We first noticed this new Italian restaurant a couple of weeks ago walking through Hockley and were distracted by its curious name. After some research, we discovered it is the new venture from Edin of Edin’s and Edin’s Kitchen success. We’ve always liked Edin’s and early reviews on Trip Advisor were positive so we decided to give it a go.
I plumped for the fixed price menu which offers 2 courses for a tenner – amazing value. Emily decided that we should share my starter and so she ordered a main from the small but perfectly formed lunch menu.
I had reluctantly agreed to share my Parma ham starter, but soon regretted my decision after tasting it. It was amazing. Nothing like the plasticy slices you get packed from the supermarket, this was fresh and juicy cured meat served with shavings of parmesan and olive oil that simply exploded with flavour. Simple, but done perfectly. To our surprise, the starter was accompanied by complimentary, warm French bread and olive oil.
The olive oil was a perfect choice for dipping with strong, fresh, green flavour – if we faced away from the view of Hockley, we could have been in rural Italy with this starter. As it goes, we faced out into Hockley as it was hilarious to watch the bemused looks on people’s faces as they stopped to read the restaurant signage.
For main courses, I ordered the octopus ragu special and Emily had pumpkin and sage ravioli. We could see everything being cooked fresh to order which gave us high hopes.
The octopus ragu consisted of chunks of perfectly cooked, soft and fresh octopus in a tomato, garlic and chilli based sauce. Tossed with al dente spaghetti, it hit all the right notes and was simply superb.
Emily’s ravioli was equally generous in portion and very tasty, but it didn’t quite hit the 10/10 that the octopus ragu deserved.
The pumpkin filling was sweet and well balanced with earthy, comforting sage and the buttery sauce and parmesan coated the little parcels making for a delicious combination. Although most of the pasta was well cooked al dente, there were a couple of ravioli where the edges were under done and the sauce was a little watery and over-salted. Otherwise, a really tasty vegetarian option. The service was also impeccable.
One thing you notice on entering is just how tiny the restaurant is. We counted just 17 covers. The friendly waiter informed us that there is more space upstairs but are treating it as a function room while they concentrate on cooking faultless food for fewer people – a trade off that definitely seems to be working. The upside of this is that the restaurant feels cute and cosy with a real local feel and relaxed atmosphere. The only thing is, I’m concerned it may be an issue getting a table once the word is out that they are cooking such good dishes at such a low price point, but it’s worth waiting for.
It’s really good to see an independent Italian popping up in Hockley and, along with La Storia in West Bridgford, we hope home-cooked and authentic fayre becomes the gold standard. Nice one, Sexy Mamma.
Overall score: 9/10
Atmosphere and surroundings: 8/10
Emily & Stuart