IN a city renowned for the fickleness of its diners and the fast turnover of its restaurants, L’Opera on Sukhumvit 39 is something of a rarity. For more than 30 years, this amiable Italian eatery has proved an enduringly popular choice with generations of expats and Thais who love its consistency and reliability.
From the unusual layout offering customers four different but very pleasant dining areas on different levels, to the high quality of its Italian cuisine and the dedication of its staff, several of whom have been with the restaurant since its opening, L’Opera is a Bangkok legend.
And it’s that reliability, knowing for sure that dining here is always an enjoyable experience, along with the kitchen’s willingness to customize dishes to individual preferences, which brings people back to its tables.
Bjorn is keen to highlight the restaurant's imported Fassone beef, known as the “Kobe of Italy,” the only product of its kind to be recognized by the US Heart Association for its low cholesterol. A 1.4 kg serving is enough for three or four people.
He has also added some very appealing dishes to a comprehensive menu, including his own recommendation – a culinary journey featuring seven dishes comprising three appetizers, two pastas, a main course, dessert and coffee for a very reasonable B1,480 (minimum two persons).
L’Opera’s menu is actually divided into at least 12 sections, each with an amazingly large selection of individual and some sharing dishes. The antipasti include mouth-watering items like mozzarella caprese, carpaccio di pesce, scallops, foie gras, roasted veal and much more.
Generous salads and tasty soups endowed with Italian flair are sensibly priced from B200 to B460. No less than 16 pasta dishes are available, including three different risottos. Pizza lovers have an incredible 17 different home-made varieties to choose from, with prices only B280 to B390.
You’ll find fresh barramundi, snow fish, sea bass, Norwegian salmon and tiger prawns in the seafood section. If you prefer grills, the restaurant offers a mixed grill of lamb, Italian sausage, beef and pork tenderloin, and baby chicken for just B780. All the other meats are from Australia.
L’Opera has a set lunch at B360, which includes a salad buffet and main course (choice of pasta or pizza), or a business set lunch with dessert, coffee and tea at B440.
Wines start from B350 per glass or B1,500 for a bottle. The restaurant also has a master wine list from the adjoining Reserva Wine Bar with over 300 outstanding labels for the real connoisseur.
Bjorn, who has a long hotel background in Bangkok and Myanmar, is a helpful but discreet presence in this legendary restaurant.
L’Opera Italian Restaurant & Reserva Wine Bar, Sukhumvit Soi 39. 02 258 5606.