There is a wonderful buzz when you enter Big Mama's Trattoria Italiana in Woollahra. The food is fantastic, the service attentive, and the décor a pleasant mix of Victorian-terrace features with a modern conversion.
For over 20 years, Big Mama's hearty Italian style has been keeping loyal patrons coming back on a weekly basis. On a recent Tuesday night visit, Big Mama's spacious ground floor was filled to capacity, with tables of two, up to larger groups of ten.
As stated above, the food is very good, exactly what you want when one is hankering for a well-proportioned Italian meal. The servings are generous and the flavours nicely balanced.
To start with, we highly recommend: Calamari Fritti—deep-fried calamari with garlic mayonnaise sauce; the Carpaccio di Manzo—thinly sliced, raw Black Angus beef fillet with mayonnaise dressing; or, on the regular specials board, the tuna carpaccio and the deep-fried zucchini flowers with goats cheese and mascarpone.
And, for secondi, one cannot go past the Porchetta—traditional Roman-style pork roast, cooked in aromatic herbs and served with apple sauce . . . so good. Two other highly recommended house dishes include: the rabbit baked in a claypot with lemon, mint, and honey sauce; and the organic chicken Kiev with pistachio and sage stuffing. There are daily fish specials, which are all excellent, including ocean trout, John Dory, and baby barramundi options. The pasta selection is strong, of note the Spaghetti alla Marinara and the pumpkin ravioli with butter, sage, and Parmesan.
It might seem strange to recommend sides, but the sautéed green beans are delicious and the caprese and rocket, radicchio and Parmesan salads are worth a try.
Finally, to dessert and wine. Wine is quite a personal preference and so, simply put—the cellar selection is well curated. Dessert on the other hand . . . do try the rhubarb and strawberry crumble with vanilla ice cream (it takes 15 minutes from ordering but is worth it!), the pear poached in red wine with vanilla panna cotta is lovely, and of course the traditional Tiramisu—Italians do it best.
Big Mama's is perfectly placed to cater intimate dinners for two, up to much larger event bookings from 20 to 100 people—with an additional courtyard and upstairs dining area.
51 Moncur Street, Woollahra NSW 2025
Ph: 02 9328 7629
Bookings highly recommended
Open Tuesday - Sunday from 6pm.
Image credit: Eclectic Recipes