Review on Villa Mama's
Villa Mama's is a vibrant newcomer to fashionable Chelsea, opened by chef and restaurateur Roaya Saleh, who already operates a sibling restaurant in Bahrain. It has a relaxed neighbourhood vibe, with interiors created by Erta Designs featuring Breccia violetta marble table tops, vintage chapel chairs and cosy sofas with scatter cushions, laid out on mosaic tiling. A reclaimed Parisian shop counter is set with Roaya's home-made jams and sauces adding to the homely ambience. During summer months guests can take advantage of the bench seating outside, and towards the rear to the restaurant accessed by a staircase, there's a hidden courtyard filled with fragrant herbs that are used in the kitchen.
The menu takes inspiration from her travels throughout the Middle East and India, and her childhood growing up on the farm, where she worked alongside her mother and grandmother in the kitchen. Dishes focus on the tradition of local and seasonal ingredients, whilst championing growers and farmers in Bahrain.
The restaurant opens for breakfast when the menu is all about the Arabic flatbread served with your choice of toppings. The a la carte menu features starters such as Kaskhe bademjoon, Roaya's famous 'Eggplant Explosion' Aubergine layered with caramelised onions, walnuts and whey sauce, before moving on to main courses such as Mozat lahamm braised lamb shank served with pine nuts, rosemary and vermicelli. For fish fans there's grilled halibut, herb pilaf and a spicy green sauce. Desserts are equally tempting with Um Ali, an Egyptian bread pudding with nuts and raisins or saffron ice cream served with candy floss and pistachios.
There's a concise wine list to complement the dishes, as well as cocktails which are available with or without alcohol.
Restaurant Opening Times
Lunch: 12.00 through until
Dinner: 10.00pm (9.00pm Sun)
Accepted credit cards
Visa, Master Card, American Express