We had a thoroughly enjoyable, and surprisingly reasonable, meal at &Sons at China Square Central. Owned by Il Lido’s Beppe de Vito, it serves small plates of Italian food, which as everyone knows is right up our alley. Their portion sizes are perfect for sampling a fairly wide selection of their menu – we shared 6 dishes (2 of them were pastas) and were satisfyingly full without being stuffed.
Grilled Smoked Caciocavallo with avocado
Caciocavallo is a smoked, fairly firm cheese – a bit like haloumi. It was pan-fried so it had a nice crisp browned crust, and was served with a simple salad and chopped avocadoes.
Spaghetti sea urchin carbonara
Excellent; the sauce was briny, savoury and had perfect consistency, just coating the al dente spaghetti. If this is any indication, then their lunch-only bucantini carbonara with guanciale must be stellar.
Tagliolini with crab and nduja
Also good, but not as addictive as the carbonara. Nduja is a spicy pork sausage tasting similar to chorizo, so the sauce was basically a creamy crabmeat tomato sauce with a hint of smoked paprika. The interesting snow on top of the dish was a malt extract, which doesn’t taste like much but adds a richness to the sauce.
Lamb tenderloins with cannellini beans
The tenderloins were cooked a perfect medium rare, but I found them a little too aggressively spiced. The cannellini beans, on the other hand, were perfectly seasoned.
Crab and sundried tomato crostone
This was A’s pick, and while I didn't dislike it, it definitely wasn’t something I’d personally order. The bread for the crostone was good, but otherwise I found the crab topping fairly ordinary and predictable.
Calamari with nduja
This was amazing. The calamari will simply grilled so it was charred and smokey but still succulent and tender. The nduja was in the form of a dip, which wasn’t even really necessary because the calamari was so sweet and flavourful on its own.
The dishes we ordered ranged from $9 to $19, which I thought was very good value given the quality and quantity. I imagine that it can get pretty crowded on weeknights after work, but it’s a nice, calm vibe on Saturday night and a new go-to for us.
Great value. The pastas and calamari are definitely worth ordering. And the service is excellent.
20 Cross Street
#01-19 China Square Central
Lunch: Mon to Fri, 12 noon to 2.30 pm
Dinner: Mon to Sat, 6.30 pm – 10.30 pmClosed Sundays