My most recent trip to La Nonna at Holland Village left me very impressed with both the service and the food. The waiters were extremely hospitable and quick to attend to us throughout our meals. We had 2 pizzas and 2 pastas to share among the 4 of us and it was nothing short of satisfactory meal. All the dishes were exquisite and my friends and I cannot wait to be back for more!
We were at La Nonna last night to celebrate a friend's birthday. The venue was suggested by the birthday girl so we decided to give it a try. When it was time to order, the waiter (dressed in a long sleeve white shirt and jeans) came over to take our orders.
We asked if there was any special for the appetisers and the waiter replied "pork sausage and scallop", to which we asked if it was 2 separate dishes or a dish on it own. He then told us its separate. So we asked how was the scallop done, and he replied "grilled". And we asked what does it come with, and he replied "asparagus la. its an appetiser you know". We were shocked at his rude attitude but decided to dismiss it. We proceeded to order the scallop with asparagus, and for the main course, we ordered the Cocode pizza (chicken sausage with fresh shitake mushrooms), Rib eye steak and Linguine with crab and tomato basil sauce.
When the appetiser arrived, we realised its seared scallop, not grilled, but anyhow, it was delicious. The main courses were all great, the pizza was thin crust with generous amount of toppings, and the linguine also had a generous serving of crab meat. The rib eye steak was ok, nothing special in particular.
Halfway through our meal, the same waiter came over to top up our ice water. And to our horror, one of our water was filled to the brim. so much so that if we were to pick up the glass, it would definitely have spilt all over the table. At this point in time we were getting bit frustrated at his lack of service. When the same waiter came over to clear our plates, we asked if he could kindly get us a new glass of water as this glass was too full, he mumbled "the ice must have melted", and after which he picked up the glass, and proceeded to pour out some of the water onto one of the plate he was holding and put the glass of water back on the table and said "now its not too full". We were lost for words... and what turned out to be a nice cosy birthday dinner was completely ruined by his bad service or lack of.
We wanted to try the tiramisu for desert but the bad service turned us off and we asked for the bill. The manager came over to pass us the bill and we explained the whole situation to him. He then apologised on behalf of the waiter. Even though the food was great, I don't think we would want to patronise the restaurant for fear of being horrified again.
I love Italian food, much to my own demise, pasta just goes straight to the stomach... as I guess where all food does, but takes a lot more effort to get rid of again. However, damn it all, I throw caution to the wind, and indulge my passion.
So with family in tow, we went down to try something familiar, somewhere different, La Nonna.
The restaurant itself is down a very non-assuming side street, an area I have never been before, with limited parking, so expect some challenges in parking near the restaurant. The interior itself is designed just as you would expect an Italian restaurant to be, subtle lighting, old bottles of wine, and chalkboards with specials.
We were seated towards the end of the restaurant, obviously seeing us with Oscar, who still likes the sound of his own voice, though we know not what he says, something peoplem say about me as well. The seating situation didnt bother us too much anyway.
The menu was pretty straight foward, not overloaded with choice, but seemed to focus on good quality dishes.
We started with some appertizers to share, a plate of calamari and a plate of beef carpaccio. The calamari was nice, lighlty battered and had a nice tomatoe dipping sauce with it. It also had some mayonaise on the side, which seemed a little bit lazy, it might have been nicer with some tartare sauce instead. The beef carpaccio presented very well with nice red beef, olives, shavings of parmesan cheese and rucola. The dish came off a little disappointing, in that it seemed that the beef may have been placed in a hot dish, and as such slightly cooked around the edges, resulting in slices of beef sticking to the plate. Or as my wife suggests, may have been on the plate a little too long and dried up around the edges.
We then proceeded on to the mains, in which I indulged in some gnocchi. I love, really love gnocchi. So my choice was obvious, and it paid off, the result was great, the gnocchi was cooked great with that right level of dough-iness. However the sauce did come off as a bit oily, as in between the sauce there were pools of golden liquid. Still I enjoyed what was offered. Celeste (my sister-in-law) had the veal, which I didnt get a chance to try, but was assured it was very good. My wife and mother-in-law had the lasagne, which was ok, nothing special, but also came off a little oily.
So finally we got to deserts. I indulged in the Lemon tart, and yes... this was the highlight of the evening! The tart was cooked fantastically, the pastry soft and crumbly, yet not so much that you had a mess on your plate, and the tart filling absolutely delicious. If there was one thing that would keep me coming back, it would be this dish... very very tasty.
I need to say something about the service, before the end of the review. The staff at La Nonna, were really nice, they are pleasant and fairly attentive. The interacted with the family well, and with Oscar, keeping him entertained. A restaurant can have the best food in the world, but if the service is bad, or not engaging, then it can all come down. La Nonna ensured that not only was the food good, but the service was great.
All in all, La Nonna, is a good restaurant, not great, but good for a very casual meal of Italian with great service, for the rest of the family. If someone asked for a recommendation, I would certainly say its worth the visit, I didnt get to try the pizza, which I have since understood is the highlight.
Thanks Team La Nonna for a good night out!
We came here to takeaway food. One Nera pizza, which I have to say, is pretty unique. Instead of a typical tomato base, squid ink was used, and the toppings include cherry tomatoes, fish, mozarella, prawns, scallop and calamari. The slices I ate only had fish and prawn though. The toppings are waaaay too little, about two pieces of seafood on each slice. Overall, the crust was nice, but the cheese and squid ink was much too salty. The calamari we ordered wasn't such a big portion, and it came with a nice tomato based sauce. The really annoying thing was that the sauce was cold. Like literally just came out of a refrigerator cold. Clashed terribly with the warm calamari. The food here is acceptable, nothing so fantastic in my opinion. The staff were really snobby, which pissed me off a little, plus the atmosphere was cold. I will come back here, mostly because of the 50% of the bill during lunch promotion, but other than that, nothing really attracts me.
thin crust, just the right amount of cheese (not cloyingly sinful), tasteful and generous ingredients. all stars are the parma ham, ham and pineapple, magaritha pizza (ask to add truffle sauce). DELICIOUS, especially during weekday lunches(:
however, be prepared to wait and service crew often seemed hustled as the restaurant seems under staffed.
I was introduced to this small cosy restaurant tuck in the corner of the bukit timah area by a friend. I have to say that its location is really not the most convenient (esp. for those who don’t drive) and it was a little tricky to hunt it down. However, by the end of the meal, I was really happy that I found this place. We had 4 different main courses to share after asking for top up of the breads (we topped up TWICE!) that was being served as an appetizer. The breads were freshly made, crisp on the outside and warm on the inside. Accompanied by olive oil and vinegar, it was simple delicious!
Of the 4 secondis (main courses) that we had, most notable was the ossobuco and the bistecca. The meats were tender, fragrant and juicy all at the same time… hhhmmm…
After the very full meal, we were still adamant and pressed on for desserts. The 4 of us shared a Bianca and the Cioccolata. The latter was great – just as I’ve expected of a good chocolate lava cake. The Bianca however was a little disappointing, and did not stand up to impress. It was a little too sourish for my liking and the mousse was too bland.
One thing to note is the very personable service staff. They were extremely warm and friendly. We got carried away catching up with small talk that we were the last table to leave the restaurant. Yet, by the time all cleaning for the day was done and the staff was ready to go home, no one came by to chase us away! As we didn’t want to be blacklisted, we took the initiative and left – but of course, not without thanking them for their hospitality. =)