Durban: Mamma Luciana’s Deli & Italian Food

By Tracy Gielink

Eat in or opt to take something home from the deli at Mamma Luciana’s.

Physical Address: Mamma Luciana’s Deli & Italian Food Market, Shop 14, Glenore Centre, 39 Park Drive, Glenashley.

Call 031-562-1405 or visit www.mammalucianas.com.

THE PLACE

Since opening last December, Mamma Luciana’s Deli & Italian Food Market has been an instant suburban success. Battling to meet the demands of the interleading restaurant, Mamma Luciana’s, owner Marco Conte decided to extend limited kitchen capabilities while diversifying the brand and exalting it from casual trattoria to incorporate a contemporary deli. The Italian Food Market has pantry essentials ranging from canned beans, tomatoes, olive oils and dried pastas to balsamic vinegar, dried mushrooms, marinated aubergines and coffee.

Deli fridges are filled with imported meats and cheeses along with homemade pestos and pâtés, and the picnic basket and gift hamper service has proved to be immensely popular. Fortunately Mamma Luciana’s also offers instant gratification under the guidance of dedicated chef Ray Friedman. Homemade gnocchi and pastas (made by Marco’s mamma, Luciana, and her team) are a highlight and you’ll find anything from a simple tagliatelle to stuffed varieties like pumpkin or prawn panzerotti and cannelloni.

ON THE MENU

The deli operates as a daytime eatery starting with breakfast: think omelette with a selection of fillings, fresh muffin or Italian-styled eggs Benedict – ciabatta topped with Parma ham and a mustard crème sauce. The menu segues into a range of homebaked panini like the Italian stallion (salami, mortadella, Black Forest ham, tomato, pepperoncini and spiced aioli); Mamma’s meatballs (homemade meatballs in Napoli sauce topped with aged Cheddar) or Napoli salami and local Brie teamed with tomatoes and pepperoncini. A large farmstyle wooden table is set up for a harveststyle lunch with a noticeable but not prescriptive Italian influence and works on the weigh-and-pay principle. It’s available from 12pm – 2.30pm Tuesday to Sunday and on Monday delicious mezze platters are offered.

X-FACTOR

Marco modestly refers to the deli as the restaurant’s store room and prep area but it is a cleverly designed space that manages to be contemporary while incorporating rustic elements. Slate floors, metal chairs (painted vibrant red) and wooden pallets used as a false ceiling give the space instant warmth, and the dining area and wooden deck capitalise on the gorgeous views of the Indian Ocean.

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