Casa Manini is a charming, family-run Italian restaurant located at the end of a quaint shophouse stretch just down the road from the famous Chomp Chomp hawker center. We had passed by the place a few times and decided to finally give it a try for Sunday dinner.
Beautifully Decorated Interior
The first thing that stands out about Casa Manini is the beautiful decor. The counter and walls are decked out with whimsical trinkets, art and greenery which gives the place a fairytale kind of vibe.
I loved how cosy this setting is! It also brings across a homey and relaxed feel. This is absolutely a perfect place to bring a first date to.
All of the appetisers were beautifully done and we couldn’t get enough of them.
1. Burrata Parma Pomodori ($30)
Creamy burrata and savoury parma ham is just the best way to start any Italian meal. The strength of this dish is really just the freshness of ingredients and minimal seasoning to let the quality of the cheese & ham come through.
2. Fried Calamari and Prawns ($18)
We can’t resist fried starter as well and this calamari & prawn combo was a clincher. The batter was crisp & crunchy and the seafood itself was fresh without any chewiness. It also comes with tartar sauce and a lemon slice, complete with cool squeezer gadget thing so you don’t get lemon all over your hands.
3. Garlic Flat Bread ($7 for 4 slices)
Finally, we had a half-portion of Garlic Flat Bread (4 slices). Casa Manini’s version is almost pizza-like, with heavenly slices of toasted garlic and olive oil on top. This might now be one of my favourite versions of garlic bread.
Delicious, Home-Cooked Mains
Casa Manini has a rich selection pastas, pizzas and main courses to choose from. These were our favorites.
1. Rigatoni di Manzo ($23)
This dish consisted of perfectly al dente rigatoni pasta with slow-braised wagyu beef sauce. It is like a levelled-up version of bolognese that you never knew you needed. We mopped up every last bit of that heavenly sauce.
2. Spaghetti Carbonara ($23)
Casa Manini does a 100% authentic carbonara, with only egg yolk, parmesan and guanciale (like bacon but better). Hands-down the best part of would be the guanciale which is shaved thin and fried until almost crispy. The creamy sauce was also addictive without being overpowering.
3. Cotoletta di Maiale ($21)
The cotoletta di maiale is a sous-vide pork chop coated with mustard sauce and served with fries. This was really juicy and not tough at all. The mustard sauce balanced out the pork to ensure the dish didn’t feel too heavy.
Don’t Forget Dessert!
No meal is complete without dessert and we just couldn’t miss out on trying the following.
1. Affogato with Vanilla Ice Cream ($7)
Casa Manini’s Affogato consists of a shot of Illy espresso over a scoop of your favourite gelato (vanilla for me). The gelato is perfectly creamy and blends well with the espresso towards the end. I find myself enjoying this much more as I get older and more caffeine-dependent.
2. Tiramisu ($10)
Tiramisu is my ultimate must-order dessert at an Italian place. Unfortunately Casa Manini’s tiramisu was a bit too heavy in texture and too sweet for my liking. Might just be personal preference though!
3. Sorbetto Al Limone ($12)
This really brings me back to lemon-rich Amalfi Coast! This is one for those who love sour, tangy things as it is literally a frozen lemon filled with a sorbet / ice-cream mix. Not my cup of tea but my dining companion loved it.
It is a cool looking thing though and you’d be hard pressed to find this anywhere else in Singapore.
Overall, we really enjoyed our experience at Casa Manini. The authentic food (see full menu here) and one-of-a-kind ambience is well worth the price. It definitely holds its own against the tough competition in Serangoon Gardens! We can’t wait to be back to try more things.
Spent: $50 per person (starter, main, dessert)
Address: 14B Kensington Park Rd, Singapore 557265
Opening Hours: 12-2pm, 6-9pm (closed on Mon & Tue)