URBANI TRUFFLE BAR & RESTAURANT
By : JOHN GRANVILLE
25 January 2020
About: Urbani Truffles started with Constantine Urbani in 1852, who began by exporting fresh truffles from Italy to France, and the company has evolved to be the world’s leading truffle distributor. Still based in Umbria, Urbani has stores and delis worldwide, and Urbani Truffle Bar & Restaurant represents a move into the restaurant business. Chef in charge is Salvatore Salis, who is from Sardinia and has been with the restaurant for only three months. The style is Italian fine dining, tending towards the Mediterranean, and naturally with a generous use of Urbani truffles.
Decor: The restaurant is perched on the 39th floor of Sathorn Square, and diners have a big wraparound window through which to appreciate the view across Bangkok. Seating includes comfy sofas against the windows, and saloon-bar chairs. Black marble, polished parquet, and moody lighting characterise the decor. The truffle bar has an elegant design with seating capacity for up to 30 people. More than 250 wine labels are available, with a dramatic display of bottles at the bar. A private room is available for groups with advance booking, and they can order from the menu or ask to have a special menu prepared.
Menu: The truffle creation dishes change continuously according to the season and the fresh ingredients available, with the menu constantly evolving. There is an a la carte, and two tasting menus of five (3,900 baht) and seven (5,500 baht) courses. We opted for the five-course menu, which includes an amuse bouche, which changes daily and in our case was crab on a cherry tomato; and a glass of prosecco. Our first course was steamed monkfish tail, with the citrus tang of lemon and orange (all the courses have an alternative, in this case being beef truffle tartare). This was followed by truffle soup, an earthy broth of truffle paste, dried porcini, potato, truffle slices, and pastry (red mullet soup was the alternative soup course). Linguine from the hill town of Gragnano, famous for its pasta, was served with truffle slices and rye bread (smoked duck risotto was the alternative). For our fourth course, a fillet of wild John Dory from Brittany was prepared in a sauce of Vermentino white wine (the choice was tournedos Rossini). For dessert we had mango and truffle, in which mango cream cheese was prepared with butter crumble, truffle slice, and mango sorbet (a tiramisu chocolate sphere with truffle was the other choice).
Evaluation: Everything was, of course, prepared perfectly. Urbani is a luxury brand, and this is reflected in everything about the restaurant. Had we had dishes from the a la carte, the selection is concise, with a particularly fine selection of pasta. There is a very reasonably fixed price set lunch menu, at 690 baht, and a slimmed down lunchtime a la carte. All in all, Urbani Truffle Bar & Restaurant is a place to treat someone, including, of course, yourself.