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Mamma’s chicken magic

MOST restaurants, be they glamour dining rooms or more humble eateries, boast a signature dish.

In the case of Mamma Maria’s on the corner of Lake and Aberdeen streets, it is a grilled chicken ($18.90).

Many have attempted to imitate this succulent chook at home, but none, until now, have come close.

The dish involves a half chicken, which is marinated overnight in white wine, olive oil, garlic and rosemary. To maintain tenderness, cooking is a deliberate, slow process, taking 25 minutes under the grill.

Businessmen driving to lunch order the chicken by mobile phone to ensure the dish is ready on arrival.

I rate the chook highly, a dish the restaurant has been producing for 27 years. Obviously, the tasty chicken is a finger dish and a washing bowl served with it is a must.

Confident this signature dish was securely held by the Northbridge restaurant, I chose to visit the tiny restaurant in the Italian Club which is open to the public. Out of curiosity, I ordered the grilled chicken prepared by Chef Bruno Securo.

It was absolutely wonderful like most of this man’s cooking. But Chef Bruno has moved on and my spies tell me he has ambitions of opening his own restaurant in the northern suburbs … so watch this column.

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