Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Home Again...at Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen.

Finally, Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen comes to the north...


...and you're home again to classic, comforting and homestyle Italian flavors. Ever since my first time at Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen and Nonna's Pasta & Pizzeria at Nuvali, I've always hoped that they would expand to the north one day. Apparently, that was all in the pipeline, with new branches in UP Town Center, Ayala Malls Vertis North, and Ayala Malls The 30th in Pasig City. Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen is now much closer to home...

For countless loyal fans of Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen, the opening of new locations up north in Quezon City is definitely a sign of more good things to come. And the staff at Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen at UP Town Center is more than ready to serve up their rustic, comforting and homestyle Italian dishes...


For David and Crystal Sison, the young couple behind Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen and Nonna's Pasta & Pizzeria, it's all about using the freshest and finest premium ingredients in each of the their signature dishes (for more on Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen and Nonna's, see my previous posts, Take Me Home To Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen and Southbound to Nonna's Pasta & Pizzeria). At the new UP Town Center location, the familiar brick-lined walls sets the mood for another memorable dining experience right here at Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen.


Quench your thirst with Mama Lou's Bottomless Iced Tea (P 85)...


...or the equally refreshing Mama Lou's Iced Tea (P 75) as you wait for your dishes to be served.


At the time of our visit, the staff at Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen was setting up a table for a scheduled Food Crawl organized by UP Town Center, as fresh ingredients were laid on the table along with their popular dishes.

Sampling portions of Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen's signature pasta dishes were neatly arranged on the table. I then spot the fresh raw ingredients of an old favorite, Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen's famous Mushroom Chicharon at the table, and the food crawlers are in for a treat.


Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen's popular Mushroom Chicharon (P 180), crispy fresh oyster mushrooms served with a tangy vinaigrette, is probably one of my all-time favorites, and I'm glad to find it here at their new branch at UP Town Center. 


Crispy and crunchy with the subtle earthy notes of fresh oyster mushrooms, once you start you just can't stop. Sampling portions were eagerly picked up by the food crawlers, with many coming back for more.


Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen's creamy Carbonara (P 295) with parmesan and bacon pancetta is served up in individual sampling portions for the food crawlers and snapped up in minutes. 


No visit to Mama Lou's Italian kitchen is complete without their signature Vesuvio (P 495), a delicately stacked pasta with a mountain of rigatoni stuffed with mozzarella, ricotta, peas, Italian meatballs and egg. Just the presentation alone is impressive, inspired by the iconic volcano on the Gulf of Naples.  


The base of rigatoni oozes with mozzarella, ricotta, tomatoes, and extra virgin olive oil, and you can expect a bold burst of vibrant flavors with each bite. The vivid colors of the elegantly plated dish are as intense as the flavors, a unique pasta dish you can only find at Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen.


As the food crawlers head off to their next spot, it was time to settle down for our own feast at Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen with a salad, pizza, pasta and a main course. With so many tasty options at Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen, you can enjoy your meal family style. 


The Spinach and Goats Cheese Pizza (P 325 Small-12"/P 425 Large-14"), a flavorful pizza topped with creamy alfredo sauce, mozzarella, artichoke, spinach, honey, and goat cheese on a crisp crust delivers rich and complex flavors, from the nutty notes of spinach to the creamy richness of the alfredo sauce, goat cheese and mozzarella, capped by the fresh sweetness of the artichoke and honey.


Roll up a slice with some fresh alfalfa sprouts for even more fresh flavors. Add some soothing heat with a sprinkle of chili flakes and enjoy.


The Insalata Caprese (P 250), a refreshing salad with plump and juicy tomatoes, carabao's milk kesong puti, basil, extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic glaze, delivers sharp and tart notes cleansing the palate with its fresh and clean flavors. The use of the local kesong puti adds a distinct briny hint to the salad, tempering the tartness of the tomatoes.


Soon on the menu, Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen's new Mushroom and Truffle Pasta is another potential bestseller with the earthy notes of mushrooms and indulgent hints of truffles combining in one comforting dish. The noodles are perfectly firm and chewy, evenly draped in a rich and creamy sauce. Add one more to the list of Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen's favorites.


The comforting Carbonara (P 295) with creamy parmesan and bacon pancetta always hits the spot. The sharp notes of the parmesan and pancetta are balanced by the rich and thick cream sauce. It's a hefty portion that's great for sharing too.


If it's a seafood pasta you're after, Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen has that covered too. The classic Vongole Olio (P 295) with sauteed clams, white wine, fresh tomato and garlic offers the mildly sweet and briny notes of succulent clams with the nutty hints of garlic and olive oil capped by the tartness of the fresh tomatoes. The dish reminds you yet again how even the simplest dish can be transformed with the freshest ingredients.


The Chicken Fra Diavalo (P 390) is a rustic meal with oven roasted chicken and rosemary, garlic, oregano, and chili in extra virgin olive oil, served with gravy and mashed potatoes, and vegetables. The delicate notes of the chicken are kicked up by the rich blend of herbs and seasonings with just a whisper of smoky hints to complete the flavors. It's a meal in itself.


Comforting pastas, rustic pizzas, and more. It's good to be back home again...at Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen.

Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen is located at the Ground Floor, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City or call 958-5563 for inquiries and more information.

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