Casa Manini, Homely Italian Cuisine

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The Serangoon Gardens district has been gentrifying over the past decade, with many restaurants and cafes sprouting across the “village”.  The latest opening is Casa Manini, bringing a slice of la dolce vita to the once staid residential enclave.

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This charming restorante is founded by self-taught chef Fulvio Manini, a former executive at luxury brand Bulgari, with a lending hand from his multi-tasking wife Fiona who’s a marcom executive at the same company, helping out after office hours and over weekends. Fulvio shared that he fell in love with cooking from a young age, having been brought up in a large family in the medieval town of Bergamo in the Lombardy region of northern-Italy where food is the centrepiece of family life. Hung on the wall of the restaurant is a black-and-white photo of his family 4-storey house, built in 1915 by his architect grandfather.

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You can feel the labour of love that has gone into the making of this restaurant – the cosy and cheery space is tastefully decorated, showcasing bric-a-bac from the owners’ home. You get little touches like a card with your reservation name placed in a little pot of plant, and a decorative red Vespa scooter that fronts the restaurant. Indeed it does make you feel like you are dining at Manini’s home, in line with the Italian meaning of Casa Manini.

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The food is rightfully authentic.  One of my litmus test is the classic Margherita Pizza; it didn’t disappoint with its crisp yet doughy crust topped with molten cheese and tomato sauce, perfect with the generous and very drinkable Sangiovese house-pour.

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One of our favourite Italian dishes is Vongole Spaghetti; the rendition here is not bad with the clams quite fresh. The Seafood Risotto with Tomato Sauce was a firm hit with our table, addictive with its light yet flavoursome sauce, embedded with pieces of tasty calamari imported from Italy.

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From the mains, the grass-fed Angus Beef Ribeye was done a perfect medium rare – delectable with its nicely charred meat imbued with a smoky flavour. Excellent value at S$29 for 200g.

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We were comped a refreshing and well-chilled dessert of Lemon Sorbet, a delightful zesty palate cleanser.

We didn’t get round to trying them but Chef Manini claims the piece de resistance at Casa MANINI is the classic beef and pork Lasagne.

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Casa Manini is a wonderful addition to the already vibrant dining scene in the village. With its charming decor, warm hospitality and neighbourhood-friendly prices, it should be a mainstay for discerning diners looking for affordable authentic Italian food. Buon appetito!

Casa Manini
14B Kensington Park Road
Singapore 557265
Phone: +65 62811286

 


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