Villa Mamas

Afternoon tea, Fusion, Halal, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Persian·
Bronze Award

SquareMeal Review of Villa Mamas

Bronze Award

Chef and restaurateur Roaya Saleh has brought her Villa Mama concept over from Bahrain to the well-heeled streets of Chelsea. A few doors down from Phil Howard’s Elystan Street, the relaxed, cosy space features tables topped with marble, vintage chapel chairs and piles of comfy scatter cushions. Open daily from 8am, Villa Mama’s breakfast offering centres around khubus (a tandoor-cooked flatbread), served with eggs and cheese, or jam and yoghurt. On our evening visit, the menu had switched focus to sharing plates and the crowd is decidedly Chelsea; from the tapas-style starters, we enjoyed cinnamon-coated, tender lamb kofta served atop creamy mash with bursts of cherry molasses, alongside a stack of grilled aubergine; soft and crunch contrasted thanks to a layer of caramelised onion and walnuts. Larger plates meanwhile include an aromatic, taste bud-busting lamb stew, peppered with herbs and kidney beans, and fall-off-the-bone braised lamb shank with rosemary and pine nuts. Desserts are also influenced by Saleh’s heritage, including the likes of a fragrant rose water rice pudding, and an Egyptian twist on bread and butter pudding. To drink, there are glasses of house wine and a range of cocktails, while guests can also purchase the restaurant’s own brand herbs and spices. Prices are high, but with such homey cooking, we think Saleh is on to a winner.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Afternoon tea, Fusion, Halal, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Persian
Eat at Home
Deliveroo, Supper, Takeaway service, Uber Eats
Cosy, Romantic, Traditional, Unique
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating
Special Features
Dog friendly, Gluten-free options, Vegan options, Vegetarian options
Birthdays, Celebrations, Child friendly, Dates, Group dining [8+], Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating

About Villa Mamas

If you want a taste of authentic Bahraini food without leaving the capital, then head to Villa Mamas. Here you'll be greeted by a blend of flavours from the Middle East, Mediterranean and Persia. As such, all of the food is Halal and focuses on local, seasonal ingredients. The restaurant continues to celebrate producers in Bahrain itself, keeping ties to the cuisine's origin. Villa Mamas is open for lunch, dinner, cocktails and tea or coffee, so it's up to you how you visit (although we definitely recommend going for a full meal).

Sip on classic cocktails like martinis, margaritas and more before tucking in to the vibrant plates. House cocktails, meanwhile, champion Middle Eastern flavours, like the Bahraini infused espresso martini, made with pistachio syrup. There is a succinct wine list with some bottles from Europe and others from further east and mocktails are available too.

Any meal at Villa Mamas typically starts with khubus (pita), either plain, with za'atar or mahwaya (a Middle Eastern fermented fish sauce). From here, you and your group can move on to the small plates such as grilled lamb kofta with creamy potato, cherry molasses and pine nuts, or the signature kaskhe bademjoon ('eggplant explosion' - layered aubergine with caramelised onions, walnuts and whey sauce). The spiced lamb tikka with hummus is also a must. 

Large plates celebrate meat, fish and veg with punchy, fresh flavours. The moussaka is towards the heartier end, with plenty of bechamel and mozzarella, while the sea bass sayadieh offers a lighter main, featuring crispy onions, pine nuts and pilaf. Meat lovers should definitely try the braised lamb shank, laced with rosemary and served with vermicelli. 

Um ali, a nutty bread pudding, is the classic dessert of the region, as is the elba (Bahraini creme caramel). There is also a cake of the day, chosen by the pastry chef.


What cuisine is served at Villa Mamas?

Bahraini food primarily, along with some other Middle Eastern flavours.

Helpful? 0


25-27 Elystan Street, Chelsea, London, SW3 3NT

020 3034 2777


Opening Times

All day
Mon 13:00-23:00
Tue 13:00-23:00
Wed 13:00-23:00
Thu 13:00-23:00
Fri 13:00-23:00
Sat 13:00-23:00
Sun 13:00-23:00


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Order takeaway from Villa Mamas by calling 020 3034 2777.

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