost €15 and my Peroni cost €5. My dining buddy’s soup cost €8.50, his Pizza Picante cost €14, his Moretti was €6 and his latte was €3.50. The final bill came to €52 before tips.

The service was excellent as was the lovely food and bar the issue with the latte glass we really enjoyed it. This hidden gem deserves to be more well known. The next time you are looking for a restaurant that is a bit different. Pay a visit to Mamma Mia Deli Café Bar, as you won’t be disappointed.

Mamma Mia Deli Café Bar, 2 Grattan Street, Dublin 2

See more reviews here.