Today on the Dining Diaries,
We discover passion of a sort we haven’t seen before,
Chef Khalil romances us with his food and personality and
We experience such an abundance of flavours that I’m already planning my next few visits…
Diners today we were at Nonna and I, a cute little restaurant just off the Parade in Margaret St, Norwood.
Hubby and I had been looking at a few different places to go to and as always, I like to read a few reviews before I go, just to see what other people think. In my quick searching I couldn’t find one bad thing written about Nonna and I.
I almost walked past the entrance when we got there. It was mid afternoon on a Saturday and I called to see if they were still serving lunch and was told yes they were and to please come on down.
What I didn’t know at the time is that Chef Khalil himself answered the phone and also was the person who greeted us at the door.
He settled us in, answered a few questions I had about the restaurant then left us to look over the menu.
As I read down the list I said “ooo I’m going to have that” then something else would catch my eye and I’d exclaim “No, I’m going to have that!” and then something else would come up and I’d change my mind again. There are so many enticing selections on the menu.
The catchphrase of Nonna’s is “Come hungry, Leave happy” and in fact, Chef Khalil said these words to us. He is so passionate about his food and restaurant that it really is infectious!
We started with some Bruschetta to share.
What I loved most about this dish was the crispiness of the bread. It was absolutely perfect!! I don’t want my Bruschetta to be any other way! The lovely taste of tomato and basil was just what I wanted. I could have had a touch more olive oil on there but it was still a really nice start to the meal and I’m sure that if I’d asked Chef Khalil for more olive oil he would have come and drizzled it on in an instant!
His aim is to make sure you have the perfect dining experience.
For main, hubby chose one of the specials. Beef Cheeks. He’d never had this before but we know when it’s cooked well, there is nothing better than a good Beef Cheek.
Just looking at that picture makes me sad I’m not still eating it. I don’t even know what to say, I’m stunned by flavour into silence. It blew our expectations. The wine jus was just divine and I told hubby he HAD to mop it up with the bread that had been brought to our table.
I ended up choosing “Veal alla Nonna” Topped with eggplant, mozzarella & roasted pepper in light neapolitana sauce.
Again this dish impressed me immensely. Chef Khalil is not shy with portion sizing.
There was a good amount of cheese and eggplant over this dish and it was just perfect. The veal was tender and tasty and topped with my favourite ingredients that were fresh and perfectly seasoned. I just don’t know how he could have made this any better.
After he brought out our mains he checked to see if there anything he could do to make it better for us.. more salt? pepper? Anything we didn’t like? He really wants his customers to enjoy his food.
By the time we were leaving we were the only ones in the restaurant and we started up a conversation with Chef Khalil that lasted a good half hour. This is beside the fact that he told us he’s the “quiet” one of the family. He definitely is no wallflower!
But we loved talking to him and finding out about his life and how he has come to be where he is today. You’ll find some of his story on the Nonna and I website.
I cannot recommend this place highly enough and am very eager to get back there again soon!
Have you been to Nonna and I?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!
Till next we chow…