To some food is a religion, and this is definitely the case at Sa’Mesa di Nonna, which roughly translates as Grandma’s church or Mass. Reverence of a heightened quality towards ingredients and the respect given to the food, the plating and the service. This is done just like at Grandma’s, around one single, massive table – family style, la famiglia.
Welcome to the house of Paco and Damiano. (Editor’s note: Mesa can also mean table, however I have chosen the religious connotation as this level of food is to be revered!)
You might have arrived to dinner solo, or as a couple, or even a few of you. But you will leave Sa’Mesa having met more people, having shared more stories and having promised to come back again. The experience is so enjoyable and stimulating that you can’t wait to tell more friends and family about this new style of food ‘church’.
Refreshingly, this restaurant has a full-on women’s kitchen team (led by Chef Damiano) and a female-heavy wait-staff team – It is fabulous to see the ‘gals’ at the fore of this out of the box eatery! It also turns out that they have all been with either Paco, Sa Mesa’s charming, lead, front-of-house host or with Chef Damiano for over the last six to eight years. Now that is dedication form both sides!
Damiano and Paco? The Universe brought these together, quite by chance, and it is a story that Paco delightfully enlightens guests with, throughout the evening, as he artfully moves gathering dining guests from terrace to table. Free seating accompanies a twenty-four-course menu. The authentic Italian dishes are served sharing-style, with a ‘grab what you can within arm’s reach’ rule. Starters include tapenades, divine salads, amazing risottos, and al dente pasta followed by Secondi Piatti of fish or meat. Then come desserts. It is a multi-flavoured affair – each dish as delicious as the next. Be prepared to loosen your waistband and to be educated on real, Italian (and Napoli) style cuisine. Definitely the best Italian flavours we have tried on this island.
Our recommendation? Book way in advance as they sell out every night, and don’t be late as all guests are seated at the same time.
All that is left to say is that Sa’Mesa di Nonna is truly a fabulous, unique addition to Bali’s dining scene – in fact it has created a scene of its own! Hats off to Paco, Damiano & Michael – Grazie mille to the three of you!
Jalan Tanah Barak 1e, Canggu