There’s a fantastic new addition to the SE23 restaurant scene which is something the area has been crying out for. It’s a lovely neighbourhood to live in with a number of great cafes and some good pubs, but SE23 was lacking in reliable cheap options for eating out in the evening. The new restaurant is in Honor Oak Park, handily situated only a stone’s throw away from the train station (on the corner of Honor Oak Park and Grierson Road). Formerly named Sodo and now named Mamma Dough, the restaurant serves sourdough pizzas which are amongst the best pizzas I’ve ever eaten (and I’ve been to both Italy and New York on a number of occasions where I’ve eaten some outstanding pizzas). There is already a branch of Sodo in Clapton and it runs the kitchen at the The George & Vulture pub in Hoxton, so this is the third opening for the independent restaurant. I’m hoping that Sodo in Honor Oak Park will pave the way for more restaurants opening in the area so I won’t need to venture further afield in London when heading out to eat.
The space had been vacant for a while before Mamma Dough moved in so once the signs went up in the window saying a sourdough pizza restaurant would be opening I got all excited. It took a little while to open which only added to the suspense of what it would be like, but boy was it worth the wait. The signs on the building outside still read ‘The Old Bank’ and ‘Italian Med Restaurant’ but don’t be fooled, the restaurant at 76-78 Honor Oak Park is most definitely Mamma Dough. Once inside the interior feels like something you would find in downtown Manhattan rather than South East London. With exposed brick walls, hanging cable light fittings, wooden floorboards, large wooden tables and metal chairs it has a relaxed urban feel, it’s definitely on the trendy side but doesn’t feel too try-hard which is good, it actually feels like it has always been there.
I have eaten at Mamma Dough twice since it opened, both times on a Saturday night and both times it has been packed. Both times I have also ended up sitting in the bar area which is available for walk in customers; these seats can’t be reserved in advance so if you’re happy to wait you will always get a spot here. Before my second visit I went I tried to book a table for three but they were fully booked all evening which shows just how popular the Honor Oak Park Mamma Dough has become in a fairly short space of time. I must admit that this doesn’t really surprise me; the pizza is seriously good and the prices are very reasonable.
Now to discuss the pizza! The sourdough base is super thin, just how it should be, and both pizzas I’ve tried tasted incredible. You can see the chefs making the pizzas in an open kitchen; rolling out the dough, putting the toppings on and sticking them in the stone oven, all the while working at super fast speed. The pizzas only take a couple of minutes to cook in the high temperature of the stone oven so you don’t have to wait too long for your food. On my first visit I tried the ‘Winter Goat’ which is topped with tomato, mozzarella, goat’s cheese, olives, caramelised onions & walnuts. The combination of flavours is delicious and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of goat’s cheese, onions and nuts. On my second visit I opted for the ‘Lorena’ which was equally as good (although I think the Winter Goat had the edge if I had to choose). The ‘Lorena’ is another veggie option, topped with tomato, mozzarella, butternut squash, rosemary, feta & pine nuts. The rosemary is a great addition to the pizza and tastes amazing with the feta and squash. Both pizzas are priced at £8 which is cheaper than what you would pay at Pizza Express, and for me there is no contest between the two.
Beers are sourced from local London breweries including Brockley Brewery which is up the road in neighbouring SE4, while wines are bought from Borough Wines. It’s fantastic to know that the owners have chosen to serve drinks supplied by other local businesses, so you can rest assured that you will be supporting a number of indie businesses while you dine at Sodo. The final bill for three pizzas with a bottle of wine and a couple of beers cost £45, an absolute bargain. I’m yet to try a pudding but the homemade tiramisu looks pretty special. I am already planning my next visit so won’t be missing out on one next time…