A grand old villa on Rama 4 has been reborn as a cocktails and Italian grill restaurant.
The buzz: A grand old villa on Rama 4 has been reborn as a cocktails and Italian grill restaurant. Swing by the cozy bar out front for a Sazerac or Negroni (with de rigueur house tweaks), slip past the showcase of beef carcasses spotlighted like priceless art, and join the elegant clientele of diners facing the large open kitchen for some imported Spanish beef.
The decor: Plenty of nostalgia infuses the Rama V-style house and the bar, which is all wood paneling and tufted leather. The white dining room’s minimal elegance makes for a clever contrast, creating two very distinct venues under one roof. There are also a couple private dining rooms and a terrace.
The food: Chef-partner Luca Appino (La Bottega di Luca, Pizza Massilia) and head chef Walter d’Ambrosio have rounded up some of Europe’s most prized meats. The veal is a Piedmontese breed raised on hazelnuts, the prosciutto and pork neck hail from the Ca’ Lumaco Estate (between Modena and Bologna), the beef either from Galicia (Spain) or Piedmont--although some ever-so-slightly-more-affordable Australian wagyu is also on offer. The dry-aged Rubia Gallega from Spain (B5,400 for a 1kg prime rib) is the star of the show here, offering the greatest density and depth of flavor. But the pork is a delicious surprise, too, with qualities almost reminiscent of beef (B990 for Ca’ Lumaco pork neck). You can also just about get by under B1,000 with a butcher’s cut of Piedmontese Fassone (B350/100 grams). All this, plus some seafood like Canadian lobster (B1,590) or octopus (B420) gets popped into a big wood-fired oven then finished on grills with adjustable heights and different woods based on the produce: cherry for meats, oliver for fish, almond for delicate seafood like red shrimps. Even the pasta and risotto come with oven-roasted or grilled ingredients. Dessert, too: the roasted Moscato wine peaches paired with ricotta and pomegranate reduction (B390) is a tart delight with subtle smoky notes.
The drinks: Husband-and-wife restaurateurs Choti Leenutaphong and Debby Tang of Vesper Cocktail Bar & Restaurant have enlisted their Soi Convent cocktail institution’s team to create a drinks list even more traditional than Vesper’s. Headed by Pailin Sajjanit (2015’s Diageo World Class Thailand’s Finalist), the bar fixes oldies like a Boulevardier with the addition of a smoky mezcal (The Smoking Bulleit, B620), a whiskey sour with Chartreuse as per the original 1870s formula (Daisy, B420) and a Martinez with their own house-made gin (B420).
Why you should care: There’s a lightness of touch here that makes this much more than a place to get some grilled cow. Case in point: the creative and delicious trio of Fassone beef tartare (B680): one with truffle and burrata, one with lemon zest and olive oil, one with mustard and red onions.
|Address:||Il Fumo, 1098/2 Rama 4 Rd., Bangkok, Thailand|
|Price Range:||BBB - BBBB|
|Open since:||December, 2015|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat 5:30pm-midnight|
|Nearest train||MRT Khlong Toei|
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