Italian and Japanese restaurants are plentiful here.. and actually quite good.
This is one is a favourite lunchtime place for me. I’ve often brought out of town coworkers who don’t eat Thai food here as well. (to some of their defence- having shellfish allergies don’t bode well with visiting Thailand, where baby shimp or fish sauce is often used in Thai cuisine)
The ambiance is nice, simple wooden tables and chairs without being too heavy. The entire wall is lined with empty wine bottles they have opened and served. Upon close inspection, I find that, no, the wine is not exclusively Italian. In the back is a walled cooking area that includes a large furnace for baking bread.
Their soda bread is to die for. Almost, but it’s the best part of their food.
Their lunch set menu is a decent bargain, at about US$ 10, there’s a starter, mostly salad or soup selection, a main course, and an ice cream or sorbet dessert. The starters are cheaply prepackaged iceberg lettuce thrown together. Usually with true greens and a topping such as shrimp or beef slices, they are quite well presented and taste as good as they look. The main courses range from a simple pick-your-ingredients pasta to bacon-wrapped chicken with vegetables on the side. It doesn’t sound Italian, but the clearly olive oil based sauce makes one accept it.
For a restaurant that serves very good food, their customer base is surprisingly small. The restaurant is poorly situated, hidden in a sub-soi that sees very little traffic. Their business seems to be dwindling down- the portions has gotten progressively smaller over the many times I’ve gone to eat there. And the breads more stingily served.
It’s too bad. The food is excellent. And worth keeping the restaurant around for. Which is why I go back. Just doing my part.