As most of you already know, you can pretty much find an Italian restaurant at every street corner of Bangkok. The variety is endless from the more “authentic” Italian joints scattered around Thonglor and in hotels to the less authentic places such as the Japanese-style pasta joint, Jin-Emon, at MBK or the Thai-home cooked-style “Jaan Suay.” Everyone has their personal favorite. Mine is Biscotti at the Four Seasons.
Biscotti and I go way back. There’s something very nostalgic about eating in the always bustling venue. Probably because it reminds me of the good old days – the days when I still had big dreams about becoming a chef. (That was before I realized that it meant I would have to kill live lobsters, touch bloody meats, and frech a lamb, which the Animal-Planet-fanatic in me couldn’t really take.) My family and I have been frequenting the place for at least 10 years since the hotel was still The Regent. My parents would always book the table right next to their beautiful open kitchen so that I could hover over and stare at the chefs while they worked their magic.
Sure the food at Biscotti is great. My mouth is watering just thinking about their endless choices of home-style pasta dishes or their fork-tender lamb shank. But that’s not the only reason why Biscotti is “my Italian lover.” The main reason why this lovely restaurant is my all time favorite restaurant in Bangkok, (and that is definitely a bold statement,) is because a very special meal there had changed me forever.
Many many years ago, while sitting at our usual table next to the open kitchen, I saw a Thai chef doing something very interesting on the stove. The hidden foodie in me could not resist; I got up in the middle of the meal, left my half-eaten risotto, and walked over to the kitchen to see what he was up to. First he was too busy to notice a little kid curiously staring at him. But when he did, instead of feeling annoyed or intruded, he nicely chatted with me and told me what he was doing step-by-step. He did not hold back, he used all these big culinary terms that, obviously, he knew I did not understand. But he treated me like an adult and those words sounded like music to my ears.
After chatting with the chef for at least thirty minutes, the manager noticed the little girl tip-toeing to catch every single move that was going on in the kitchen as if she was watching an intense Wimbledon match. He walked over to the table, which in other luxury hotels could mean that the manager was coming over to, “politely,” ask my parents to control their daughter and stop me from disturbing the busy chef. Yet, at Biscotti, the manager came over to the table, smiled, and told my parents that “there’s a future great chef at this table.” He proceeded to hand me a chef hat that he just asked all the chefs to sign for me. I still remember that feeling, that happiness. I was beaming from ear to ear and could not sleep that night from excitement…..The hat is still in my room today.
Although being a chef is no longer my dream, that meal, to me, was the true starting point of my life as a self-confessed food addict. And I have Biscotti and the lovely staffs to thank for that.
Below are some pictures of the dishes I had there 2 weeks ago. All of them were great, but if you are a big fan of all things creamy and all things mushroomy (did I just make up an adjective?) I insist that you try the mascarpone foccacia, the caramelized onion risotto, and the gnocchi. Trust me, you would not be disappointed!
I thought the desserts I had that they were good but not particularly memorable. I used to love this dessert they had that looked a little bit like a cup of coffee. Sadly it’s no longer on the menu. I wish they would bring it back!
Bangkok, Thailand 10330
Until next time! =)