I’m a dreamer and I have lots of fantasies.I believe I’m a gypsy in my past life. I spend my life living in caravan travel from one place to another place, from South Asia to Mid-West Europe. I’ve met many people during my journey and I spent my childhood playing with my best friends the bright lovely star, the old and wise lemon tree in the Amalfi coast and smart but brassy locomotive in Györ, Hungary. My other fantasies involve picking olives and eating frisceu and farinata in Savona, making colatura in a small village in South of Naples. Roll out my pasta and making pesto using a fresh basil from my back garden (yes, Im a gypsy with a herbs garden behind my caravan). Jakarta, October 2014 Situated in the heart of Kemang, this beautiful and spacious house is known as Mamma Rosy. Mamma Rosy is an Italian Restaurant specialises in a homemade Italian cuisine. The menu is classic Italian menu consist of antipasti, pasta, pizza, main course (with side dishes), dolci and nice selection of wine. When we are waiting our food, a waitstaff arrives at our table with a baskets of house-made focaccia and grissini. Mamma’s focaccia is magical, the texture is tenderly soft and chewy in the centre with a slightly bit of crunch on the edge, unfortunately the bread baskets doesn’t come with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
We kick off with a couple of starters. First is Prosciutto and Salami, a platter of selection Italian ham and salami. Carpaccio di Manzo Scottato is a lightly pan-roasted beef, serves with shaved parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes and rucola. Thinly sliced of marinated beef is very delicate, the tomato concasse and a few leaves of rucola on top add texture to the dish.
Caprese is a feast for the eyes and the mouth. Sliced of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, seasoned with salt, aromatic olive oil and some pesto sauce on the side. Vitello Tonnato, finely sliced roast beef blanketed with tuna mayonnaise and garnished with black olives and capers. The capers and black olives on top are just perfect components to cut through the richness of tuna sauce.
After we finish our appetisers the pasta and pizza dish come sporadically. The Tagliatelle Carbonara comes first, a mound of fresh tagliatelle pasta served with a simple and hearty carbonara sauce. Next is Risotto Fontina Special, the risotto smells wonderful when it arrives in our table, a big shares plates of creamy risotto with champignon mushrooms and tiny sliced of black truffle successfully pleased my tongue.
Special mention must be given to Mamma’s ravioli, Ravioli Burro e Salvia by far these little two-bites morsels is my favourite. A mixed of flavourful beef, spinach and aromatic herbs encased in a yellowish pasta. These soft and silky ravioli then doused in a sage butter sauce and finish with a generous sprinkle of grated parmesan, creating a perfect harmony between the texture and the flavour.
While eating this ravioli I imagined myself cooking in a small rustic kitchen like a nonna, wearing a flowery apron, roll out and fill a thin velvety pasta dough and shape and cut it one by one, with a music and the smells of brown sage butter in the background.
Gnocchi Pesto, a small pillowy potato gnocchi comes with a pesto sauce. Taste of the pesto sauce itself very delicious, but sadly I was busy taking picture and forget to eat it, its already cold and the gnocchi is not fresh anymore (the gnocchi texture a little to soft and doughy) once I eat it.
Mamma Rosy’s daughter coming bring a couples big plates full with delicious pasta dishes. She mentioned to us that mamma use the fresh local ingredients like local basil and tomatoes in her kitchen, but they also use some good quality ingredients imported. Sitting in this place with all these food on the plate, the warmth and conviviality of this Italian family I feel like I’m in Italy but I feel more thrilled knowing they use local basil to make that mouthwatering pesto.
Spaghetti ai frutti di mare, the smidgen of luscious shrimp and clams mixed together with pasta and tomato sauce. The tomato sauce is light enough and not overpowering the subtle flavour of the seafood. Lasagna Pomodoro & Lasagna al Pesto, a layered handmade lasagna served two ways, one comes with mama’s special pesto sauce and besciamella cream, one with pomodoro sauce and besciamella cream.
While we still enjoying our pasta the pizza dishes marching out from kitchen to our table. Goloza, an array of bacon, chicken and egg with truffle and mushroom cream are scattered all around thin pizza crust. Karnivora is pizza of the champion, two kind of beef-smoked beef and marinated garlic beef with tomato sauce, best eaten just as it come off the oven.
Pizza Aglio Olio & Cabe, a combo of tuna, sliced potatoes, onion, basil and chili olive oil. The chilli olive oil enhances the flavour of the tuna without the sudden heat kick up, inauthentic aside it is still darn good meal.
We gradually move on to main courses. Agnello al Brandy, a lamb slow roasted with brandy and italian herbs until it is falls-off-the- bone. I absolutely adored this lamb, the texture of the lamb very tender and infused with the concoction of the herbs and spices. While the brandy give a touch of unique flavour.
I love lamb and this dish definitely stealing my attention. But what can I do, I’m a serial monogamist and I’ve give my heart to Mr. Ravioli. I could eat that ravioli again and again, maybe one day when I feel loathe with him you can be my next lover Signor Agnello!
The second protein dish is Filetto Alla Ligure, dory fillet cooked in oven with wine, capers, cherry tomatoes and black olives. The dory fillet is delicate and it oozed with a gentle, savoury flavour.
The lamb and fish come with 3 kind of side dishes; a soft interior but crunchy on the outside Potato Wedges, a plate of salad consist julienne carrots, olives and lettuce, a sautee green vegetable with garlic and sprinkle of cheese.
Crostata Di Mele, traditional apple crumble with vanilla ice cream. I didn’t expect to enjoy it because I feared it would be overwhelmingly sweet, but the slightly sour taste from the apple juxtaposed with the sweetness of the apple and ice cream. It was satisfying and enjoyable.
Panna Cotta, a simple smooth vanilla custard served with drizzle homemade caramel. The classic Tiramisu with mascarpone cream cheese, Italian savoiardi biscuits dipped in coffee and cocoa on top. These duo desserts is so simple and authentic in taste, exactly what I’m looking for in the dessert.
Zuppa Inglese, savoiardi biscuit drenched in red alkermes liqueur which make them very taste & breathtakingly beautiful. The reddish biscuit then topped with (fresh) chocolate and egg custard.
The last dessert is Budino Della Nonna, what a sophisticated name. I imagined the waitstaff will bring out a posh cake (maybe chocolate or fruit cake with a touch of fruity liqueur) but come out a couple slices of Grandma’s humble pudding. The simple presentation of Budino Della Nonna is uninspiring but the flavour speak for itself. Fudgey luscious eggs pudding with a slightly crunch of amaretti biscuit and caramel sauce enhanced the sweetness of the pudding.
Eating for me is not only about feeding my tummy or how the taste of the food. Thinking how the food is made, who cook that food, where’s the ingredients and recipes come from makes me realise that every food have unique, different story behind it. One simple dish can involved lot of tears, sweat, love, laughter or even pain and longing for home. It made me thinking about the journey of this lovely family from a beautiful town in Italy to a busy and hazy city like Jakarta.
Despite all the mixed opinion and reviews about MammaRosy restaurant, eating all these foods I know Mamma Rosy cook with love….with passion and I can feel that love in every bite and every mouthful of her food. Thank you mamma…you’ve feed my body and soul with a nourishing food.