Bangkok has a no shortage of excellent Italian restaurants but in lieu of dining out at your typical, street-side Italian eateries, opt for something a little off the beaten track.

Volti Restaurant & Bar within the Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok is a riverside Italian restaurant with superb food and a splendid setting themed around the concept of a trattoria spiked with contemporary charm. Here’s why it should be your go-to.

Having been through a renovation, Volti welcomes a fresh new start this winter. Yes — we are talking new chef, new menu, and new concept. Executive Sous Chef Deivid Paiva, who boasts former tenures as an Executive Sous Chef at the Shangri-La Dubai, Beijing, and Doha, has brought about a fine palate and a well-versed knack for cooking to Volti. This is evidenced in his appetite-reviving Ravioli with Smoked Buffalo Mozzarella, Slow-cooked Octopus, and Tomato Compote with Burrata Cream, to name a few.

And if you are an avid drinker, the two-story restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating also boasts a lavish Aperitivo Lounge where you can relish in a selection of Italian-native liquors and, of course, Peroni beer.

When talking about Italy’s aperitivo-drinking culture, Peroni Brewery is well-known for brewing its premium blue ribbon lager, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, since 1846. Lauded as a summertime beer, Peroni features a flavour profile of semi-sweet tangs and roasted-corn malt spiked with a smack of hoppy-bitter taste. This makes it a perfect companion to comfort food laden with hearty elements.

Those who are after a heartwarming bite and a typical beer for an exceptional aperitivo session, we recently checked out Volti Restaurant & Bar and had a blast over booze and savoury bites. Read on for what to order — because don’t we all deserve a nice aperitivo moment?

Crocchetta Di Manzo (THB 260)

Needless to say, a deep-fried crocchetta (or croquette) is great. But to add in succulent stars like fork-tender wagyu beef cheek and potato mousseline? These two elements just times two the deliciousness of the fried mashed potato balls.

Crostonne Con Fegatini (THB 260)

The chicken liver crostini here is classic yet somewhat reimagined. The chicken liver is given a sweet, slightly acidic taste through the caramelised red wine onion it’s cooked with. Before serving, a mixture of wine cooked with gelatin is poured on top to create a thin layer of fruity sauce to cut through the rich liver taste. Use the toasted bread as your utensil to scoop up the mixture.It’s a sure win-win, since the bread acts as both crunch and carb.

Bruschetta (THB 240)

An addictive antipasto from Italy, the bruschetta here features garlic-rubbed toast topped with a simple salad made of tomato, basil, and avocado. The avocado is a modern addition, but nevertheless gives the bruschetta that much-needed creamy texture contrast to the crispy bread. With a drizzle of olive oil on top it makes for a finger-licking good appetiser to your meal.

Patatine di Polenta (THB 240)

It’s usually a side player, but for this dish, polenta is given a starring role. Once cooked through, the ground cornmeal enhanced with a fistful or parmesan, thyme, and onion powder is shaped into a french fry-like stick and deep-fried until the exterior is golden. This makes it very crisp, whilst the inside remains chewy and soft, perfect for dipping into a herbal pesto for some wholesome vegetal taste.

Arancini (THB 240)

Arancini, or stuffed fried rice ball, is an ideal snack to pair with beer since the hoppy flavours and the freshness are a good counterpoint to the oil-enriched food. These fried rice balls are made of cheesy risotto rice and stuffed with more mozzarella and beef ragout. They are packed with meaty and carb-y sensations that will surely hit all the right spots.

Volti Restaurant & Bar, 89 Wat Suan Phlu Alley, Bang Rak, Bangkok, +662 236 7777; Open: Mon-Sun, 6-10:30 pm. 

Kankanit Wichiantanon
Writer, Bangkok
Kankanit is a writer by day and a baker by night. If there’s one thing you should know about her, it’s that she can wax poetic about food 24/7. Her daily routine is writing, cooking, eating, repeat. They are the things that inspire her from morning 'til night.