It is the most talked about new restaurant in the city of The Hague and its surroundings: Urban bistro Mama Kelly. But what is all the buzz about, you might ask? There are in my opinion three success factors: the awe-inspiring interior design, the location, and most importantly the food. Mama Kelly has made a mark on the Dutch political capital’s foodies agenda. It’s not yet another hipster bar & restaurant like you have them a dime a dozen. This place has character.
Let’s talk location first. The urban bistro is located in the former boiler-house of the Caballero cigarette factory. In the 60s the Caballero cigarettes were the best-selling cigarettes in the Netherlands. Some may recall the non-filter cigarettes brand by its package picture: a cowboy sitting on a horseback. The boiler house is separate from the Caballero factory and the factory was controlled from this impressive space. Many old boilers have been preserved and are kept visible in the restaurant as part of the design. The old factory is located in an industrial part of The Hague, with a waterfront outside terrace. However, Holland’s biggest telecom company KPN is only a short walk down the street, making it a popular spot for the young urban professionals to have lunch, or after-work drinks and dinner.
The interior design is awe-inspiring. The designer is Rein Rambaldo. It is robust yet elegant. The colour palette is kept monocromatic with copper, cognac brown leather and a few accent walls in grey-blue. On one side pitch black tiles add drama. Design diamond bulbs dangle down the ceiling. On the other side a bare white bricks wall lights up the space. At night candles are lit everywhere.
The bar area is pretty impressive too. A gleaming copper bar is the focal point. I also love the photo booth with a neon text light.
The front of the restaurant has an open kitchen so you can watch and has a more sleek, sophisticated interior, even though there are still many industrial details.
In summer the outside terrace is packed. Black rattan chairs and benches with comfortable cushions make it a place to linger on sultry summer evenings. And the food? The food is delicious! Rotisserie chicken and lobster are the specialties but there is plenty more to choose from. So far I had lunch there and tried the rotisserie chicken sandwich and the cheesecake with raspberries. I also went there for dinner and had the grilled vegetables with halumi cheese as a starer, and the lobster with garlic butter sauce as a main dish. Delicious!
Mama Kelly, Saturnusstraat 100, Den Haag