Tuscany is famous for its meat dishes, but additionally, from the hometown of Chef Simone, the fresh seafood plays a significant role in influencing their cuisine. Coming from Porto Santo Stefano, where fishing boats trawl up fresh Mediterranean catch, Chef Simone brings together meat and seafood in whipping up dishes inspired from his beloved grandmother’s kitchen – all homemade and handmade, including the pappardelle and lagsane sheets. Some of these recipes are so exclusive to his hometown that they can’t even be found in other parts of Tuscany. Such is the authenticity and individuality that Chef Simone hopes to bring out in his dishes, providing the accompaniment to his diners enjoying their gathering in typical Italian style.
I was lucky to be one of the first to sample Chef Simone’s bruschetta appetizer. A lovely blend of olive oil with lots of garlic that exuded a delightful aroma, it stirred out taste buds to excite us for the rest of the meal to come.
Carpaccio di Tonno e Spada ($18)
Baby Octopus and Porcini mushrooms in Prosecco reduction ($21)
To assist guests who are too overwhelmed by the menu and have trouble deciding on what to start with, there is the Antipasti Misti ($24/pax, min. two to order), which is a daily selection of three antipasti, to give you a little sampler of what the restaurant offers. We had the Carpaccio di Tonno e Spada – delicately thin slices of semi-raw cured tuna and swordfish with Italian herbs, drizzled with a deliciously refreshing lemon dressing. We highly recommend the Baby Octopus and Porcini mushrooms in Prosecco reduction! Bouncy and oozing with juices, the octopus impresses with its texture and flavour, and the porcini mushrooms adds a beautiful earthy flavour to the sauce that further enhances its taste. A favourite on the menu is the calamari, which comes piping hot, crisp with a pleasantly light batter.
For the mains, pasta is the restaurant’s forte, and our server had wonderful things to recommend for nearly every dish. We had the Pappardelle al Ragu Toscano ($22), which was made with a traditional Tuscan beef and tomato sauce and Spaghetti with fresh seasonal Italian fish roe, enhanced with clams and prawns ($29).
The latter has a mouth-watering fragrance, and seduced with the rich umami essence from the crustaceans. The spaghetti was well balanced, aglio olio-style without being too dry.
Tiramisu ($10) is a dessert that can most definitely be found in any Italian restaurant. It just depends on how different the restaurant does it, and at Nonna Lina, you can simply feel the familial warmth in this dish, lovingly prepared with its smooth milky whipped cream cheese atop a moist cake base, suffused with a deep coffee flavour.
The Italian lemon sorbet with alcohol ($9) was sharply sour, and very refreshing to cleanse our palate at the end of the meal.
With affable service staff who are always ready to warmly welcome their guests and provide the utmost level of comfort, Trattoria Nonna Lina lives up to its belief of bringing people together through comfort food.
*This is an article i wrote for reserveit.sg (: Try out their online reservation service, and you can check out more articles there!
Trattoria Nonna Lina
4 Craig Road
Tel.: +65 6222 0930