December 4, 2014

When Thai tycoon, Apichai Taechaubol brought the UK-based Italian restaurant Signor Sassi to Bangkok to his hotel at Anantara Bangkok in Sathorn two years ago, the eatery proved to be a big hit. After all, Signor Sassi was one of the most famous Italian restaurants in London and it is a favourite of royalty, politicians, sports stars, movie and music personalities. Similarly, it attracted the glitterati and Bangkok elites to flock there to savour the good authentic Italian fare. Despite its popularity, the restaurant proved to be a bit inaccessible. A few months ago, the shrewd businessman decided to relocate it to Siam Paragon Shopping Complex.

Occupying the G level, the 255 square metre restaurant now boasts two levels, capable of seating 100 patrons. The mezzanine level is suitable for private functions and can accommodate 20 persons comfortably. The interior has a warm feel and an open kitchen takes centre stage.

Food –wise nothing much has changed. It faithfully still uses genuine Italian ingredients and stuck close to the original menu, maintaining many of its popular dishes including the spaghetti lobster.

I dropped in recently to check the place out and the restaurant lived up to its expectation. Initially, I wanted to opt for the Avocado Benardo (lobsters and prawns with cocktail sauce ringed by slices of avocado). I had this lovely dish at the previous location. However, this time around I decided to try something new for my appetiser. Instead I had the Crab Salad, which was presented in an empty crab shell filled with crab meat and loads of vegetables. It was overflowing with lettuce, celery, carrots and chili and accompanied by a dollop of cocktail cream on the side. Not only did it look so pretty but it was refreshingly good.

Two mains were ordered and the first was the Risotto Signor Sassi and the second, Tagliata di Filleto di Manzo — grilled filet beef steak with balsamic, brandy flambe and rocket leaf vegetables. The risotto used Arborio rice which is a short grain variety and it took its name from the town in the Po Valley. The rice tasted chewy because of the high starch content. They came wrapped by the parma ham and on the side were the porcini mushrooms sitting in a creamy sauce that had a touch of white wine. To enjoy this dish you had to mixed it all up and savour the concoction. The beef steak cooked medium well was marvellously tender. Every bite was a delight.

For desserts, you just have to go for the ever popular Poached Pear in Chianti Wine Sauce and the Tiramisu. The chianti wine gave the pear a red glow and the vanilla ice cream complemented it very well. The tiramisu was prepared using Amaretto, a sweet almond-flavoured Italian liqueur. The creaminess oozed from the mascarpone cheese which is reputed for its richness. And what is a tiramisu without espresso coffee? The combined result was a mouth-watering treat.

It is obvious that this new location has been well received judging from the increased number in patronage. Because the place has a casual vibe about it and offering consistent authentic Italian food, Signor Sassi at Paragon will definitely become the go to restaurant for the locals as well as the tourists who wander into the shopping mall.

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