Nostra Casa, translated from Italian to English, means “our home”, and is located at the beginning of Henley Beach Road westbound. The decor is basic but well presented, and surprisingly they’ve tried to cram 45 seats into a confined indoor space. Not only are you sitting close to each other, you might as well be sitting next to the people at the neighbouring tables. This place offers a selection of standard and gourmet woodfire oven pizzas, as well as pasta, seafood, chicken and salads. The pizzas are available as 9 inch, 14 inch and gluten free.
For dinner, we ordered a range of dishes to share.
The Garlic Bread was the first to come out and was nicely presented on a wooden pizza board. Unlike traditional garlic bread, this version came on a pizza base with garlic, cheese and herbs. There was copious amounts of garlic and cheese which worked quite well together. The pizza base had a nice thick consistency and wasn’t too oily.
The Garden Salad was the ugliest looking salad I’ve ever seen. It appeared to be drowning in some sort of vinegar based dressing, but I couldn’t even taste it.
I’ve been told the Bellisima Pizza is the best ingredient combination they have, and after tasting their other pizzas, I would have to agree. The pizza consists of potato, capsicum, fetta cheese and rocket. There’s such a range of contrasting textures and flavours that makes all the toppings work in harmony. There’s the sweetness of the capsicum, the starchiness of the potato, the saltiness of the fetta and the crunchiness of the rocket. The dash of balsamic vinegar tops it off by providing good balance. The pizza base was thick around the edges and thin towards the centre. Some areas under the base were burnt.
We ordered a second Bellisima Pizza and were unimpressed. The potato slices were roasted in the first pizza and not in the second one. Surprisingly, this made a huge difference.
The Barbecue Pizza consisted of continental sausage, spring onions and a dash of honey. The mild onion flavour from the spring onions worked well with the subtle sweetness of the barbecue sauce. Otherwise, the ingredient combination was rather pedestrian.
The Tandoori Chicken Pizza consisted of marinated chicken and spinach. The chicken was tender and succulent, however, the pizza as a whole tasted kind of bland. The spinach didn’t really do anything for the pizza except add colour.
My friend ordered a small Vegetarian pizza for herself which I managed to try. The smaller pizzas have a much thinner crust, which was over cooked. The Napoli tomato base was barely visible, however, the vegetable combination was quite good.
The staff were friendly and the service was good. My friend did have a can of soft drink knocked over by one of the waitresses, however the drink was promptly replaced. Drinks arrived on time and plates were cleared as we finished. The atmosphere was relaxed, even on a busy Saturday night which saw a full house. The 14 inch pizzas were $19.50 each, the garlic bread $11 and the garden salad $10, which is a fair price.
Verdict: The pizzas were overcooked and the garden salad was disappointing. The standout was the Bellisima pizza, however, even that didn’t taste good the second time around.
WHERE: 1/34 Henley Beach Rd, Mile End