Il Fumo | Bangkok Post: lifestyle

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Il Fumo

350-15,900 baht/person

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Address:1098, Rama IV Rd., Thung Maha Mek, Sathon, Bangkok 10120 Thailand

Tel:+6622868833

Service day:Everyday, Service hours: 18:00-01:00

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Official description

Il Fumo, Italian for "smoke", is among a good number of establishments in Bangkok answering to gastronomic demand for the smokey frill of wood-fire grill that has become all the rage in the city's culinary circle.

Yet, despite being opened for just seven months, the dubbed "charcoal and cocktail house" proves one of the most dominant and best established of its kind.

Rating

Editorial Reviews

Italian chophouse delivers

Il Fumo presents genuine food that touches your soul

The restaurant's culinary director Chef Luca Appino. photo: Pawat Laopaisarntaksin

Il Fumo, Italian for "smoke", is among a good number of establishments in Bangkok answering to gastronomic demand for the smokey frill of wood-fire grill that has become all the rage in the city's culinary circle.

Yet, despite being opened for just seven months, the dubbed "charcoal and cocktail house" proves one of the most dominant and best established of its kind.

This 90-seat Italian charcoal grill restaurant with an elegant reception bar, is owned and run by visionary restaurateurs, Choti and his wife, Debby, Leenutaphong, who team up with veteran Italian chef and influencer Luca Appino.

At his latest cooking domain, Appino, who also heads La Bottega di Luca and Pizza Massilia, briefly defines his fare as genuine food that touches your soul.

In more details, Il Fumo offers contemporary Italian cuisine, prepared with exclusive selection of top-notch seasonal produces (most of them you wouldn't be able to find anywhere else in town), from state-of-the-art wood charcoal grilling stations.

Highlights products include some of the most exquisite meats as well as seafood.

While beef and pork are manually sourced from artisan farms and exclusive suppliers in Europe, seafood such as French turbot, Ligurian violet prawn and Dutch eel, come directly from the Rungis, the world-famous fresh food market in Paris.

The menu is built up upon the availability of the season's best harvests and revised every three months.

The current one boasts an impressive selection of beef, including champion-quality Diamantiana Australian wagyu, legendary Florentine-style steak from Italian Chianinas breed and hearty cut of Rubia Gallega beef from Galicia, Spain.

The Spanish dry-aged Rubia gallega prime rib steak.

The beef, as well the pork, is to be grilled to diners' preference with Italian cherry wood. While olive wood and apple wood are used for seafood.

Either your preference is at the bar or your dining table, it's recommended that you start off your visit with some of the inventive concoctions from the cocktail bar. They are house-revised renditions of vintage, forgotten formulas by the restaurant's award-winning mixologist. Try Thai Thai (420 baht) and apricot sherbet (390 baht).

Our dinner officially and excellently began with a platter of wood charcoal grilled Mora Romagnola pork sausage served with house-made charcoal toasted bread (960 baht).

The sausage is exclusively crafted for Appino by Italian charcutier in Piedmont using meat from free-range, black-haired pig from an artisanal Ca' Lumaco Estate farm in Emilia-Romagna region.

The coarsely-chopped, subtly-seasoned pork meat was tightly encased in the thin crusty case charred to add a light smoky kick to each scrumptious bite.

Wood fire-grilled anguilla eel from the Netherlands (1,290 baht) is another delicacy highbrow epicures don't want to miss. Meaty filets of the sustainably-harvested saltwater eel has been marinated in aged Modena balsamic vinegar to absorb the rich fruity sweet note before being charred over flame.

Served with cauliflower-almond puree and creamy polenta, the eel exhibited extraordinary springy texture with rich fatty, but not at all fishy, taste. Such heavenly mouthfeel reminds my palate of a medium-cooked, high-marbling Matsuzaka beef. Meanwhile, the balsamic, which was also used for the glazing sauce, proved to marvellously complement the naturally flavoursome quality of the fish and never overpower the smoky finish from the wood fire.

Paccheri pasta with lightly charcoal-grilled crab meat and tomato-white wine sauce.

Dishes tend to come in a good hefty portion ideal for sharing.

Paccheri with lightly charcoal-grilled crab meat (890 baht) is a nice option for two pasta lovers to share. The flat sheet pasta came generously blanketed with giant lumps of top-grade crab meat, flame-grilled to take in some smokey whiff, in rich tomato-white wine sauce. The pasta didn't fail to provide the expected al dente texture, the cottony white crab showcased its genuine sweetness while the sauce, made simply with tomato, garlic, olive oil and thyme, proved a real delight to the taste buds.

From the temperature and humidity controlled beef display chambers, our party of three opted for dry-aged Rubia gallega prime rib steak (540 baht per 100 grammes). The native cattle to Spain's northwestern region yields well-marbled beef with tender texture and deep rich flavour.

Our order, a perfectly-cut, one-kilo portion of steak, was cooked on the traditional Spanish grill that allowed the beef a nice burnt crust while helped to retain its juiciness and pleasant chew. The meat and the fat were cut apart and served side by side together with charred zucchini, baby carrots and fingerling potatoes. The sumptuous steak and the yellow-hued fat were enjoyed with just a sprinkle of salt (the collection included volcanic salt, red wine-infused salt and French fluer de sel) and totally proved worth getting fat for.

When it's time for dessert, we were told that bombolon, or Italian deep-fried doughnut, was not just the best-seller choice but the one to go for. It featured three golf-ball sized servings of the piping hot, golden brown doughnut with Nutella filling and vanilla cream (380 baht). Perhaps, because our dinner had been so sumptuous and stomach-filling we felt the fried pastry was a bit too heavy a wrap up.

Thus we decided to try also the frutta grigliata, or charcoal-grilled seasonal fruit with Moscato wine, ricotta cheese and pomegranate reduction (420 baht).

French peach happened to represent the choice of the evening. The supple-meat, mild tangy fruit was marinated over night with the sweet fruity wine and then caramelised with brown sugar before being flame-grilled to develop a crusty face. The refreshingly light and delicious peach dessert was agreed by my dining companions and I as an impeccable finish to the meat-centric feast.

Service was efficient with a gracious touch. Reservations are recommended.

Wood fire-grilled Dutch eel with aged balsamic vinegar and cauliflower-almond puree.

The six-month-old 'charcoal and cocktail house' offers to Bangkok's highbrow epicures the smokey frill of wood-fire grill with exclusive selections of beef as its highlight.

Location

1098, Rama IV Rd., Thung Maha Mek, Sathon, Bangkok 10120 Thailand

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