Mediterra Restaurant Bangkok
Pretend your in southern Italy in the heart of Asoke.
The buzz: A pair of passionate Italians, the owner of the dearly missed Sfizio, Diego Pignatelli, and former Il Fumo head chef Walter D'Ambrosio, have teamed up to bring the flavors of southern Italy to Asoke in a fairytale setting.
The vibe: From the cacti and patterned tiles that line the entrance to the clean white archways that link the dining areas, this standalone, century-old white house will transport you straight to Apulia. Instagrammers flutter around the photogenic whitewashed courtyard, though the airy interior—dreamt up by fast-rising Thai designer Charif Lona of Studio AOK—is equally alluring. Exposed wood-clad beams, limestone flooring, and earthy mosaics depicting pixelated scenes of Italy combine to bring a touch of nature indoors, while a stage surrounded by original artwork from the likes of Thai artist Gongkan plays host to jazz and soul musicians. After food service ends at 10:30pm, guests can mingle around the metallic blue, ocean-themed bar until midnight. Upstairs, you’ll find a more private dining area complete with its own bar, living area and record player.
The food: In the spirit of southern Italy, you won’t find any balsamic vinegar or Bolognese on the menu here. Instead, dishes like the Sarde (B430)—square-shaped chitarra spaghetti with fresh sardines, dill, onion, raisins, pine nuts, saffron and almonds—draw influence from Greece, the Middle East and Spain. Combining Thai produce with ingredients imported from small-scale Italian producers, the Apulia-hailing whole burrata cheese (B480) is plated with Thai heirloom tomatoes, salty anchovies, oregano and crispy breadcrumbs. Showing a similar reverence for fresh produce, the unmissable Crudo (B1,490 for two/B2,690 for four people) is an impressive tower of premium, wild-caught raw seafood, crowned by striking Mazara del Vallo red prawns—softer and more buttery than carabineros, with an intense umami flavor. Stick to seafood with the grilled Polipo (B980), beautifully plated tender octopus leg with baby broccoli, smashed potato and spicy tomato coulis, or opt for bi-monthly-changing specials like the Spada (B990), Mediterranean swordfish steak served with Sicilian caponata. No Italian meal would be complete without pizza; order the Splendida (B550) topped with mozzarella, porcini mushrooms, truffle sauce, smoky 24-month aged Parma ham, cherry tomatoes and wild rocket—in the future, you can expect the spacious garden to host beer-and-pizza happy hours, too. Don’t leave without trying the light and creamy tiramisu (B280), made a la minute—dare we say it might be the best in the city.
The drinks: The wine list currently spotlights southern Italian labels, though plans are in store to expand with an 800-bottle wine cellar. Kick things off with a crisp, refreshing glass of Prosecco “Rustico” Nino Franco, Valdobbiadene DOCG from Veneto, Italy (B390/1,600) followed by the aromatic, medium bodied Il Bianco Brancaia, IGT from Tuscany (B360/1,600), a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier. Next, move on to the serendipitously named Mediterra, Poggio al Tesoro, a full bodied but easy drinking red from a small producer in the Tuscan village of Bolgheri (B420/B1,800). Creamy yet punchy Caffè Pascucci Italian coffee (espresso, B90) is also available alongside a line-up of Italian liqueur, top-shelf whiskeys, cocktails (from B350)—try the popular Mediterra Bellini (Prosecco, Solerno blood orange liqueur, Scicilian blood orange puree, aromatic orange bitters; B520)—and Peroni on draft (B240/320).
Why we’d come back: Once the influencers have moved on, this restaurant will still draw crowds for its authentic, heartfelt cooking. Here, Pignatelli fulfils the rich potential that was evident in Sfizio and takes his passion for lesser-known Italian ingredients a step further—expect “seacuterie,” like squid lard, cod tongue and even smoked tuna heart, to hit the menu soon.
|Address:||Mediterra Restaurant Bangkok, 14 Sukhumvit Soi 23, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Open since:||May, 2020|
|Opening hours:||Tue-Sun noon-2pm, 6pm-midnight|
|Nearest train||BTS Asok|
|Alfresco, Live music, Parking available, Private rooms available|
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