Why haven’t I been to this delicious cosy corner of Colchester before? Why?
Despite being recommended to go numerous times by one of my colleagues I never made time for it, but luckily we had a team building day coming up and what’t better way to bond than over some food? Meet Mama Rita AKA Big Belly AKA When can we go back again?! Mama Rita is a small cosy restaurant in a heart of Colchester run by Romanian management offering a sit down/take away and a delivery option. If you are not from Romania you are most likely to get a standard English Menu which won’t offer some gems but if you come with a Romanian person or ask for a Romanian menu then you are in for a treat.
Luckily, I have two Romanian girls in my team so I got insider tips otherwise I would have ended up with bog standard English menu that would be well.. just standard.
We started with some soups served in BREAD BOWLS. I’ve had these before when we went to Prague and I absolutely adore the comfort and the home feel of them. I went for Bean Soup which was served in a sour dough loaf. Soup was fantastic, just like my mum used to make it with a selection of smoked cured meats and lots of potatoes. Best part of eating your soup out of the bread bowl? All the delicious gooey bits of bread that you get to scrape up from the bottom of your ”bowl”. Our soups were served with a side of more sour dough bread (you can’t have too much bread) and simple onion salad which is dressed with vinegar and salt. Do not eat it on a first date.
As we were in a Romanian restaurant, we of course had to have 2 main courses. We shared some Cabbage Parcels and Crispy Chicken Salad.
Cabbage Parcel is something my mum used to make at home a lot and I was never a huge fan but it was great to dive back into childhood and have a few mouthfuls covered in sour cream. Parcels are filled with mince and vegetables.
Crispy Chicken salad comes with tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and covered in lashings of Parmesan. Small pieces of crispy chicken are succulent and delicious. I could have easily have a whole salad to myself.
But the star of the show for me was our desserts, when we sat down girls asked about a specific dessert and unfortunately we’ve been told that they didn’t have it today. But then a miracle happened. As we were about to ask for our bill they presented us with this fantastic freshly made Papanas. Papanas is a Romanian version of doughnuts and it’s incredible. Served with delicious chocolate cream or jam and cream; they are light, fluffy, moist and melt in your mouth. I haven’t stopped thinking about them since we went.
If you are looking to try something new, give Mama Rita a go, ask for Romanian menu and let them surprise. Prices are very budget friendly, 3 course meal for 4 came to just over £40 and we had Romanian aperitifs!
To find out more about Mama Rita visit their Facebook page.