Reading the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana’s (AVPN) regulations for making true Neapolitan-style pizza will bore you to death. It’s an 11-page document (not including appendages), specifying literally everything it takes to produce authentic pizza, from the breed of tomato to the shape of spatula used to get it in the oven (which itself must be fired only on AVPN-approved wood). That a restaurant in Bangkok has bothered to even attempt all this is remarkable. But it has, and the results are superb.
Those who’ve actually dined in Naples might be surprised by the crispness of Peppina’s pizza base, but it lacks nothing in terms of flavor. The dough is tangy and has a pillow-soft crust, while the San Marzano tomato sauce has that perfect marriage of acidity and sweetness. The tomato is so good that we’re most drawn to the simplest pizzas, like the Marinara (B150/280) and Napoletana (B240/370). It’s also worth noting how decent these prices are. A large margarita at the Pizza Massilia food truck on Silom, for example, will set you back B400. Here, indoors, in an equally prime location, you’ll be paying B350.
But dinner at Peppina won’t necessarily be cheap, since the less wallet-friendly grilled meats are a must-try. The Australian prime rib (B2,400) is one of the best sharing steaks we’ve had in Bangkok for anywhere near this price, ample enough to feed three, maybe four. It comes with sides of nicely crisp potatoes and carrots (though these are a little too sweet for our taste). The sauteed black Italian mussels in tomato sauce (B390) are another highlight, again thanks to those wonderful tomatoes and bold amounts of salt.
Recurring partners from Appia, such as Jarrett Wrisley, ensure booze is taken very seriously. There is Italian beer on tap (Birra del Borgo Enkir, B220) and nine cocktails (B240)—we recommend the Salvia Sour (gin, sage, rosemary, lime, thyme, B240). The wine list is short and sweet, starting from B1,300 and much of it under B2,000. Peppina’s decor walks the fine line between elegance and informality, which is well in keeping with the food. You’d be equally at place coming here to spend B500 on a pizza and a beer as you would dropping B5,000 on a multi-course feast.