In the days following the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant awards, several of the list’s superstar chef hung around town, taking part in pop-up dinners and other food related events and parties. On Friday February 24th, chefs Duangporn ‘Bo’ Songvisava and Dylan Jones of the restaurant Bo.Lan—which placed 19th on the list this year—joined forces in their famous kitchen with Chef Luca Fantin, from Bulgari’s Il Ristorante Luca Fantin in Tokyo, for a fantastic wine-paired multi-course meal. A large number of the wines, supplied by FIN Wines (www.fin-wine.com), were from Thailand’s own GranMonte Vineyard, and matched beautifully with the gastronomic delights the chefs had prepared for that evening’s select audience of diners. Another highlight of the meal was the presence of Andrea Petrini, the man who wrote the introduction to Chef Luca’s recently released art book La Cucina di Luca Fantin by Bulgari.
Another grand wine event was the special luncheon given by Gambero Rosso, the renowned Italian food and wine magazine and publishing group founded in 1986. The event took place at Gianni Ristorante, one of the city’s best Italian eateries, and featured 12 mouth-watering courses—each one paired skillfully with a beautiful Italian red, white or sparkling vino that the Gambero Rosso wine guide had awarded top marks.
The elegantly mustachioed Marco Sabellico, Senior Editor at Gambero Rosso, acted as the emcee for the afternoon, introducing both the wines and some of the producers who had travelled all the way from Italy to attend the event. Some of the initial highlights included the 2009 Bellavista Franciacorta Pas Operé, a fresh and fizzy prosecco that could easily stand in for a true champagne, and the 2014 Livon Braide Alte, an unforgettable blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Moscato and Picolit. When the reds began to arrive it was hard not to be impressed by the 2013 Petra, a Cabernet/Merlot blend with a distinguished tannin finish, as well as the deep and delicious 2014 Ciccio Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Chronicon. However, my heart ultimately went to the 2012 Velenosi Rosso Piceno Roggio del Filare, which is regularly available at Gianni Ristorante.
At the conclusion of the meal, Marco Sabellico presented Chef Gianni Favro with Gambero Rosso’s ‘Top Italian Restaurant, Bangkok’ award for his restaurant—which is just one more reason to visit this exceedingly elegant and enjoyable eatery (located at 34/1 Soi Tonson).
As for upcoming wine news, About Eatery (Ocean Tower II, Sukhumvit Soi 21) is hosting Bangkok’s first ever Natural Wine Festival on Sunday, April 2nd. The event runs from 11am to 7pm and promises guests the most exciting collection of natural, organic and biodynamic wines—free from unpleasant chemicals and/or preservatives—ever assembled in Thailand. The team at About Eatery, led by owner Giulio Saverino, have long been dedicated to these wine movements, and anyone who has visited this gem of a restaurant knows exactly what a fabulous product line they bring to Bangkok’s dedicated oenophiles. Tickets for the festival are B500 (limit of 200 tickets), and the price includes 50 selections of wines to taste, along with fine artisanal products to sample. Wine by the glass or bottle and food plates will be available for purchase at special prices. And, if all goes according to plan, the Bangkok Natural Wine Festival will be a regular annual event in Thailand.