ISTANBUL - Eating pizza on the Bosphorus is not considered traditional or noble in Istanbul. Yet the Doors Restaurant Group is changing this notion by introducing their new restaurant chain called Pizzeria Mama, which opened one month ago in the heart of the Rumeli Hisarı district
Yet Mama distinguishes itself from Kitchenette or similar restaurants due to a significant difference: their scrumptious (and reasonably priced) brick oven pizzas. The pizzeria, located across from the famous Iskele Restaurant, on the roadside has a gorgeous view of the Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge. Although sitting outside seems stimulating, unfortunately the big city buses passing by seem to make a lot of noise and even pollution. Thus, finding a table in the large inside section with a simple and relaxed atmosphere is in fact more refreshing.
The design’s emphasis is on rusty blue colors and wood patterns. Like many of the group's venues, the preferred architecture company was Autoban Mimarlik. An enormous bar section, decorated with a Brazilian flag, gives the feeling of a lively bar scene. Yet in the back area is another section that gives Mama its distinguished flavor: a brick fire oven. From many corners of the restaurant, one can openly observe the chefs putting the thinly crusted pies into the blazing flames of the oven.
Mama’s menu and cuisines are no doubt Italian influenced, and the focus is indeed on the Napoli-style pizza and homemade pastas. Although the pasta dishes are tempting, the suggested choice is the fire oven baked pizza. With over 20 different types of pizzas, from classical Margarita to the Turca with Turkish sausages to Mama’s specials, choosing is rather challenging. The waiter suggests the Truffle Pizza with fresh asparagus, truffles, mozzarella cheese and truffle oil (pizzas average about 16 Turkish Liras, except for this distinguished one for 34 liras). Following a not-so-special appetizer platter of avocado and parmesan cheese salad, the long wait began for the pizza as dishes passed by to other tables. The waiter informs the table that our pizza will be a little late, "as fire flames burned it when the chef was taking it out of the oven, so he is now making a new one" he says.
Thin crusted pizza
When the pizza finally arrives, it is definitely worth the embarrassing wait! The thin crusted pizza with fragrant ingredients and melted milk buffalo mozzarella cheese and truffles is heavenly, and arguably among one of the best pizzas in Istanbul.
All the pizzas at Mama have the same allure of thinness and fresh ingredients. And one leaves the pizzeria feeling not too stuffed or heavy but yearning to come back again to try the other selections. The best part; Mama pizzas can be taken to go or even delivered!
Mama’s bar turns into a lively and dynamic area with Latin Music and a focus on Molita cocktails in the evening hours. Mama also has an extended domestic and international wine menu. For fans that are used to coming to Rumeli Hisari for its famous breakfasts, Mama also offers a breakfast menu daily. The restaurant is absolutely worth a shot for pizza fans.
Pizzeria Mama: Baltalimalı Cad. No:24, Rumeli Hisarı Istanbul Tel: 0212 287 62 20