By Shaan Bajaj
My longstanding birthday tradition is to have my birthday dinner at an Italian establishment, and I know I am far from alone, as it is a popular choice of cuisine for special occasions. Luckily for me, and the rest of the Thai-Indian community, there are plenty of exceptional Italian restaurants to choose from, including La Scala. Located at the remarkable property that is The Sukhothai Bangkok, La Scala is an award-winning Italian restaurant, headed by Chef Eugenio Canonni, who specialises in progressive Italian cuisine while maintaining the integrity of the ingredients, and the essence of authentic Italian cuisine.
If you are planning on dining at La Scala, you have a variety of menus to choose from, starting with their Italian Gastronomic Journey 7 Courses (THB 4,180++), Italian Gastronomic Journey 5 Courses (THB 3,480 ++), Vegetarian Gastronomic Journey 4 Courses (THB 2,680++), Italian Set Lunch Menu (THB 1,200++ for 2 courses and THB 1,450++ for 3 courses).
As I drove down the tree-lined roads to the doors of The Sukhothai Bangkok, I felt an air of serenity and excitement infuse me; after all it is not every day that you get to get to dine at one of the top Italian restaurants in the city. The space is decorated in a dark aesthetic, with red elements and white lamps on each table, much like a spotlight highlighting the art in a museum. I was immediately seduced by the mysterious yet romantic atmosphere at La Scala, an ideal choice for a special occasion such as a first date or anniversary. For this particular visit, we were seated in a private dining room that can seat up to six people, a space I highly recommend booking for a more intimate and homey dining experience.
Food and drinks
As we settled into our seats, the waiter placed a scrumptious range of breads in front of us, spanning ciabatta, focaccia, and brioche (which was my personal favourite out of the three); along with a healthy dose of virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to get you started. For my dining experience, I was treated to their four-course vegetarian gastronomic journey, while my colleagues enjoyed a range of dishes from their à la carte menu.
The amuse bouche, a mushroom, jelly-like tart, was refreshing and light while retaining the distinctive earthy mushroom flavour. It was much like an invitation to journey through the courses, while highlighting just how unique Chef Eugenio’s approach to Italian fare would be. The first course, Uovo fonduta e topinambour, featured a soft egg in a rich fontina cheese fondue with Jerusalem artichokes, garnished with peanuts. The creamy consistency, reminiscent of a custard, paired well with the breads, while the peanuts cut through the richness. The bowl was hearty, and felt much like a warm hug.
Their next course shines a light on their homemade pasta, and as I was served their Spaghetto al pomodoro, the aroma of basil and tomato filled the room, making my mouth water. If I were making myself pasta, I would want my kitchen to smell exactly like that. The spaghetti was al dente, and so incredibly fresh. The dish is so simple in its essence, but Chef Eugenio has managed to perfect it, showcasing his talent. My colleagues tucked into a plate of gnocchi, stuffed with luganega sausage, in a bed of green bell pepper and scamorza sauce, and the consensus was that they would lick the plate clean if they could.
Onto the main course, Asparago, their melt-in-your-mouth white asparagus was served with liquid scarole salad that they pour over the dish. The asparagus itself, a seasonal delicacy, was slightly charred, with a hint of sweetness to it. My colleagues enjoyed a range of dishes including Maiale, featuring pan-fried Iberico pork with a sweet and nutty sauce. They remarked how succulent the pork was, while the sauce added a level of complexity to the dish. They also tried the Piccione, a charcoal grilled pigeon served with anchovies and hazelnut. I was told how intricate the flavours were, while each element was well-thought-out, and complemented everything on the plate. They also sampled the Argosta, slow-cooked Brittany lobster with mozzarella foam, and a Mediterranean salsa, which were similarly packed with flavours, a testament to the restaurant’s mission of preserving their ingredients’ integrity.
For dessert, we were served Ananas, frozen yoghurt topped with pineapple compote, and a piña colada foam. The dish was very light, and whisked you away to a tropical holiday by the beach. We were also served a passionfruit ice cream, garnished with chocolate crumble, which cut through the sourness of the passionfruit. The desserts were zesty, and awakened your senses after the indulgent meal. We ended our meal with petit fours that were truly divine. The entire dining experience felt like venturing through the stages of a romantic relationship, from the butterflies you get from nervous anticipation; to feeling at home with the person; until you try the main course and truly start to understand the core of your partner. The desserts are a sweet question – is this what forever looks like? And finally, the petit fours offer a taste of the bliss of having found a soulmate.
To truly elevate your dining experience at La Scala, do not skip on their wine pairings, available for an added price. Their wine collection includes a number of Italian wines and global options to best suit your meal. Each glass was carefully thought out, and worth every sip.
LA SCALA BANGKOK
13/3 South Sathorn Road, Thingmahamek, Sathorn, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
Open from Tuesdays to Saturdays, from 12pm to 3pm for lunch (last order at 2pm); and 6pm to 11pm for dinner (last order at 10pm)
Tel: 02-344-8888 ext. 8654, reservations are strongly recommended
Facebook and Instagram: @LaScalaBangkok