And Now For Something Completely Heavy
21/1 1st Floor, Saladaeng Colonnade Condominium
Silom Road, Bangkok
Tel: 02 636 0002, 02 636 0266
Residents of Bangkok can feed countless times a day on what is arguably Asia’s lightest, most flavorful, intriguing, spicy and satisfying cuisine. We know our good fortune: one wonders if one could ever leave this food behind?
And then sometimes you want a Bifstek Florentine, aged for more than 40 days, covered in olive oil and rock salt, and barbecued to perfection on an orangewood charcoal grill.
Traditionally western restaurants in Bangkok have been the best, cheapest and most accessible in Asia, as if a whole generation of adventurous chefs had washed up in Thailand for other reasons and decided to open restaurants after all. This is one of the best in recent years. If you have a special occasion, or just a mid-range budget for a high-end meal, the place to eat is Zanotti, a genuine trattoria that delivers real Italian food.
The décor is simple, rustic, and comfortable: people don’t come here to pose or be seen; they come to eat. And eat well.
The appetizers include a 300-year-old recipe from Turin in which thinly sliced veal loin is wrapped around anchovies, then covered in a tuna-based sauce and sprinkled with roasted red peppers. Many opt for the house specialty, the antipasti misti that includes seven or eight heavenly selections beautifully prepared from seasonal ingredients, such as warm, creamy casamio cheese with a slice of truffle served in a large walnut shell.
There are plenty of pasta choices, and among the many fish selections, the whole sea bass is very popular. This fish can taste dry if not prepared right, but not here. Chef-owner Gianmaria uses extremely fresh sea bass, covering it in rosemary, thyme, sage, garlic and olive oil, then packing it in rock salt to keep the moisture in. After being grilled, its taken from the salt-like chamber, put on a plate and served. Simple, delicate and perfect.
And then there’s the famous Florentine steak —which will remind you the following day, as you slurp your fragrant noodles at a street stall, what a wonderfully small, complete world we live in.