Gastronomer Lifestyle_True Flavour of Italia in Bangkok

True Flavours of Italia in Bangkok

Written by Karn Chatikavanij

July issue ‘Italian’, 2023 

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It would take years to count all the Italian restaurants in Bangkok, let alone try them all. Luckily, we have a passionate community of Italians here in the city who are always happy to recommend the best places to sample their home cuisine. Asking around a few friends, colleagues, and foodies from Bella Italia for the restaurants and dishes they turn to when missing food from home, here are a few insights on where to go (and what to order there) for the best taste of Italy in Bangkok.

Francesco Sacchi (45, Commercial Director)

“I had my first date with my wife at Rossano’s, and it has since been my all-time favourite restaurant in Bangkok. Rossano’s is a classic in Bangkok. They’ve been around for decades, but, for me, the quality has never dropped. Even the Italian singing at dinner time is still around just like always. From the menu, my wife always orders the lobster spaghetti and my favourite dishes are the Osso Buco with saffron risotto and the risotto porcini. The waiters all remember our orders after so many years of going to this restaurant! Now, we continue to go with our two kids who always ask for their excellent pizzas. We are always treated very well at Rossano’s, which is the most important thing to find in an Italian restaurant. The food is made and served with love, always.”

Nico Bombardieri (27, Lawyer)

“One of my all-time favourite Italian dishes is actually a very under-recognised one, especially in Thailand. It’s called “Trippa alla Romana”, and it is a very traditional Roman dish. It used to be a popular dish amongst the poorer classes because it basically uses the “quinto quarto”, meaning “the fifth quarter”, or the organs and less premium parts of meat. Back in the day, butchered animals would be divided into quarters. The first quarter would consist of the best cuts, and these went to the nobility. The second quarter would be for the clergy, the third to the bourgeois class, and the fourth to the soliders. The leftover “quinto quarto” would be distributed to the rest of the population. I have only found one place in Thailand that has this dish, and that is Appia. I love Appia—I think it is one of the most authentic Roman osterias outside of Italy. They make the dish with the original ancient recipe, using tripe, onions, white wine, Pecorino, and vegetables.”

Gastronomer Lifestyle_Il Bolognese_Bangkok

Ben Russo (18, Student)

“My dad is Italian and my mother is Thai, so my sister and I grew up with a strong culture of family dining and home-cooked dinners. When we occasionally go out to eat at a restaurant, we still always prefer ones that have a strong family feel and relaxed homey setting. One of our family’s favourites is Il Bolognese in Sathorn. They are a trattoria-style Italian restaurant that really makes you feel like you are enjoying a great dinner prepared by your family. Their pizzas are up there with the best in Bangkok, I think. I also love their homemade desserts—the tiramisu there is iconic. The setting is very cosy and not too formal, and the service is always very friendly. The staff remember us as regular customers and always treat us with little extra desserts or Limoncello shots, exactly the way true Italians would treat their best customers.”

Alessandro Conradi (28, Business Owner)

“I’m originally from the Northern Lombardia region of Italy, and one of the dishes I miss the most when I’m away from home is polenta. Polenta is basically a kind of cornmeal, boiled slowly with Parmesan and butter. It’s actually not really a dish itself but more of an accompaniment for meat and stews, like how you would have rice here. You wouldn’t find it everywhere in Italy because it’s mostly only served in the colder regions or in the mountains, so I definitely struggle to find it here in Thailand. For me, the best polenta is creamy, but not mashed too smoothly. There should still be distinctive grains for the best texture. The best places I’ve found for polenta dishes in Bangkok are Rossini’s, Lenzi Tuscan Kitchen, and Gigi Dining Hall where it is served with excellent slow-cooked veal cheeks and—for a surprisingly good Thai rendition—with mango.”

Frederica Leni (36, Yoga instructor)

“Italian food is always better when it is simple and home-style. I rarely enjoy Italian fine dining because it feels inauthentic, but one exception is Gianni. This is one of my favourite Italian restaurants in Thailand because, even though it is more elegant and refined than your typical trattoria-style cuisine, the flavours are still so comforting and authentic. Their pastas are handmade, and one of my favourites there is the black ink spaghetti—perfectly flavoured seafood pasta with a rich-flavoured squid ink sauce. All the meats are also Florentine-quality, and it is maybe one of the very few places you can get a good Fiorentina steak in Thailand. It’s not really a regional restaurant, so I think it’s a great place to sample and discover dishes from different regions at the same time.”

On Taste

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