One restaurant that is very close to my heart, is Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen. I was a couple of years into food blogging when I discovered Mama Lou's at Soderno in Molito. I can't tell you what else I ate there on that fateful night without reading my post again, but all I can say is that Mama Lou's Panzarotti's is something I will never forget.
On the strength of those deliciously cheesy hot pockets, Rina and I made a rare trip to BF homes in Paranaque for a taste of what other dishes Mama Lou's had to offer.
After that we were hooked. Since then, I've had the pleasure of watching this humble little Italian bistro emerge into a Filipino-run restaurant chain to watch.
Although the excellent quality of their food is undeniable, the Mama Lou's experience is so much more than that. Past the delicious pasta, mouthwatering risotto and scrumptious pizzas, you will discover that the most precious dish from Mama Lou's kitchen, is Love.
Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen is a beautiful story of love.. Love for food and Love for family. The restaurant began as a collaboration between the couple of Richard and Malou Tremblay. Malou has since passed away, but her presence still resonates with every dish sent out from Mama Lou's Kitchen (Malou's Nickname), all with the intention of bringing happiness to her customers.
Richard and Malou's daughter, Crystal, continues the Tremblay family's tradition of spreading love with their food, and just like her parents before her, she is working hand in hand with her soon to be husband, David. Together, the lovely couple have worked to build Mama Lou's into the fledgling food empire it is today.
Since our first visit a few years ago, Mama Lou's has expanded their dining area. Situated within the Tremblay family's old home, The second floor now houses more tables and chairs, to meet the growing demand of their customers. The area may even be sealed off for private functions.
As mentioned in my first post, when dining in Mama Lou's, remember that it is imperative that you try Mama Lou's Iced Tea.
Rina began her meal with Mama Lou's Caesar Salad (P350). This was Romaine lettuce drizzled with Caesar dressing, and topped with croutons, bacon, Parmesan Cheese with Grilled Chicken Breast strips
I, on the other hand, decided to skip the greens and go straight to the starters. One of the delicious items served was the Mozzarella Sticks (P250). Mozzarella coated in a light breading a deep fried to a nice golden hue, and served with a bit of Pomodoro sauce, to prevent the richness of the cheese from becoming too cloying.
One of my favorite things in the entire world is Mama Lou's Poutine with Bacon (P195). Delicious golden French Fries, topped with Mama Lou's trademark smooth brown gravy and gooey mozzarella cheese. I must have had two entire platters to myself (not my fault the others are too slow.. or didn't see me put the platters on my lap).
Rina loved Mama Lou's Quattro Formaggi (12' P325/14' P425). Made with a rich blend of Mozzarella, Cheddar, Brie and Bleu Cheese on thin crust smothered on a crisp, thin crust, each type of cheese hits a wonderful note in your taste buds, complimenting the other perfectly.
Another pizza we tried is the Italian staple, Pepperoni (12' P295/14' P395). I've always felt you can't consider yourself a good restaurant unless you serve really good pepperoni pizza.And guess what? To the surprise of none, Mama Lou's nails this right on the head. The creamy cheese is a nice counter to the incredibly flavorful Pepperoni slices. Undoubtedly, a great version of the classic.
My favorite pizza has got tot be the Bianca (12' P275/14' P375), which by no coincidence, is also the only cream based pizza in Mama Lou's Menu. This is what I had during my first visit to Mama Lou's and it was as delicious now as it was back then. A rather simple blend of Cream, cuts of smoked bacon, and sliced mushrooms, yet big of flavor. With the rather robust flavors of the pasta dishes that Mama Lou's has, I've always felt that this was a nice companion to the meal.
Another winner in my book was the Truffle Mac & Cheese (P285). Truffle cream is melded perfectly with mozzarella and cheddar, creating a remarkable take on the classic American comfort food.
A dish that I really liked but wasn't supposed to, was the Spaghetti Seafood Olio (P315). More than cream based pastas, I actually enjoy Oil based ones more, however I'm not a fan of shellfish or shrimps, which were the key components of the dish (hence the word, "seafood")
One of the perks of being a Food Blogger is sometimes being given the opportunity to able try a restaurant's new dishes, even before it hits the menu. One such dish was Mama Lou's Spaghetti Arrabbiatta. It's tomato based and spicy, which is a double whammy for me, so I decided to refrain from trying this. Rina enjoyed it though.
The kitchen of Mama Lou's decided to show of their creativity, and unveiled to us their new Vesuvio Pasta. Rigatoni noodles lined upright in a circular mold, filled with Fresh Mozzarella, Egg, and Italian Sausage. The noodles are then topped with a blend of Pomodoro, Alfredo, and Mama Lou's Homemade Pesto, making the dish look like the mighty Mt. Vesuvius.
Since we already had our fill our the Buttered Risotto in our previous trip to Mama Lou's in Nuvali (see IG pic below), it was only fitting that we gave the Risotto Tartufo Funghi (P325) a try for a change.
I've got to say that Mama Lou's really makes some of the best risotto's I've tried. The wild mushrooms gives the buttery risotto a sense of tasty earthiness, while the truffle cream adds a nice punch of flavor.
Delicious, no doubt, but I still prefer the more simple, buttered Risotto.
Between the Buttered Risotto and the Risotto Tartufo Funghi, I preferred the simplicity of the Buttered. It was so good, Rina and her sister Pink Turbo DEMANDED that we order one each. Apparently, all lessons in "Sharing" that we tried to instill in Rain got thrown out the window when Mama Lou's Buttered Risotto comes into the picture.
Another new kid on the Mama Lou's menu was the Scallopini Marsala. Thin strips of beef, doused in a creamy marsala sauce, peppered with sliced mushrooms for added flavor.
Mama Lou's also does a nice job with their Marbled Rib Eye Steak (P695). A stunningly seared Rib Eye Steak, topped with roasted mushrooms for an added earthy taste.
Mama Lou's Blueberry Cheesecake (P180) was the perfect way to end our amazing meal. The cheesecake base had the right blend of sweet and tart, while the buttery graham crust was delicious. The abundant blueberry compote was the proverbial cherry-or in this case, Blueberry on top, and added a fruity dimension to an already delicious dessert.
I have no doubt that Mama Lou herself, could not be more proud.
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding, Crystal! Thank you for having me over again! I really wish David could have joined us in this picture, but as the photo proves, may kinakain siya sa background hehe...
Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen
B1 L36 Tropical Ave. cor. Palace St., BF Int'l
Las Piñas, Metro Manila