A slice of Italy can be found at bustling Wembley pizza joint Monsterella. Buoyed by its popularity, owners Tania Nicolo and Ryan Bookless have recently opened a second Grantham Street spot. This time they’ve upped the ante with another quality Italian offering. The neighbouring Mummucc’ Wembley (pronounced MA-mooch) is a small wine bar, with a little menu that’s bursting with big Mediterranean flavours.
Knowing that this instantly popular new spot has a “no booking” policy, we rock up as the doors open, at 4pm on the dot. Feeling dorky to be so punctual, I’m relieved to find we’re the third table to arrive. Two groups quickly follow behind us and within moments the bar is full and lively.
Mummucc’, an Abruzzese Italian word for mother, is named after co-owner Tania’s grandmother. The venue is a family affair, with black and white family photos hanging on the wall. There’s an intimate feel and the space is furnished with plush deep green cushions, tables for two, and a few bench seats by the roadside.
We perch at the end of a long dining table by the window. Mummucc’ is not your average drinking spot, with a cabinet stocked with deli meats and cheeses having pride of place at the bar. The full-to-bursting venue is not the place to go for a quiet bite to eat, with Chef and I struggling to hear above the retro soundtrack and chatter around us.
Service at Mummuccis pleasant, though minimal. Being a bar, there’s no table service and I help myself to cutlery. As well as Italian aperitifs and digestifs, the drink list offers interesting wines by the glass, and plenty of WA and Italian bottles to get stuck into. I enjoy sipping a crisp Sardinian Nord Est vermentino.
The limited menu is made up of small share plates, as well as larger pasta dishes. Though not advertised, you can head off-menu and order a pizza at sister venue Monsterella, to be delivered three doors down at Mummucc’.
We think antipasti is always a good place to start. A generous salumi plate ($30) is loaded with double cream brie, an Italian asiago cheese, cornichons, pickled chillis and lots of crusty bread. There’s meat aplenty too – Wagyu bresaola, coppa, a spicy casalingo, and mild sopressa.
A vibrant dish of sweet persimmon ($16) and creamy buffalo mozzarella, with pistachios, mint, and vino cotto, goes down a treat.
Perfectly seasoned Angus fillet tartare ($18) is served with cured yolk and a N’duja cream (made from intensely flavoured spreadable salami). Scooped up with potato crisps, the tarte has a solid kick and we can’t get enough of the fresh, honest flavours.
WA Tiger Prawns ($18), are butterflied and grilled in fermented chilli, bottarga (cured fish roe) butter and a delicate pancetta crumb. It’s a tasty dish, though I do expect an extra prawn or two.
Even after all those share plates, we have room to squeeze in something a little larger. Two hearty pasta dishes are offered for those with bigger appetites or who don’t like to share.
We do share the spaghetti con vongole ($25). The hero of this dish is the spaghetti, handmade in house each day by Tania’s mum. Cooked perfectly al dente, the pasta is tossed in a white wine, fermented chilli, garlic, and bottarga sauce and topped with open clam shells. The moreish molluscs are delicious, though I find the plump clam meat is a touch gritty.
The desert menu briefly reads, “cannoli, panna cotta, tiramisu”. The simple vanilla panna cotta ($12) is simply delicious, served with chopped pistachios and a sticky vanilla syrup.
A modern take on tiramisu ($13) hits the spot. Served with a chocolate sponge, instead of traditional sponge fingers and a silky chocolate mousse – it has subtle coffee flavours, and a big chocolate punch.
Mummucc’ Wembley is a fab little local, where it’s a pleasure to discover a new Italian wine and eat simple, soul warming food. This pint-sized spot is certainly punching above its weight. The Monsterella team have nailed it again.
Mummucc – At a Glance
6/46-56 Grantham Street
Phone No Phone
■ Opening times
Weds & Thu – 5pm to 10pm
Fri & Sat – 4pm to late
Sun – 5pm to 10pm
value for money 4
■ style – Modern Italian
■ wine – a medium sized
offering from small WA wineries
as well as Italian wines.
■ Chef – Matt McDonald
■ Owners – Tania Nicolo and Ryan Bookless
■ feel – cool, casual and lively.
■ wheelchair access – yes
Small Plates – $6 to $22
Large Plates – $24 to $35
Dessert – $5 to $13
■ all in all – a laid back wine bar with
modern Italian bites. Drop in for a vino
and share plates. Walk ins only.