Sexy Mama Love Cicchetti on Carlton Street in Hockley is the latest offering from Edin Gondzica. They are serving up some excellent classic small plates of Cicchetti style food (think Italian Tapas) and are well worth a visit.
It gently reinvents the space formerly known as “Edin’s Natural Kitchen”. I suppose that this is just a little bit of a rebrand following on with the theme of his locally acclaimed Sexy Mama Loves Spaghetti just around the corner on Heathcote Street.
The Last time I came here when it was called Edins Natural Kitchen we had a lovely lunch (read more here), so when I saw the new name on the boards outside I was quite intrigued to come in and see what was going on.
I really cannot walk past a menu chalkboard without taking a look. In this case I could not walk past one without then going inside!
I had clocked the place earlier in the week and was loving the sound of the stuff on the menu.
I quite fancied the classic Tuscan dish of “Bistecca alla fiorentina T-Bone Steak” for £17 and I was also pretty keen on the “King Scallops Spaghetti with Garlic and Chilli” for £13
However it was lunchtime we just wanted a snack so it looked like the Cocchitti was going to be the way to go.
There was a great sounding selection on that board with a whole list of small plates featuring stuff like ‘beef shin’, ‘gnocchi’ and ‘Italian Sausage’, (all of which I really wanted).
There was only one thing to do and that was to stroll in and order me some lunch 🙂
Homemade Italian Sausage with Berlotti Beans
The first plate we ordered was the “Homemade Italian Sausage with Berlotti Beans“. It sounded nice and rustic and also quite warming for a cold wintry day. I was drawn easily to the thought of it’s charms.
The sausage was really solid, thick and meaty. It reminded me of the Italian sausage that I eat in the states served with peppers and onions. The bite is quite chewy and that is probably because this type of sausage is made with a mix of pork, (sometimes pig head) and pork skin. I am not sure how traditional they make it at Sexy Mama loves Cicchetti, perhaps I should have asked 🙂
Flavour wise there was what I thought initially was a lovely hint of fennel running through each bite of sausage, but as cotechino sausage traditionally has a mix of garlic, cinnamon, clove, and cayenne, I probably did not pick up the subtleties (it was probably the clove) 🙂
In the thick Berlotti bean stew I was getting very gentle notes of rosemary and sage, with a bit of garlic and some tomato, it went really well with that meaty sausage.
I really liked this dish! In that pot you get two big sausages and plenty of bean stew. It is a really good plate for sharing and not bad value at £7
Shin of Beef Ragu with Gnocchi
The second dish that we chose was the “Shin of Beef ragu with Gnocchi“. This was also a great selection, the pot was filled with a really decent portion of the Ragu which was basically a big old stew of Beef Shin.
The Shin was thick and tender, large chunks that pulled apart easily as you stuck your fork into the dish to fish some out onto your plate. The gravy was thick and rich, small balls of pearl onions floated around in there as well adding a little sweetness.
The Gnocchi was lovely as well, it was soft and fluffy and had a little surprise inside as each one was stuffed with wild mushroom.
This was also a great sharing plate as there was an equal amount of Gnocchi so we had three balls each and a big old spoonful of Beef Shin too for a very favourable price of £7 🙂
To help mop up the juices and the gravy from both dishes we asked for some bread to assist with the task at hand.
The plate that arrived was a real little treat as we ended up with the “Olive Foccacia” served with Balsamic and Olive Oil.
Each slice of bread was packed with whole green olives just in case you had forgotten the name of the dish.
This was a truly lovely little lunchtime distraction. Some excellent little plates of food offering up so many great tastes in just a few small bites.
I could easily devour a whole bowl of that Ragu of beef shin with a great big plate of the wild mushroom gnocchi! I might just have to come back and see if they do that as a main dish as well.
Inside on the menu there were some other dishes I quite fancied trying.
I have made a mental note to return for the “Tuscan Roast Pork Belly” served with “Artichoke Hearts & Apple Pureé” and the ” Roast Suckling Pig” as well.
To be honest I made a note to come back for an awful lot of things 🙂
Sexy Mama love Cicchetti is located at 15 Carlton Street in Hockley inside the old William Taylor Jewellery Shop
It used to be called Edin’s Natural Kitchen and that still seems to be the only link on the web for this place at the moment.
The chalkboards and the menu’s have a different names of the restaurant ‘Sexy Mama’ or ‘Sexy Mamma’ but all you need to know is that it served jolly good food, after all the names sound the same 🙂