Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Restaurant review: La Nonna, Singapore

La Nonna at Holland Village 




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Holland Village is one of my favorite haunts in Singapore. It is a small busy enclave in Buona Vista in Singapore which happens to be near my workplace. A popular venue for younger Singaporeans and expatriates, it is dominated by and often visited solely for its eateries and watering holes, along with some specialist shops selling non-traditional wares.

Whenever me and my colleagues have time to go out for a leisurely lunch, we invariably end up going to some restaurant at Holland Village. A few weeks ago, me and a bunch of colleagues decided to treat a fellow colleague for a farewell lunch as he was leaving to Switzerland to pursue his higher education.
   
We picked La Nonna, an Italian restaurant as the venue since we had heard that it had a good lunchtime promotion. La Nonna means 'the grandmother' in Italian so we were looking forward to some hearty Italian comfort food. We made the mistake of not making a reservation so by the time we reached there at 1pm, the restaurant was full and there were even people waiting ahead of us. One of the staff told us that the waiting time was about 15 to 20 mins, so we decided to wait while going through the menu. I liked their menu although it is limited. It had an interesting selection of antipasti, pastas, pizzas, other Italian main courses and desserts. There was a decent selection of vegetarian dishes too. We discovered that it was the last day to order the 3 course set lunch menu (priced at 22$ per pax) and since it looked really good, we all decided to go with that. We finally got a table but were disappointed to have been told that the 3 course set meal was sold out! It was only about 1:30 pm in the afternoon. They were offering another promotion for 1-for-1 any main course, pasta or pizza so we settled for that.

The exterior

The menu

The set lunch (which we didn't get!)

We were given a complimentary basket of ciabatta bread rolls and some cracker like flat bread sticks which was served with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. The rolls were warm and soft but I found the bread sticks to be a bit salty. Still, it was a nice start to the meal that followed.

For dipping the bread rolls in

The Ciabatta bread rolls

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Gnocchi
I ordered the gnocchi in four cheese sauce with arugula. It was quite a large portion and it looked and tasted great. The peppery arugula was a nice contrast to the creaminess of the sauce. It was quite filling though and by the time I was done with it, I was stuffed.

Gnocchi in a four cheese sause with rucola





Pizza
Two of my friends ordered the Proscuitto E Rucola and the Vegetariana pizzas which they liked very much. The pizzas have a thin crispy crust and lovely colorful toppings. 

Proscuitto E Rucola

Vegetariana




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Capellini pasta
Another friend ordered the Capellini pasta with sautéed asparagus and sun dried tomatoes which had a nice blend of heat from the chillies, warmth of garlic and the salty tartness of the sun dried tomatoes. 

Capellini pasta




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Spinach Fettuchini
Two others ordered the Homemade spinach fettuchini with prawns and green zucchini in saffron cream sauce. The minute these colorful dishes hit the table, there was a lovely aroma of saffron wafting through the air and being a cream based pasta, I could see that it was quite filling as well. 

Spinach fettuchini






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I really wanted to try the pannacotta or the tiramisu but we were so full by the end of our meal that we didn't have space for dessert. Although ordering these dishes a la carte would have worked out much more expensive compared to the 3 course set lunch that included pannacotta as the dessert.

The service was good (the waiters took our orders immediately, refilled our glasses periodically and were generally friendly) but I felt that the restaurant was understaffed. We were left waiting outside for more than 20 mins in the hot sun for a table while the harried waiters were scurrying about tending tables so I would advise you to make a reservation. Apart from that, the ambience is nice and the food is good. The price is typically mid-range and if you go during the lunchtime promotion, it would cost about 12-25 S$ per person. 

La Nonna revisited

As I mentioned before, I find myself in Holland Village very frequently! I visited at La Nonna again during the second week of May 2013 with a bunch of my ex-colleagues. We picked a thursday afternoon and planned to reach early to avoid having to make a reservation and making it in time for the lunch buffet promotion (which we missed last time). We were there at 12 pm on the dot but unfortunately the restaurant was as crowded as it had been the first time and since we didn't have a reservation (dammit!), we had to sit outside in the sweltering heat. But as we got carried away with our non-stop girly banter, we learned to take no notice of it!

The lunch buffet was available and the selection of appetizers, main courses and dessert were different from last time (they change it weekly I guess) but me and my friends didn't see anything in particular that caught our fancy. We decided to go à la carte for the 1-for-1 Pasta/Pizza/Main Course promotion.

I thought I'd update this post with a few more pictures :)

La Nonna
Their signature pizza with tomato, mozzarella, parmesan, asparagus, egg and black truffle. As soon as this pizza landed on our table, everyone turned to admire it! I had a bite out of it and it was really delicious. I love anything with egg in it and the egg in this pizza gave it a nice creamy texture and interesting flavor.

La Nonna



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Risotto
I had the vegetarian risotto. Although it didn't look very appetizing, it was creamy and had a nice flavor from the porcini mushrooms. I'm assuming it had a hint of truffle oil because sometimes I find the taste of truffle oil slightly off-putting. Not the best risotto I've had because of the slightly stodgy quality but still palatable.

Risotto


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Coccode
This pizza had tomato, mozzarella, braised chicken sausage and mushrooms. My friend who ordered it was quite happy with it and finished the whole thing.

Coccode


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Vegetariana
The last time we were at La Nonna, one of my friends had ordered this pizza. This time round also this pizza was one of the items on order. The Vegetariana has tomato, bell pepper, zucchini, asparagus, artichoke and mushrooms. When I caught the first glimpse of it I thought it looked slightly different from last time. It seemed much more "endowed" (for lack of a better word!) this time! So much so that the friend who ordered it wasn't able to finish it and the plate was littered with left-over toppings.

Vegetariana


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The service was more attentive and thus better than last time. We had a pleasant waitress who was quick to offer helpful suggestions, periodically filled our glasses with water and brought our orders and bill promptly. Our bill this time came around to about 13$ per head which in my opinion is quite reasonable.

I have had a really good time both times I've been at this restaurant and this is a place I would definitely go back to again.

I would give this restaurant 3 out of 5 stars


La Nonna @ Holland Village
26/26B Lorong Mambong
Singapore 227685

Phone: 64681982
Fax: 64682616
E-mail: info@lanonna.sg

Opening hours:
12pm to 2:30pm; 6:30pm to 10:30pm


     Note: This is not a sponsored review. The comments and opinions in this post are solely my own.


1 comment:

  1. I just wanted to take a minute to tell you that you have a great site! Keep up the good work.


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