Opening a new restaurant is tough enough, but doing it in the middle of a lockdown takes the challenge to a whole new level. Sal Senan, Huss Rachid and his sister Amani succeeded, opening the My Mother’s Cousin (MMC) pizza and wing parlor in the midst of Sydney’s second wave in 2021.
The trio created a modern take on an old-fashioned Italian restaurant, with a dark brown and forest green palette. There are vinyl-covered cabin seats, checkered floor tiles, art deco-style pendant lights, a rounded retro bar, and a photo gallery wall of favorite childhood celebrities and family snaps from the owners.
About seven pizzas are on the menu, and some rotate according to seasonal products. Main courses include two 15-inch pies: cheese (fior di latte, pomodoro, fresh basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano) and “OG Roni” pepperoni. A handful of 13-inch pizzas can include a cottage cheese pie or an Italian sausage number.
According to the owners, the secret to a good New York-style pie isn’t just about fermenting the dough for 48 hours, creating a super thin and crispy base, or using high-quality ingredients. It’s about bringing their own touch to things. And pineapple is a garnish that will never appear on any MMC pizza – the wish was even immortalized in the restaurant’s slogan: “Proudly Pineapple Free Since 1983”.
Chicken wings are the other highlight of the menu. They come in half a dozen or a dozen, and you can choose from crispy wings with gravy; Lime and chilli “dry”; or “wet” with a homemade hot sauce or sticky honey with pecorino shavings.
To drink there is Heaps Normal alcohol-free beer, fresh lemonade and homemade shakes. And for dessert, soft serve ice cream with homemade caramel sauce and the MMC version of McDonald’s apple pie.