Yesterday was my bro’s birthday so we went to Trattoria Noona Lina, which is a small Italian restaurant started by his friend’s friend’s husband. Another story of an Italian man meeting a Singaporean woman, falling in love, move to Singapore and starting an Italian restaurant while bringing along his parents (check out Valentino’s in Bt. Timah).
In the menu, the chef Simone explained that he named his restaurant after his noona (grandmother) and with his parents as Front of House, you really feel like you’ve entered a family’s home. Helps when you hear the chef singing from the kitchen throughout the meal as well. He grew up on a coastal village in Tuscany and he dives, so you can tell that seafood is going to be a feature in the menu. The decor isn’t as cosy as Pasta Brava a few doors up the hill but let’s have the food do the talking.
Instead of your usual fare of a bread basket served with oil & vinegar or butter, they serve up bruschetta (please pronounce this as brus-ketta) of homemade bread with tomato and garlic drizzled with lots of olive oil. Still want balsamic vinegar? Dip your bread slightly with the vinegar reduction on the side.
|All set for the Christmas Cheer!
Another Christmas special we ordered was the Gnocchi with Duck Ragu ($35++). If you don’t already know, Gnocchi is potato flour dumplings and although this wasn’t a crowd fave with my family, I really liked the duck ragu. It wasn’t too heavy and was just a very robust, earthy dish.
Below is possibly one of THE BEST squid ink pasta ($26++) in Singapore. The sauce is rich and you can taste the actual squid ink in all its subtle glory while still allowing the crab to speak for itself.
Another Christmas special and this is a MUST TRY and I recommend sharing it. This is their Italian meatloaf prepared with truffled mushrooms and potatoes ($40++). Mama mia! This dish was a party in our mouths! If you have a large appetite and cream does nothing to you, then go ahead and enjoy this dish by yourself.
Seafood Stew ($35++) ordered by mum was chockful of clams, crab meat and 2 very large prawns. Again, rustic stews mean bread to soak up the goodness!
Take a minute to savour the photo below. That’s 2 scampi on top of ravioli stuffed with Maine lobster ($40++). Yes please!
We originally wanted to order their Christmas 4-course set meal at $95++ but due to language barrier, the mum thought that we wanted to share all the dishes so the prices are ala carte and large enough to share for 4 adults, if you order as many dishes as we did. Kinda worked out in the end since my bro didn’t order dessert since we have his cake as dessert:
The dark chocolate fudge cake is from Laurent Bernard and look at the decadent layers of fondant and fudge! Is there any sponge cake? I don’t think so. If you want to die from chocolate poisoning, this is the best way to go. Assured that you will NOT be hungry after eating a slice that is 2cm x 2cm. Yup…it’s that thick. Review to be done another day as I first ate Laurent Bernard’s souffles and cakes a long before smartphones came about. 😉
What I liked about Trattoria Noona Lina is that they were so game in taking the cake out for us and it was quite funny because they thought that it was my dad’s birthday although I kept saying that it’s my brother’s. They changed our plates after every other dish which I felt was so nice because you want to be able to taste each dish unadulterated by the sauce/ gravy of the previous dishes. This restaurant really reminded me of my trip in Tuscany and it specifically reminded me of one of the places we ate in Florence. It’s definitely worth a trip and is one of the better Italian restaurants in our tiny island!
Trattoria Noona Lina
4 Craig Road
Tel: +65 6222 0930
80 Mohamed Sultan Road
5B Portsdown Road