AD – My meal at Murati’s was complimentary in return for this review. My thoughts are honest as always!
Murati’s Pizzeria began life in Wolverton, next to the car wash. It was one of those wonderful places where the location had the potential to be quite off-putting, but actually made it all the more endearing. A family-run pizzeria and Italian restaurant, Murati’s offers fuss-free, home-cooked food. They are perhaps most well known for their gigantic, half a metre and metre-long pizzas! I loved it there because for some time you could bring your own drinks until they had a license to sell alcohol – a bit of a novelty!
Just over a year ago, Murati’s expanded and opened a restaurant in Newport Pagnell. Most recently, they have also opened one in Olney. I was invited along on Friday evening to review the Newport restaurant. Dan and I have been there before with friends so were looking forward to returning.
The restaurant is located on St. John’s street in a huge building which was a former Unionist Club. It then turned into an Indian restaurant before Murati’s moved in.. At the front of the restaurant is a bar which then goes through into the dining area.
Murati’s in Newport is much bigger than Wolverton and it feels very different. Whilst Wolverton is quite intimate, the Newport Pagnell restaurant has more of a party atmosphere, better suited to big groups than perhaps a quiet date night! When we arrived it was really busy, and there were lots of tables of big groups. It did take a while to get used to the atmosphere – it wasn’t lacking in it at all, but initially I did find it quite overwhelming.
We were shown to our table and presented with the drinks and food menus. We ordered a bottle of Chianti (£30) between us which was really good – it was smooth and light.
The food menu is quite extensive with a range of pasta dishes, antipasti, risottos, seafood, meat and of course the pizzas, which are cooked in Murati’s wood-fired oven. According to their website, the meat is free-range and locally sourced, but I forgot to ask who their supplier was.
It’s worth noting that vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free requirements are all catered for on the menu – and don’t worry, it’s not just risotto on offer as seems to be standard with some places!
To start, we ordered the Scallops (£9.50) which were served with a pea pureé, pancetta and a saffron vinaigrette. The dish looked lovely on the plate but it wasn’t the tastiest. I really love scallops but the dish hadn’t been seasoned particularly well, so all that was left to sing for the scallops was the buttery texture. The pea pureé was nice and fresh, but I wished the pancetta was crispier because it would have shaken up the textures a bit more.
I also realise writing this review that there didn’t seem to be any sign of a saffron vinaigrette, which was a shame as that would have added a bit of zing.
The bruschetta (£5.95) was better and really tasty. Chopped tomatoes mixed with garlic and basil sat atop homemade bread. It was garlicky which is a winner for me! The rocket salad was drizzled with a balsamic glaze which was a tasty touch.
For our main courses, Dan and I both went for seafood. Dan had the Frutti Di Mare (£13.50) which can be served as either a linguini pasta or risotto. He opted for the risotto which was packed with king prawns, calamari and mussels in a white wine sauce.
Overall, this was a tasty dish. The flavours of the risotto were fresh with a little hint of spice to it. However, the seafood was a little overcooked and the risotto didn’t have that signature stodginess and thickness.
I opted for the lobster linguini (£15.95) which featured half a lobster atop a pile of pasta with cherry tomatoes, garlic and onion in a white wine and tomato sauce.
Again, this was absolutely delicious and looked incredible. The pasta was cooked al dente and the sauce was rich and buttery which paired really well with the lobster. My lobster was also a little on the overcooked side, as were the accompanying mini prawns that were hiding in the linguine. A shame as the basic components of the dish had every potential!
As I said I have visited before, and the pizzas are great here. I have also had the lasagne which is really delicious – proper home comfort food.
It’s also worth saying how speedy the service was – Can service be too quick!? We sat down to our table at 7pm and by 7:30pm we had already been served our starters and main course. I think because there were some big groups in the restaurant, the kitchen wanted to get the orders out pronto, but it did mean we had to pace the rest of the evening.
If you’re with a big group or a young family though, I totally appreciate that quick service is a godsend!
Onto dessert, which was pretty damn delicious. Dan had the Banoffee Pie (£5.95) – a true classic! A biscuit base was topped with bananas, rich toffee and cream. This was really tasty.
I had the salted caramel chocolate brownie (£6.50) which was served with vanilla ice cream and drizzled in a sticky, salted caramel sauce. The brownie was packed with chocolatey goodness and was served hot, the best way in my opinion!
We finished off the meal with some Espresso Martinis. I had mine with a shot of Bailey’s in which I would one hundred per cent recommend. So smooth, creamy and delicious.
Our meal at Murati’s was good overall. It is still not my favourite Italian restaurant in Milton Keynes, but it is a great option for families or big groups. It has also got a much nicer atmosphere than some of the chain offerings in MK. The bar is a bonus too and serves a great range of cocktails. From a personal perspective, I do prefer the Wolverton restaurant, just because it’s a little quieter but still with a buzzing atmosphere.
If you’re after a good, crowd-pleasing, reasonably priced Italian restaurant, Murati’s is the place!
Murati’s has restaurants in Wolverton, Newport Pagnell and Olney. To view menus and book a table, visit www.muratispizzeria.com
Have you been to Murati’s?
If you like to eat, explore and want to discover new places to eat in Milton Keynes, come and connect with local food lovers in my Eat & Explore MK community group on Facebook!
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- Dinner at Fratelli Cucina Italiana, Woburn
- Best Independent Alternatives to Chain Restaurants in Milton Keynes
- Dinner at Moza Indian, Newport Pagnell