Stood outside a small Italian restaurant on Hockley, the sign above me read: Sexy Mama Love Spaghetti. I knew I was in for a treat.
I first stumbled upon Sexy Mama in early April when walking through Hockley. A few Google searches later, it was clear the restaurant didn’t boast a big online presence; there’s no website, no Facebook and no online menu. I read some rave reviews on TripAdvisor and a few other articles told me that this restaurant is a new venture from Edin Gondzic, the man who created the very popular Edin’s Natural Kitchen and Edin’s Deli Café. After learning that, the expectations were high. And, I assure you, Sexy Mama surpassed them all.
It’s not a large restaurant; there are two floors and about fifty seats in total, making for an intimate and atmospheric setting when there’s a full house. From large windows hang dried flowers and leaves. Handwritten menus change regularly and add to the cosy, rustic atmosphere. In the evening, when the lights dim, ambient music plays in the background, and with a glass of wine in your hand, this restaurant feels like a very special place.
The food at Sexy Mama is mighty fine. We were given bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil to tuck into while we perused the menu. I had the penne with roasted hazelnut and Italian fennel sausage ragu (£14). The ragu was rich and flavoursome, and the chunks of hazelnut did great things for the texture of the dish. My meal was complemented by a large glass of La Segreta rosso (13%, £8.32 for 250ml). This red was beautifully warm and not overly sweet, despite the chocolatey undertone. My partner chose a pea, wild-mushroom and black-truffle risotto; a wise choice. It smelt wonderful. His white wine was a Garganega pinot grigio (12%, £6.57 for 250ml) which was both fruity and refreshing.
When another table’s tiramisu (£6) glided past me, my dessert decision was made, and the classic Italian pudding was pure heaven. My superior choice of afters was nearly trumped when across the table sat the most magnificent cheeseboard (£7). The Italian cheeses consisted of Gorgonzola, Taleggio and Asiago, and were drizzled with honey. I was mightily impressed by this selection; they were distinct and flavoursome, but not too overpowering, and the honey was a great touch.
Sexy Mama Loves Spaghetti gets a huge ten out of ten from me. The staff were lovely, the setting was intimate and atmospheric, the food and drink were phenomenal. This is one for the top of the list.
3 Heathcoat Street, Nottingham NG1 3AF. 0115 948 4610.