La Nonna @ Namly

It’s been awhile since we’ve stepped into la nonna but the design has not changed much. It’s still the friendly, laid back italian restaurant that we always knew.

The wonderful thing about this place is that the team here constantly evolves their menu. The visitors here live nearby and as such come frequently whenever they want to experience ‘la dolce vita’ (the sweet life).

I really really adore the wood fired oven they have here.

While the parmesan bread biscuits came cold (left out too long in the open), the buns were warm after being heated up in the wood fired oven.

The wood fired pizzas here are a must-try! Usually we have the signature la nonna pizza, which features a beautiful sunny side up in the centre and sticks of asparagus on each slice. But today, we opted for something traditionally italian. Cappricio has a lovely tomato and cheese base, topped off with blobs of buffalo mozarella. Yums (:

For my mains, I picked the sea bass. I think I prefer sea bass to cod fish! The meat is firm, tender, juicy and sweet to the last bite. The flaky skin was salted to the right extent giving the extra crunch factor as I slowly savoured chunks of fish. Love the accompanying tomato base and rosemary baby potatoes!

Do note that the kitchen here is very flexible about how you want your pasta to be done. In the past, the menu had options whereby you could pick how you want your pasta to be done or choose traditional pasta dishes that are not on the menu (carbonara or bolognese).

Although it is no longer explicitly stated, you can still inform the waitstaff how you want your pastas to be done 😀 Mum had her seafood pasta done Aglio Oilo as usual.

The squid ink linguini with scallops looked slightly different. When I had it for lunch previously, there were shards of chilli that really upped the spice factor.

Overall, their pasta was well executed albeit not memorable. The ingredients could have been far more generous in my opinion. While my parents did not complain about their mains, they were obviously very jealous of mine 😛

Alas, our usual banana crepe and lemon tart were off the menu. I was initially debating on the apple tart with chocolate gelato/ white chocolate mousse with berry coulis. But the waiter highly recommended the chocolate tart (he always recommends it whenever we come). I’ve always been skeptical about having a chocolate tart for dessert. I mean, how nice can a tart filled with chocolate ganache taste?

But how wrong I was! The filling was not just chocolate ganache but molten chocolate ganache. Think molten chocolate lava cake within a tart casing. The molten chocolate within was very hot and yes, the combination with the crunchy tart shell was excellent. Top it off with a small scoop of vanilla gelato and it was perfect 😀 For hardcore vanilla fans, this gelato does not have vanilla specks but it does exhibit a strong vanilla scent which is really more evident than those with vanilla specks (they probably use high quality vanilla essence).

This is mum’s favourite dessert, tiramisu. They changed the mascarpone: sponge ratio. There used to be a huge layer of mascarpone and a thin layer of espresso soaked sponge. Now the layers are more even which is good news for me 😀 The mascarpone layer was really smooth and not too creamy.

There are actually two methods of making this layer, one by adding cream to the mascarpone and the other by adding egg whites. Usually people use the addition of cream as it retains it’s shape more easily. Beating egg whites and folding the mascarpone in creates a mixture that collapses easily so it’s less used. I hate cream so I usually prefer using the second method when I bake. Not sure which method they use here though.

This tiramisu had no alcohol added ( which is great for a person like me who does not take alcohol). However, I still prefer the traditional espresso soaked ladyfingers vis-a-vis the espresso soaked sponge layers used here.

The total bill was about $143 for 3 pax. As you can see, we really ordered a lot of stuff so it’s quite an affordable place for dinner! Service here is unfrenzied and at times a little slip shod. This is especially so when there are more people. However, the wait staff are very friendly and take time to chat with you about the food served. Being impatient Singaporeans, my family usually gets annoyed at some points of the meal but after getting the food, we are so pleased with it that we always come back for more.

If you swing by on weekday afternoons, all ala carte menu items are at half-price and are still served in reasonable portions! They also have a set lunch menu ( but the portions in there are halved). I find having the ala carte menu for lunch more worth it 😛

This restaurant really epitomizes the italian phrase ‘la dolce vita’. If you are in a rush, you shoud not consider this restaurant at all. But if you are looking for a place with unpretentious italian food and a relaxed atmosphere, la nonna is the place for you (: