You may not have heard of him yet, but Adelaide has our very own celebrity chef in the making! Khalil Rashwan, head chef of quaint little Italian restaurant, Nonna and I, is someone you’re sure to be hearing about more and more as food lovers flock to his eastern suburbs eatery for good food and of course to meet the charismatic man himself.
Tucked away from the restaurant dotted Parade on a quiet Margaret Street, Nonna and I’s modest entrance reveals long white tables and walls of painted rolling hills, projecting a real intimate ‘family dinner’ feel. Chances are you’ll even be greeted with Khalil’s big infectious smile as you walk through the door, as it’s not everywhere you’ll find a restaurant with a chef that exudes the passion of Khalil Rashwan.
The Egyptian-born chef trained in Switzerland, worked in New York’s ‘Little Italy’ and even had his own reality cooking show in Malaysia, but decided to open up a restaurant here after he fell in love with little ol’ Adelaide. It was his Italian born grandmother ‘nonna’ who served as his inspiration for his illustrious career, as well as the idea behind his restaurant.
If you’re vegan, gluten-free or following a paleo diet, you’re going to love this place as Khalil’s extensive menu has ensured everyone is well catered for. His inclusive philosophy is a big tick in our book. We tried a traditional Mediterranean platter as entrée, and we have to say, those were some of the best olives we’ve ever tasted! The mains offer everything from fresh seafood, rustic vegetables, a good range of parmi’s and succulent beef cheeks, and Khalil is certainly not one to skimp on portion size. Be sure to leave room for desert though, as you’re going to want to try the light and subtle flavours of the Tiramisu.
While you dine, and of course sample some of the amazing wines on offer, Khalil floats around welcoming all his guests like old family friends and ensuring everything on your plate is up to scratch. You can even catch a glimpse of him in front of the camera, as his cooking videos play on a TV screen in the corner. It’s clear to see how much passion and heart he puts into his food and service and it’s almost impossible to not enjoy yourselves at this place.
What Nonna and I lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in character. You’ll be leaving with a belly full of homely Italian food and a smile on your face. Just be sure to book in advance as the eclectic Khalil and his charming restaurant might just soon be the talk of the town.
1a Margaret Place, Norwood
Open 12-2pm and 5-9pm daily