Tue - Fri : 5pm-11pm Sat - Sun : 11am-2pm / 5pm- 11pm
15 Rama IX Soi 58 Suan Luang Bangkok 10250
Luciano Improta is smart. Not just because he dresses with typical Italian style but also because he assessed Bangkok’s restaurant market before following his dream of opening his own place about a year ago.
Realising that the centre of the city was flooded with Italian restaurants paying sky-high rents, he chose a location just off Rama IX Road in Suan Luang in the eastern suburbs. This largely farang-free location has proved popular with local Thais eager to sample the tastes of Italy.
“We serve real Italian food and everything is sourced from Italy, even our rocket salad,” says Luciano, who was a sous chef in his native Naples before moving to Thailand in 2007 to start a jewellery business.
“Our expenses and rent are not so great here, so we can offer good quality at reasonable prices. About 80 per cent of our customers are Thai and they seem to love our food.”
Brunello has a chic modern feel and attentive, friendly waitresses who instantly make you feel at home. The large windows of the restaurant look out onto a garden dining area near a wood-fired oven used to make pizza. It has a private dining room for functions and also does outside catering.
The menu is classically Italian but I went for an unusual Zuppa di Tartufo (330 baht) to start my meal. This rich white truffle soup was tasty and satisfying and complemented by a bread basket with a delicious eggplant mousse.
Next was Spaghetti Aglio E Olio (280 baht), the famous pasta dish comprising al dente spaghetti mixed with garlic, olive oil, bacon, tomato and dried Italian chili. It had more of a spicy hit than you will find in most Italian restaurants as a nod to Brunello’s spice-loving Thai customers.
A main course of Scottadito di Agnello (690 baht) featured two tender grilled lamb chops with sautéed potatoes, broccoli, veal sauce, mint sauce and spicy nduja sauce. Other main courses included salmon, tomahawk wagyu steak, ribeye steak, braised beef cheek and pork chops.
All six desserts looked enticing but I could not resist Tiramisu Alla Brunello (240 baht), a delightful homemade version of the classic topped with black grapes, strawberry and a ladyfinger biscuit.
Brunello’s menu also includes salads, Italian charcuterie and cheeses, pizza, risotto and a nice range of wines from Italy.
La dolce vita (the sweet life) has truly arrived in eastern Bangkok.