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!
I have read some bad reviews on this web site but have always heard good reports from people I know so I have wanted to try this place out for a while.
The restaurant had a lovely look, very simple but pleasant. Sitting outside at night was very nice. We were greeted with a lovely warm bread basket which was delicous with lots of olive oil and balsamic, YUM! The wine, which was recommended by staff was great and everyone was more than happy with their food.
For appetizers we shared Pollo & Formaggio Bruschetta and N had the Insalata Caprese. Pollo bruschetta was quite nice, formaiagoo was ok and N wasn't quite happy with the mozzarella in his dish (although I think it was similar to most mozzarella i try in Singapore).
Everyone loved their mains and devoured them quickly! The cod got good reports, the lamb shanks looked and tasted devine (and everyone was jealous of P for ordering them) and N enjoyed the scallops wrapped in proscuitto (although the portion was a bit small). My risotto was lovely but a little over-seasoned. The portion was also a bit to large for my liking (but others would definitely disagree).
Service was quite good, with ice water and wine being refilled very frequently. Only complaint was our waitress told us the specials when we arrived but didn't repeat them when the rest of our table arrived.
Came here instead of Courdoroy and Finch. What a mistake. First thing, the ambience is quite nice but the aircon can do with a little colder air. Kinda hot esp if you are dressed in office wear. Next thing, the waiter has a fake accent. I really do not like people with accents esp if they are not ang moh.
Anyway we ordered :
1) Pork ribs salted and grilled with rosemary. This one is good. 6 pieces of pork ribs with some potatoes and salad at S$24.
2) Crap salad with tuna, long beans, potatoe and greens. I know it does not sound good even but i ordered it as the place does not have any green salad..... Waiter recommended but tastes like crap. Too sour vinegerette.
3) Toast with goat cheese and truffles on top. This one is quite ok but they are really stingy with the cheese, it is soo thin. Take the goat cheese salad at Galbiati anytime!
4) Coffee. This one ok but no big deal. Some standard bean.
Cost S$55 for 2 pax. Quite ok for lunch but the food no good leh....
After reading the somewhat strident reviews of La Nonna on HGW, I was expecting the worst.
Fortunately, the restaurant wasn't nearly as bad. The service wasn't perfect; they forgot one of our orders, and the waiter mysteriously gave a menu to my husband when I was the one who had asked for them. (hmmph.) But on the other hand, they were tolerant of the hyperactive kids in our group (with one waiter even helping to catch a fugitive toddler) and generally keeping our water glasses filled, even though we didn't order much beyond pastas and pizza.
I took the advice from previous postings and ordered the squid ink pizza and risotto, which were delicious. My only beef is that I felt very thirsty after the meal (my usual reaction to excessive MSG), although one could charitably theorise that the MSG came from the tomatoes used to flavour the risotto.
In all, La Nonna's a place that I'd be happy to go back to if I were with friends who wanted to eat in the Bukit Timah area and wanted a place with relatively easy-to-find parking (i.e., forget Corduroy and Finch, Borgo, Bistro 793 etc). But personally, I'd probably want to check out the other Bukit Timah places before coming back here.
I was reading through the rest of the reviews, and I really don't think the place is as bad as it has been made out to be.
I was there about 2 weeks ago and have been meaning to go back. In fact as I got out of the restaurant, I was remarking to my bf that next time, we should go to Pasta Brava for pasta and La Nonna for pizza. And I am a serious fan of Italian food.
Ambience - Driving through Namly to find the place, we were like "sure or not? How come got restaurant amongst the bungalows and gurkha guards outside the ministers' houses??". I like the decor, we got this cosy little corner next to the window. My only grouse is that they really shouldn't play such loud music outside the restaurant cos it's not being nice to the surrounding residential houses.
Food - We shared a pizza and a main. I really liked the bread basket they gave, esp its variety and taste. It's a great way to start a meal! The pizza was well done, I thought the crust and base was similar to how they do it in Naples (more chewy and slightly thicker), which is quite rare in Singapore. I love Nepolitan pizzas! We ordered a strange fish main dish and it was strange yet yummy. Never seen it on an Italian menu before.
Service - A bit raw, but definitely not cold or non desirous of giving service.
All in all, a fairly good experience. Come on lah, you don't go to an Italian place to eat only pork ribs and a deep fried seafood plater. It's like going to pizza hut and eating only pasta.
"It is Grandmother in Italian", the cute manager told me.
"Really? and what does your name mean?", i said, twirling my hair...
he giggled, humbled by the attention I was giving him and said, "it means allergic to cheeky girls". *laughter all around* "more wine for you ladies?"
A little bird on my shoulder told me about the manager. Years ago, he was doing a kickass job in an established hotel before he was talent-spotted by the restaurant boss, and switched over with a pay raise and alarming speed.
I just love looking at people and trying to guess things about them. There was the manager, who was most charming, and clearly cut out for the job.
There was an Italian chef, (see below for list of scrumptious must-orders)also totally cut out for the job. We stopped him as he was walking by our table and asked him for his name, (pardon 5 tipsy ladies) and unlike most italian stallions who would be quick to tell you their name and their hotel room number, this one was bashful! we tried to hook him up with one of our mates.
And there was a slightly over-enthusiastic waiter - just out in the sun earning his plane ticket to an english premier league match. We asked him for "basil" and he cocked his head to one side, clearly his first time hearing the word, but still trying to maintain a thinking image - we forgive him for that -because the manager swings by and rescues him.
Anywho, back to the main plot. The ambience of this place is lovely... we spent half an hour talking about the theme of the restaurant and how we could add to it. S wanted to add a birdcage, J wanted to add Italian newspapers, Bix wanted to add a bookshelf, and I wanted to add wine to my dessert. We were there from 12 - 3 (way past their closing time and they didn't chase us away. Also because across us was another table of 5 gorgeous women, one of whom we recognise as a famous radio deejay.) The ambience tells us that this place is a hit with the ladies, the location tells us that lunching/dining here is solely limited by the folks who drive. and the food tells us, it's gonna be a hit with the men.
Being the adventurous one, my girlfriend insisted on ordering the Squid Ink PIZZA. It's the first time i've heard of squid ink Pizza. and the manager tells us he thinks they're the first to introduce it too. I LOVE squid ink, except on a first date. with the girls, i say bring it on. and mm mmm mmmmmm.... it friggin delicious! and the other thing (that made us chat with the chef) was the Risotto! try it. you won't regret it. Pork ribs - yum. Lemon tart - divine.
skip the Carbonara, Puttanesca, and Tiramisu.
Go for the rest. (ok, maybe not the poly-student waiter)