La Cantina Bangkok is one of those restaurants that you could walk past a thousand times without taking a second glance, with its low-key exterior and unassuming sign. Yet those that do venture inside are in for a real treat.
Tucked away down Sukhumvit Soi 16 near Asoke, the French-Italian born chef creates his entire menu from scratch: that’s everything from the handmade ravioli and fettuccine, right the way down to the chocolate sauce in their desserts.
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It’s not always easy to find an affordable Italian restaurant in Sukhumvit – or anywhere else in Bangkok for that matter. However, with set lunch deals and signature pasta dishes starting at just a few hundred baht, La Cantina definitely doesn’t break the bank.
Having visited La Cantina Bangkok soon after its opening in 2014, we went back for second helpings after learning there was a new chef in the kitchen, a French-Italian national who’s racked up years of experience in mastering authentic Italian food across both Europe and Asia.
First up was the watermelon gazpacho (175 baht), a dish which retained all the flavours of the classic recipe with tomatoes, but provided an extra kick with a hint of chili and pepper. The second equally light and refreshing starter was the Nicoise salad (295 baht); again, the original recipe is modified slightly with locally sourced crab and squid used instead of tuna: a welcome substitution indeed.
Starters aside, what we were really waiting for was La Cantina’s signature lamb shank, a dish which had left us rather impressed on our last visit. This time, the leg of lamb arrived de-boned and wrapped in Palma ham, having spent the previous night in a bath of red wine. It’s definitely a more photogenic and easier to eat version of the previous, and what really stood out was how the sour potato salad paired so well with the rich flavours of the meat. At 540 baht, it’s also a bit of steal.
No Italian restaurant is complete with a whole lineup of pastas, and La Cantina doesn’t disappoint on that front either. Everything is handmade in house, with pastas and penne dishes costing 280 baht and fettuccini and gnocchi dishes at 350 baht. Try their cheesy gnocchi with homemade sausage and saffron for a real comfort-food fix, or go for the handmade ravioli with sweet pumpkin sauce and brown butter.
To finish, their chocolate mousse was everything we hoped it would be: rich, creamy and a little bit boozy thanks to the welcome addition of port wine. La Cantina Bangkok has an ever-changing lineup of imported wines too, with reds, white and dessert wines available by the glass or bottle.
The end result is a great, home-style Italian restaurant just off Sukhumvit - top of its game in almost every aspect apart from the rather rough and ready looking entrance). La Cantina Bangkok is walking distance from Asoke BTS Skytrain Station and Sukhumvit MRT Underground, easy to find opposite Long Table restaurant and bar on Sukhumvit Soi 16.
La Cantina Italian Restaurant
- Opening Hours: 11:30-15:00, 17:30-22:30 (Closed Sunday)
- Location: 25/4 Sukhumvit Soi 16, opposite ‘Foodland’ or tell your taxi ‘Long Table’ which is very close.
- MRT: Sukhumvit
- BTS: Asok
- Tel: +66 (0)2-259 6669