Italian is one of the most-loved cuisines in the world. In various permutations you can score pasta or pizza from Rome to Rotherham to Rio. Still, it's certainly not a given that just because a resort has an Italian food outlet the dishes will be as good as downtown Venice; quite the opposite, in fact.
There are more misses than hits when dishing up Italian food, with diners becoming accustomed to dumbed-down versions of Napolitano cuisine due to the sheer preponderance of imitations.
That's why it comes as a decidedly pleasant surprise to come across the Real McCoy in the form of an Italian restaurant that delivers the goods. Here's where Venezia, a trattoria in the Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra, comes into its own.
- 4 Islands Day Trip
- Rainforest Discovery Tour
- Phi Phi Islands Excursion by Speedboat
- Excursion to Hong Islands via Speedboat
- Ban Bor Thor Kayaking Full-Day Tour
- Sunset Cruise in Catamaran over Andaman Sea
- Whitewater Rafting & 4-Wheel-Drive Adventure
- Phi Phi Islands Tour with Express Boat
- Ao Thalane Kayaking Adventure
- Shared Shuttle: Krabi Airport (KBV)
Where Is It?
Just told you; in the Sofitel Krabi, off its gorgeous and cavernous lobby/reception. Sofitel is on Tubkaek Beach, north of Krabi Town and the tourist centre of Ao Nang. Venezia flanks the lobby and stretches along a terrace with views out over the Andaman and on a clear day you can even see Khao Rang, the biggest hill in Phuket Town.
Classic. With dark wooden tables and chairs offsetting starched white napkins and tablecloths complete with chandeliers, alcove lighting and alternative tiled or parquet flooring this is true formal Italian dining.
There are even ceiling-to-floor curtains in the air-conditioned interior with a show kitchen at the end of the room.
Outside, the views over the huge swimming pool and gardens, past the beach into Phang Nga Bay, are magnificent and certainly lend a tropically romantic air to the dining experience at the 80-pax Venezia.
Under the full panoply of a starry night or in air-conditioned comfort, the overall atmosphere in Venezia is one of luxurious gourmet dining. This is a place to go all the way; to indulge in one's culinary dreams and to do so in a gorgeous setting.
However, in spite of the setting, things don't get too stuffy and formal: you'll never forget you're in Thailand, even if you're eating and drinking Italian food and wine – the smiling wait staff and tropical setting make sure of that. The outside overhead fans also help things along.
Unlike some Italian restaurants that serve only wines from the home country, there are several nationalities to choose from in Venezia's 100-label list (40 labels are from Italy).
The list comes in an imposing folder with suggestions for a French cabernet sauvignon along with Australian reds and whites, not to forget that old standby, Chianti. House wine goes for 250 baht a glass.
With such an extensive choice of labels there's bound to be something for everyone at Venezia; lucky you.
Top notch. Lasagne al forno is juicy and yielding; perfectly al dente while the tuna carpaccio is razor-thin and the Parma ham with fresh figs is a work of art.
Murray Paterson, Sofitel's Australian executive chef, shows his 25 years' experience in the culinary field and has had stints all over Asia. All dishes here are prepared starting from scratch so the freshness in this cuisine is tangible.
The mushroom risotto is mouth watering and the gnocchi with pesto inventive to say the least. Commenting on the quality of the meat in the Lasagne I'm informed that it is Italian imported beef, ground on the hotel premises.
As if this weren't enough a fully charged dessert trolley arrives and I dive into a delicious tiramisu. Speaking of dessert, there is a children's candy buffet and some 15 different types of ice cream at Venezia along with imported sweets such as Liquorice Allsorts!
Not done by halves, the cuisine at Venezia is decidedly gourmet.
Ably led by Murray, the service at Venezia is befitting the cuisine and, along with the gentle Thai touch, it is a winner.
- Location: at Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra
- Tel: +66 (0) 75 627 899