When Salvia first opened in 2020 at the peak of Covid-19, I did not expect the Italian osteria to thrive. Not due to recession and lockdowns, but because of the competition in Bangkok's food scene.
Yet, after 27 months in operation, Salvia is at the top and enjoying its popularity.
I'd say the reason is the culinary ingenuity of head chef Roberto Parentela.
Parentela, a Sardinian native, has adopted Thailand as his second home.
Besides classic seafood dishes that reflect his archipelagic culinary roots, a variety of pasta recipes are also his speciality. Salvia's rendition of hand-rolled fusilli with lamb ragout, one of my all-time favourites, is among the best pasta offerings you can find in Bangkok.
My latest visit to Salvia a few days ago was to check out if its kitchen quality was still intact.
The current menu lists 40 items of cold cuts, appetisers, pizza, pasta, seafood, main meat and side dishes, plus desserts.
Sardinian pasta pearls with Hokkaido scallops, squid ink and Parma ham.
Seasonal options, showcasing Italian autumn ingredients including artichokes, golden chanterelles, porcini and black truffles, have been added to the menu.
A seasonal dish of crispy artichoke with wild rocket salad, truffle honey and Grana Padano (590 baht) started off my lunch wonderfully.
It's a very generous jumble of fresh wild rocket, red endive and sun-dried tomatoes topped with a golden deep-fried artichoke heart and dressed with truffle-honey balsamic, freshly-shaved black truffle and finely-grated Grana Padano cheese.
Other autumn specials, which will be available until the end of the month, include slow-cooked veal tongue; handmade tagliatelle with chanterelle and smoked pancetta; and pork tenderloin with butternut squash and foie gras agnolotti.
An order of grilled banana squid with spicy 'Nduja and baby spinach (590 baht), from the regular menu, presented a voluptuously podgy squid -- perfectly cooked, but still retaining its juicy essence -- coated in the spicy tomato-pork sauce and served with fresh baby spinach leaves.
Polpette di ricotta e pecorino (320 baht), which followed, is recommended should you wish for a vegetarian starter.
Six sizeable handmade cheese balls, made with pecorino, parmesan, garlic, egg and bread, came on a tasty bed of San Marzano tomato and peperoncino chilli sauce and topped with Italian basil.
Seven options are offered on the pasta menu.
I decided to try chef Parentela's hometown classic fregola e capesante (860 baht).
Fregola is pasta pearls typical of Sardinia. Exclusively for Salvia, they were dyed in squid ink to resemble large caviar eggs.
Complementing the gummy pasta was a delicious tomato-white wine sauce, naturally sweet pan-seared Hokkaido scallops and super crispy Parma ham garnish.
As heavenly in taste although with a less appealing appearance was the pasta choice tortelli zucca e tartufo (590 baht).
Crispy artichoke with wild rocket lettuce salad, truffle honey and Grana Padano.
The meat-free dish features handmade ravioli with ricotta-pumpkin filling served in sumptuously thick truffle cream.
For the main course, our party of three ordered two dishes.
You can never go wrong with the restaurant's all-time best-selling amberoni all'aglio (1,150 baht). Three large tiger prawns, sauteed in butter, garlic and parsley, exhibited an impressively firm, almost crunchy, texture that enhanced the taste. Meanwhile, the garlic-butter sauce helped heighten the gourmet quality.
Cotolette d'agnello (1,580 baht) was chosen as the main meat course. It's a 350g serving of Australian lamb chops with fregola pasta and sautéed artichokes in a creamy lamb liver sauce.
Salvia's airy tiramisu with hand-whipped mascarpone (350 baht); and chocolate-hazelnut tartufo with amarena cherry and dark chocolate and vanilla ice cream filling (350 baht) wrapped up our lunch.
The restaurant offers private dining rooms for up to 12 diners with a minimum spend of 8,000 baht for lunch and 15,000 baht for dinner. A large cellar room, which can accommodate up to 30 diners, can be booked with a minimum spend of 16,000 baht for lunch and 30,000 baht for dinner.
The cotolette d'agnello lamb chops with fregola pasta and sautéed artichokes in lamb liver sauce.
- Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, M Level
- Ratchadamri Road
- Call 02-254-1234
- Opens daily from
- 11.30am–2.30pm and
- Park at the hotel’s car park
- Most credit cards accepted