I have never been to Italy but, from what I see on photos and TV, it’s a must-visit on my travel checklist. Dining at Peppina (27/1 Sukhumvit Soi 31, Bangkok; 02 119 7677; www.facebook.com/peppinapizza), however, made me feel as if I was there. I arrived for my booking at 7 p.m. and the 70-seat restaurant was full. With a very Mediterranean aesthetic, the décor includes features such as exposed beams for a welcoming feel.
You know a chef really wants to take his restaurant seriously when he travels to Naples, Italy, to train at the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (www.pizzanapoletana.org)
Chef Paolo Vitaletti shows a true passion for food, which is reflected in his menu in an extraordinary way. I wouldn’t be amazed if he had pizza sauce pumping through his veins. After trying his truffle pizza it made clear sense as to why he trained in Naples to perfect this delicious treat (even the oven was imported from there)—honestly, it was one of the best pizzas I have ever had. The dough was cooked perfectly with a thin base and slightly raised crust, just the way I like it; add some shaved truffle and mozzarella and you have got me salivating.
I ordered a few items from the menu and was treated with a few complimentary dishes from the chef also. From a delicious well-balanced chicken liver pâté with red onion, to pan-fried sardines with olives, caper berries and tomato, my taste buds were definitely dancing. Then came the spicy roasted young chicken with rosemary, lemon, and roasted garlic and a bruschetta of young asparagus and burrata. Already feeling satisfied, I welcomed one more dish at the table, one large arancini filled with porchetta and chicory, with an extremely tasty napoletana sauce.
As well as the impressive food on offer, they also have a range of craft beers available, and an Italian beer, Birra del Borgo Enkir on tap. Then there’s a selection of cocktails and a wine list with some impressive choices.
I had two glasses of a full-bodied Italian red throughout my meal, that seemed to go perfectly with almost every dish. A shot of limoncello and some grappa from the chef, and I left a very happy man indeed. A definite must-try and a gastronomic experience I will be returning for.
The Fifth Taste was not hard to find here, that’s for sure.
Open Tuesday to Saturday from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.; bookings highly recommended. Complimentary valet parking available.