Food Review: La Mama
A proud, family-run restaurant which laid down roots on Abbeydale Road before it became the trendy independent hotbed it is today, La Mama is a well-reputed gem when it comes to bringing a taste of Latin America to the Steel City. The cosy venue could probably hold 25-30 diners at a push, but exudes plenty of character and charm with traditional Latin style décor adding a nice splash of colour and culture to proceedings.
The tapas menu is a wide-ranging selection of Spanish, Chilean and Brazilian dishes that ensures all tastes are catered for with an equal amount of choice across meat, fish and vegetarian options. We were informed that three each would suffice for a hungry stomach, so following fresh bread and olives ordered Empanadas de Carne, Chorizo a la Sidra and Zorza from the meat section, Chile Prawns and Empanadas de Jaiba made up the fish dishes and we rounded off the order with a cheesy aubergine vegetarian dish called Berenjenas al Horno.
Empanadas de Carne is effectively a posh Chilean pasty, with spicy beef, onion and olive wrapped together in a pastry parcel – especially tasty when accompanied with the tangy salsa pebre. The meaty chorizo pieces swimming in an apple cider stew tasted as succulent as they looked, while the Zorza dish, a spiced pork loin skewered with mushrooms between tender meat chunks, was a real winner for us both.
I’d already been warned of the supremely tasty king prawns, but still couldn’t help but be bowled over by their size and juiciness. The Empanadas de Jaiba were the same lightly fried pastry parcels as before but packed with delicious, fresh white claw crab meat instead of beef.
A welcome surprise was the aubergine dish recommended by the La Mama staff. Oven baked in a tradition clay pot, the aubergines were smothered in melted goat’s cheese and tomato sauce – all simple, solid flavours but as with everything else we had from the menu, immensely tasty and satisfying.
Authentic dishes and flavours served in an intimate and friendly setting, La Mama’s reputation as one of the finest tapas spots in Sheffield is surely here to stay.
238 Abbeydale Rd, Sheffield S7 1FL
Tel: 0114 327 9597