Finding the best local places to eat
Italia Mia Restaurant and Pizzeria
Italia Mia, an independent Italian restaurant and pizzeria, opened in August 2014. It’s housed in a spacious building in Church Walk, East Malling which dates back to around the 16th Century and overlooks the historic King and Queen pub.
The restaurant has a relaxing, cosy ambience with red tablecloths, glowing tea light candles, and an open cooking area. We received a friendly welcome from Tony, the manager, and his staff who quickly brought drinks, tasty, crunchy homemade bread and an olive oil/balsamic vinegar dip.
Italia Mia specialises in homemade stone baked pizzas, pasta and risotto and also offers a number of specials. For starters we ordered some buffalo mozzarella and the speciality of thinly sliced pork belly to share between us. Both dishes were beautifully presented: the fresh, creamy mozzarella was served with tomatoes, fresh basil and Italia Mia’s own pesto whilst the pork was stuffed with herbs, full flavoured and accompanied by a mixed leaf salad with crisp pork crackling. Other starters included Calamari Fritti and Bruschetta and Melanzana in Barchetta (Aubergine served with goats cheese, sultana muffins, pine nuts and honey on a bed of rocket). Portions were generous and prices very reasonable ranging from £3.50 to £6.50.
The restaurant has a wine list with some good choices to match their pizza and pasta dishes plus beers and ciders including Peroni, and Magners. We tried the house red which was a fruity, medium bodied Merlot whilst the teenagers opted for Coke.
It took some time to choose the main course since the menu included many favourites. We finally plumped for three different pizzas: Prosciutto e Funghi, Capricciosa, and the Discovolante (folded pizza), plus the Linguine ai Frutti di Mare and a salad to share. The pizzas were excellent with a tasty homemade base, flavoursome sauce and generous toppings. Our older teenager was really impressed by the huge Discovolante and our youngest noted that her ham and mushroom had been thoughtfully cut up so she could tuck in straight away! The seafood pasta was packed with large prawns in their shells, squid, and mussels in a tomato and herb sauce. It looked amazing and tasted as good as it looked.
Among the dishes we want to return for are the mushroom risotto, the Calzone and the Linguine ai Frutti di Mare (so I can eat a whole portion this time!). Pizzas average around £8.00 with the Linguine priced below £12.00.
It needs to be mentioned that Italia Mia initially had some poor reviews on Tripadvisor. The restaurant opened on August 1st 2014 and was immediately hit by teething problems due to inadequately trained staff and inexperienced chefs. Tony Narcis, the current manager, was brought in to sort out the problems and he has clearly succeeded. Service is now prompt, caring and friendly with the food offering the best pizza and pasta for miles around (we have recently visited several in the area and Italia Mia is the only restaurant we have wanted to write a review on for readers).
The restaurant offers a good selection of desserts and following our waitress’s recommendation we shared the wonderfully creamy Tiramisu whilst the children enjoyed the chocolate fudge cake with ice cream (and a whole Tiramisu!). Desserts are priced around £5.00. Excellent espresso coffee was served with dessert to complete the meal.
With Italia Mia offering excellent quality and very reasonably priced homemade food only ten minutes from Kings Hill why not pop along and try it yourselves? It is ideal for families, friends or couples.
Italia Mia Restaurant and Pizzeria
1-3 Church Walk,
Maidstone ME19 6AG
T: 01732 808250
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 5pm – 10pm, Saturday: 5pm – 11pm, Sunday: 5pm – 10pm