Taking culinary inspiration from an archipelago can be a Scilly idea.
Villa Mama’s, however have focussed a little further afield – bringing the traditional cuisine of Bahrain to Chelsea. It’s their first international outpost, and comes to you from well-travelled Bahraini native Roaya Saleh.
A bohemian nook of a restaurant, it sports marble topped tables surrounded by vintage chapel seating and colourful cushions, while a reclaimed Parisian shop counter stocks Saleh’s house made jams and sauces. The concertina windows pull back in the summer to reveal Bahraini bench seating on the pavement outside, and a staircase at the back of the restaurant leads to a hidden courtyard with the kitchen’s herb garden.
This all feeds into the dishes on the mezzeh section of the menu, like khubus, a Tandoor-cooked flatbread, served with meyhawa, a local Bahraini speciality of fermented sardine sauce; mathrooba, slow-cooked chicken, rice and cracked wheat; and lamb and feta kofta, topped with cherry molasses. Scaling up, you can tuck into bigger portions of sayadieh, turbot served with pilaf and crisp onions; and tacheen for two, a saffron rice cake layered with spiced chicken and pine nuts; all washed down with cocktails that can be served with or without the booze…
NOTE: Villa Mama’s is open daily from 12am until 10pm (except Sundays when they close at 9pm). You can book a table and find out more on their website HERE.
Villa Mama’s | 25-27 Elystan Street, SW3 3NT
Live in the area? Check out dressed-down fine dining at Elystan Street…