Traditional, home-style Italian cooking is what Gema is all about. The food is homely, warm and comforting, and what it may lack in pedantic plating it more than makes up for in flavour. Start with the tri colore salad – beautiful slices of fresh mozzarella layered with tomato and avocado – or a starter off the specials board, the likes of which could include porcini and polenta with gorgonzola or thinly sliced ostrich carpaccio.
For mains, pizzas and pastas are where Gema really shine. The extensive offering includes thin-based pizzas with a selection of toppings ranging from the classics such as margheritas, sicilianas and reginas to the Mario, which arrives covered with paper-thin slices of prosciutto crudo. If pasta is what you’re after, go with the crab special – it’s a must-have, featuring perfectly cooked pieces of crab in a tasty tomato sauce. The light and fluffy gnocchi are also not to be missed and pair perfectly with a rich and creamy gorgonzola sauce. A small selection of meat and fish dishes are available too, but one would be best advised to select from the specials board which boasts the likes of rabbit, veal and quail – all cooked in traditional Italian style.
End off the meal with a slice of tiramisu and a single espresso.
The wine list features a limited selection of familiar local, easy drinking, affordable wines as well as a small range of imported Italian bottles too. Those looking for a non-alcoholic libation should opt for the Lemon/Oransodas, which are sure to get you in the Italian spirit.
Service is friendly and familiar, with waitresses more than happy to assist with ordering suggestions and explanations. Food arrives hot and timeously.
The quaint, repurposed Kensington house provides the setting for this home-style eatery, its Italian feel and unassuming table settings create a no fuss, warm and comforting environment. A seat by the window while the sunlight gently streams in makes for an ideal lunch spot.
Sunday lunches or romantic yet casual date nights.
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