Italian is always in season in Bangkok and there’s definitely a glut of Italian restaurants in this great city. That’s especially true if you include all the pizza places or consider the ripple effect of what I call the ‘carbonara wave’. That’s the phenomenon which brought the standard Italian dish to seemingly every indoor restaurant serving noodles in Bangkok at one point. Thankfully, since the tv dinner quality carbonara wave of the 2000’s has passed (well, in most places anyway), the Italian cuisine in Bangkok has begun to mature.
The depth and quality of Italian restaurants in Bangkok mean this fatty suddenly has to pay more attention to talk of tagliatelle and taglierini, prosciutto and parma ham, comparing longstanding Rossini’s or Zanotti, to the more recently arrived Appia and Theo Mio.
No idea what I’m ranting about?
Me neither almost. And you’ll definitely get the sense of that when you watch the latest episode of Bangkok Fatty on Youtube. This time I travel with Thai food loving Mark Wiens to the Intercontinental Hotel to dine at their newly opened Theo Mio Italian Kitchen.
The restaurant is Bangkok’s home to the UK’s Chef Theo Randall’s recipes, and is set in the high ceilings and tall glass windows of the ground floor terrace. There situated just against the Chidlom BTS you’ll find a familiar Dean and Deluca style setup to the restaurant, with a wide range of products on display for dinners or passerby’s to purchase. The products include Chef Randall’s recipe book, pasta, and fancy olive oils. In addition, there’s also an open kitchen where you can observe the staff preparing pizzas, pastas, and drinks flowing from the bar to tables.
You get the impression that Chef Randall and his team have a strong sense of how to please the eyes long before guests even see the presentation of their appetizers. Well, that is until you start reading the overwhelming menu, which is several pages with Italian headings, presented clipboard style to each guest. I’m still scratching my head and remembering fumbling through the pages that day just to try and discuss together what we planned to order.
Finally we made some orders combining dishes I wanted Mark to try, like the burrata (aka “Burrata e Pepperoni Piemontese”), with dishes suggested by the staff, like the beef carpaccio. With the ordering ordeal behind us, I sipped on a glass of Prosecco with parmesan cheese floating at the top. I had remembered seeing some debate about whether the combination was ridiculous on twitter or somewhere, but in the end I thought it neither interesting, nor offensive. There are a few dishes too that fall in this category, where the restaurant aiming for clean, natural flavors pulls too many punches. The beef carpaccio, and even the pizza to a lesser degree, seemed bland unless you remember to use the salt and pepper on the table liberally.
Despite these quirks and the inability to bring me a cocktail I enjoyed, the main courses shined. The soft shell crab pasta, which I described lovingly as having the appearance of a deep fried tarantula, was absolutely delicious. The rack of lamb ribs were surprisingly tender and meaty, and the rich, cheese covered, and smoky stuffed cappelletti (an award winning dish back in London) may have been the best of all.
Mark and I, of course, disagreed about a few of the items. He loved the beef carpaccio and didn’t think the anchovy dressed puntarelle was as pungent and fishy as I did. I liked the dish, but can imagine you being pretty shocked if you aren’t used to that flavor. Anyway, you’ll be able to tell after watching the video we really enjoyed this meal and were completely stuffed afterward. Stick to the wine drinking with your Italian meal and explore their strong list of hearty main dishes and buttery pastas for an exceptional meal!
Theo Mio Location, Hours, and Review
Top Dish: Cappelletti di Vitello
The Order: For the full order and cost per dish see Mark’s review of Theo Mio on EatingThaiFood.
Address: Intercontinental Hotel Bangkok, Ground Floor, 973 Phloen Chit Road, Bangkok
Directions: Take BTS Chidlom and exit towards Central World. Take the skywalk until you see signs for the Intercontinental on the right hand side of the street. Exit and walk through the terrace into the restaurant (If you go up the hill into the hotel lobby, you’ll need to come back down to the street level).
Phone Number: 026 560 444
Hours: 7:30am – midnight, Daily (Kitchen closes at 11pm)
Price: 400-600 THB per dish
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/flourshoppebkk.official/
Note: This meal was complimentary.