This story started long ago, and has ripened deliciously. Noodlies, Sydney food blog is in awe.

Outside the sign boldly proclaims that you’re entering Nonna Maria’s Place, in varying sizes fonts that dart at you from different orientations. White background with hints of green and red just to remind you where you are.

Nonna Maria's Place Parramatta

“Cosy” best describes this tiny Italian eatery that feels like someone cleared out a terrace house and brought in a bunch of tables and chairs to fill every room.

On top of those tables are classic red and white checked table cloths that scream Italian food. It’s stark against clean floor tiles and plain walls. Caustic people would describe the eatery as undecorated. Kinder folks would say “rustic”.

For me, The whole combo speaks of home made, unpretentious Italian fare.

Nonna Maria's Place Parramatta Chef

Look at the chef in the kitchen, how could you not fall in love with this eatery?!

Our waiter says don’t be fooled, chef is very fit. I’m in awe that our food has been prepared by those knowledge hands.

And those hands made my this bowl of spaghetti, long strands that have been tossed in a light tomato sauce. Of course there’s mince, but it never hurts to ask for meatballs. Instead of a frown, the waiter will nod approval – they seem to courage it. These balls aren’t over-cooked, there’s still texture (and garlic) inside – they’re firm and part nicely.

Nonna Maria's Place Parramatta spaghetti

The menu is classic Italian; pasta and a range of sauces, favs like bolognese, carbonara, napoletana and boscaiola. Go the schnitzel or osso buco if you want more meat.

I love my spag bol, but their panettone steals my heart. It’s tonight’s special – they change it regularly. House-made, this bread cake makes your jaw drop. Imposing, challenging and mouthwatering in equal parts. The outside isn’t as hard to penetrate as it looks. Inside it’s dreamy, soft, moist. Substantial yet it evaporates in the mouth.

I feel like we’ve won a lottery, house-made panettone cake of the day. What could be better?

Nonna Maria's Place Parramatta panettone

I don’t know where Nonna Maria has gone to, but woah, chef Domenic is impressive in so many ways. For over 22 years, this eatery has kept things simple, traditional to the Calabrian way. With so many flash new restaurants nearby in the Church street dining precinct, it’s easy to miss this little gem. But Nonna Maria’s is worth a visit.

Noodlies rates it a double thumbs up, and a couple of extra toes for the amazing chef.

Nonna Maria’s Place
56 Phillip Street, Parramatta
(02) 9689 1112

Nonna Maria's Place Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato