For Italian food in Bangkok, most Bangkok expats have a few options top of mind – L’Opera, Zanotti, Spasso, etc. For some reason Giusto is not necessarily first recalled as an option for most… a shame as this modern Italian restaurant on Sukhumvit Soi 23 is not only a good value, but some of the best Italian food the city has to offer.
Giusto sprang to life in 2003, a daring venture for the owners Renzo, Giulio and Fabio as only Fabio had previous restaurant experience as a chef. The trio met, first as friends, out on the town in Bangkok. Ask them the story of how they decided to start things and a mischievous glint comes to their eyes as they recall the early days. They formulated the idea for the restaurant in those nights out on the town discussing their shared passion for Italian cuisine, wine, and a new style of dining.
The trio is half the appeal of the restaurant. All three are full of Italian pride, from their attitude towards food and life to the high performance Italian motorcycles they all ride. All are present in the restaurant and make a point to greet customers (particularly Giulio to discuss the wine and Fabio to discuss the food).
The restaurant itself has an understated elegance…modern and chic without being pretentious or stuffy. Inside you’ll find intimate corners with tables for two and long tables perfect for a dinner party of 10-15.
Walk to the back of the restaurant and you’ll find a separate area known as the Wine Experience / The Glass Wine Bar. The back area is more of an upscale lounging area perfect for post-meal drinks or a place to gather to enjoy a glass of wine and a cigar before a night out. The space is also used as a gallery. On my last visit they were setting up an exhibit in partnership with a Thai motorcycle enthusiast with artful black and white photographs of biking routes throughout Thailand.
As enjoyable as the ambiance and owners are, the food is the most impressive. Prices are reasonable for the quality. There’s a newly started lunch buffet with a range of Italian starters beginning at only 280 THB. Add a main and dessert to the set and it’s still only 490 THB. For dinner rates remain reasonable with pastas around 300 THB and even fancy main courses coming in around 800 THB. Or for the foodies, a degustation menu of 4 courses for 1300 THB.A view of the sprawling lunch buffet
As we took our seats at the table and awaited the arrival of our other guests we were treated with bruscetta. The freshness and flavors of the ingredients foreshadowed the excellent meal we were about to enjoy. It was something so simple, yet had been done with such finesse as to excite us all.
There was a large group dining that night so I don’t have notes on what everyone ordered, but where I can I’ll try and include some comments. I started with the Tuna & Trout Carpaccio with Olives, Capers & Lemons.
In preparation for my first visit to Giusto, I looked at the menu online in advance. I had a few dishes in mind that I was excited to try. Thankfully I also discussed with a friend who lives in Bangkok and had dined there multiple times. She suggested I go with the Grilled Snowfish with Lobster Cream Sauce with Sauted Spinach & Diced Boiled Parsley Potatoes. I might have skipped right over this dish without the suggestion…and gladly I didn’t. This dish was easily the best non-Thai fish dish (the Thai preparation of fish deserves it’s own criteria )I’ve tasted in Bangkok.
Even though everyone was satisfied and stuffed to the brim, we still had to try some desserts (for the blog we told ourselves ). I selected the Stuffed Vanilla Crepes in Warm Chocolate Sauce…good but after sampling other’s desserts I’d say there are better options on the menu.
All in all, Giusto is a highly recommended Bangkok stop from us. From the food to the venue to the owners, everything about this place is delightfully satisfying…which has to come from the top down. The trio has an infective, happy view on life. A good meal, a solid night out afterward, and repeat nightly They strove to create a venue, not to impress others, that they would want to go to. I’d call it a smashing success.
Giusto Italian Restaurant/Glass Wine Bar
16 Soi Sukhumvit 23, Sukhumvit Road
Telephone: +66 2258 4321 +66 2664 4420