Villa Mama's chooses Chelsea for its London debut

By Georgia Bronte contact

- Last updated on GMT

Villa Mama's chooses Chelsea for its London debut
Bahraini restaurant Villa Mama’s will make its UK debut next month on Elystan Street in Chelsea.

The original restaurant of the same name in Saar, Bahrain, is now a household name across the GCC (an alliance of six Middle Eastern countries—Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman). 

The 50-cover restaurant, owned by chef and restauranteur Roaya Saleh, will open daily from 8am.

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Designed by Erta Designs, the restaurant will display artwork, textiles and furniture of Bahraini design, with café style benches providing outdoor seating. Diners will eat at violetta marble-topped pedestal tables, and homemade jams and spices will be displayed on a Parisian reclaimed shop counter.

There will be a small, terracotta courtyard at the back of the restaurant, where herbs will be grown to be used in the kitchen. 

The breakfast menu will comprise homemade jams; cheese; yoghurt; slow-cooked fava beans, tomato and coriander; baked eggs with spiced tomato; and a full brunch of chicken livers, mushrooms, tomato, fried egg and khubus (a tandoor cooked flatbread).

For the rest of the day, sharing plates of traditional Bahraini dishes will be available. ‘Mezzeh’ offerings will include khubus, served with a Bahraini fermented sardine sauce; slow-cooked chicken, rice and cracked wheat; lamb and feta kofta with cherry molasses; turbot cooked in stock with pilaf and onions; and a saffron rice cake layered with spiced chicken and pine nuts, for two.

Dessert will consist of rose water rice pudding, almonds and pomegranate and an Egyptian bread and butter pudding.

Villa Mama’s will have a concise wine list, curated by front of house Elena Pavare, with ‘house’ glasses from £6. There will also be a cocktail menu, with creative options available both with and without alcohol. 

The ‘Nostalgia’, cocktail is made with sweet potato, pumpkin spice syrup and lime with the option of adding Flaming Pig whisky, and the ‘Prunus’ consists of plum, basil, Swedish bitters and lemon with optional Montenegro and golden rum.

“It was my dream to open a restaurant that felt like an extension of my home and kitchen, to preserve my heritage and share my family recipes and stories. Having opened Villa Mama’s in Bahrain six years ago, London feels like the next adventure for me,” says Roaya. 

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