Inauthentic Tapas from La Mama

Living close to Abbeydale road in Sheffield, we see new places opening all the time and offering undiscovered flavours from all around the world. On the whole we love the cafes and restaurants around us, but sometimes those places just don’t meet the mark. We’re quite positive about visiting places with food from around the world, as long as it is better than what you can make in your kitchen. Unfortunately La Mama Tapas bar & restaurant in Sheffield wasn’t. But let me start from the beginning.

For about a month we have wanted to go here, as tapas has become a part of our expanding taste palate since we came back from Spain. So you can imagine the build up and excitement. 

So here we are. “Authentic Chile and Spain tapas with cocktails 2 for 1 price during happy hours in authentic latino atmosphere bar”. 

We have experience with tapas and this is why we missed things such as: montaditos, ensaladilla rusa, pimientos de padrón, gazpacho, chipirones and many more. 

Cocktails were basic with a few pisco recipes (Chile traditional) but yet again what about: Borgona, Chicha, Terremoto or even non-alcoholic Mote con Huesillo. 

As you can imagine, we aren’t big fans when things are done half-arsed, especially when you claim to be authentic. 

In addition to this, we ordered before 6pm and we didn’t get the 2 for 1 offer. 

The restaurant itself was quite relaxed, with nice lighting and funky music. The waiters are friendly but managed to get drinks and food orders wrong. They say that it is a “perfect authentic latino atmosphere” – but in my eyes it was just another cosy bar. 

Due to the lack of selection we went for Chilcano Peruvian Mojito and Margarita. Mojito with ginger ale was like a lemonade with no kick and Margarita was so sour that we weren’t able to finish it. 

As recomended on the menu, we had 3 tapas each. 

1. Pollo piri-piri: chicken with plain piri piri sauce. 

2. Chorizo a la Sidra – chorizo that could have done with far more cooking.

3. Empanadas de Jaiba – we received Empanadas de Carne, which made a big difference as we got beef when we ordered crab meat 🦀 

4. Calamares Fritos – calamari, which needed more cooking. 

5. Tortilla Española – a Spanish potato and onion omelette, which was quite nice and light.

6. Olives – which are hard to ruin. 

I’m sorry for being negative, but from being so excited about tapas to then being so disappointed, hungry and spending £44 pounds, I’m not sure anyone would happy! So here comes the verdict…

Unfortunately it felt like it didn’t live up to the Spanish and Latino tapas reputation.

  • Menu lacking certain authentic dishes and food quite badly lacking flavour
  • Cocktails need work – neither of ours tasted nice
  • Bar needs more finishing touches
  • Expensive for what you get

We would not recommend going here for tapas, there are better and cheaper places around to choose from. 

We haven’t reviewed these just yet but we could recommend: The Beer Engine tapas or The Wine Bar (Kelham Island).

Thank you for reading,

Augustinas 😋

Review of:

La Mama – Tapas Bar & Restaurant 

238 Abbeydale Rd, Sheffield, S7 1FL

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