La Braceria

We arrived at an open square ringed by shophouses and apartments, where La Braceria has taken over an old shop space and converted it into an intimate eatery. Stepping through the doors, we were struck by the restaurant’s down-to-earth decor and rustic charm. It looked quiet (an impression which was proven wrong as the evening progressed) when we were shown to our table. Planning to indulge in the grilled meats and “hearty meals” this place is known for, we paced ourselves by starting with a shared serving of antipasto braceria—two big pieces of oven baked Scarmoza cheese served on a slice of cabbage each and dribbled with mushroom sauce. The understated taste of the soft and chewy cheese complemented the savory mushroom sauce. Next, we had La Braceria’s homemade sausages and a grilled lamb chop. We’d heard about these sausages, but that did not prepare us for their assault on our palates. La Braceria’s sausages are definitely homemade—the pair we were served were bursting with meat and spices. “Sharp, spicy and salty” best describe the sausages—a definitely rich experience. Our lamb chop was done medium-rare, but its thickness made it verge on rare as we got close to the bone. It was lightly flavored with rosemary dressing and served with the usual greens and grilled potatoes. Patrons (all with reservations) began showing up as we dug into our meats and the cozy 30-seater dining room was soon filled—with two families turned away at the door. After all that meat and spice, we chose a light pizza with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and prosciutto ham. Perhaps our taste buds were reeling from the spiced meats; even though the pizza was overflowing with ingredients, we could taste only a touch of the finely sliced prosciutto. We ended our meal with a shared serving of panna cotta—thankfully, it was not too heavy. Creamy with a delicate taste, and enhanced by a light serving of berries, it was a good finish to the meal. For an authentic Italian experience at a reasonable price, we heartily recommend La Braceria. And judging by the crowd, this place is definitely one hot gastronomical property.