The creator of popular Thai restaurant Soul Food Mahanakorn has succeeded again, this time bringing comfort eating from mama’s kitchen in Italy to the hungry folk of Bangkok. Here at Appia you’re guaranteed to leave happy and with a fully belly. All of the traditional favourites are served here: cured meats, pastas, tiramisu... We recommend you book ahead if you want to sample the dishes at Appia Italian restaurant on Sukhumvit 31, because since it opened in February 2013, the wooden tables at this Roman style restaurant have become some of the hottest in Bangkok.
Appia Italian Restaurant is pretty easy to find. The walk from Phrom Pong BTS will only take ten minutes. The restaurant is open evenings only (18:00 until 23:00) from Tuesday to Sunday.
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The moment you step through the doors at Appia you are transported from a skyscraper filled city to a country trattoria. The right hand side of the restaurant looks out through floor to ceiling windows on to a small hedged veranda, the floors are polished concrete and the ceiling is timbered; so far, so rustic . The focal point of Appia is without a doubt the bar at the end of the dining room. Above it hangs a chalkboard menu with the generous selection of wines by the glass, and daily specials. Behind the counter you’ll find all kinds of treats: chickens slowly turning on a spit, roast pork cooling on the side and a host of delicious looking cheeses and cured meats. Of course, no Italian restaurant would be complete without a proper coffee machine either.
The owner and chef at Appia are both incredibly serious about home style cooking, so much so that when they were creating the menu for the Italian restaurant they flew in the chef’s mother to show everyone how it’s done. If I’d grown up in a household where these dishes were your average Sunday lunch I’d be at least 50lbs heavier!
We started our dinner with the chicken liver crostini (150 baht) from a section on the menu called ‘things to eat with bread’. There are plenty of other dishes that are almost impossible to resist under this banner: marinated red peppers (100 baht) and a selection of cheeses, meats and spreads (700 baht). Given the portion size of the pâté that came with my olive oil drizzled toast, you could probably make a meal from these dishes alone.
I always find that the shorter the menu, the harder it can be to pick. Appia Restaurant in Sukhumvit manage to make every dish sound appetizing, and although it only cover one side of A4, I already want to come back to taste more of these fantastic pastas and rotisserie meats.
We both picked pastas for our main course. The cavatelli pasta (B350) is served with rich lamb ragu, small curled shells with a rich tomato sauce. Served in a wide dish, the portion doesn’t feel like mama’s trying to fatten you up, but it is in fact the perfect size, with plenty of tender meat and perfectly al dente chewy pasta. The pappardale (450 baht) is served with crab meat and oven-roasted tomatoes. The smells coming from the rotisseries are mouth-watering: through the glass front you can glimpse crispy pork rolled with rosemary and garlic and organic roast chicken.
The wine selection is excellent, and if, like us, you are lucky to stumble upon the owner, he will be able to recommend a glass to go with the dishes you have ordered. Appia Italian restaurant even has a high-tech oxygenation machine that keeps the wine fresh, allowing nine options by the glass. Wines by the glass start at 220 baht, and bottle start at 900 baht.
Desserts (300 baht) are a real treat, and although those who came before us have raved about the tiramisu we opted for a warm dark chocolate cherry tart, served in a crisp pastry shell. The slightly sour cherries add a nice touch to the mousse-like chocolate. The name may be misleading but the sweet cappuccino doesn’t contain coffee or chocolate, however the layers of almond crumble, cream and lemon curd come together well, with complimenting textures and flavours.
Appia Italian Restaurant delivers the Italian version of Soul Food that Bangkok has come to adore so much, and when you finally stumble out of the door at the end of the night, you’ll be surprised to find the Asian city looking down on you.
Appia Italian Restaurant
- Opening Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 18:00 - 23:00
- Address: 20/4 Sukhumvit Soi 31, Bangkok
- Tel: +66 (0)2 2612056