As the name of this Keilor Road joint suggests, Mamma Lina's Cafe Bar is all about providing quality Italian cuisine at reasonable prices. Dishes include a range of pastas, risottos, and pollos. Its modest, rendered exterior and indoor decor present a laidback atmosphere for the average diner, who has just sought refuge from the busy and noisy street.
Inside, you have the choice of sturdy, varnished wooden chairs or - if you're one of the first patrons in the door - a comfy leather couch, in front of an apparent coffee table. My first impression was that the owners of Mamma Lina's were attempting to provide a homey alternative to traditional cafe and bar settings with their provision of leather couches.
Probably the best elements of Mamma Lina's Cafe Bar are its homemade biscuits, cakes and desserts. My favourite is the butter yo-yo biscuit. Of course, they are extremely good for the heart, as in brightening your spirits but not in terms of the cardiac muscle. It's called high cholesterol. Unfortunately, it appears to be a sad fact of life that those things we absolutely love are absolutely terrible for our long-term health.
Laments aside, if you believe that the high fat treats inside Mamma Lina's Cafe Bar are too tempting, there's enough outside dining spaces to have your meal. An immaculately clean glass partition separates these tables from the road.