Da Maurizio Bar Ristorante, Patong, Phuket
Words by Kirsten Durward
Photos by The Yum List (Monica Tindall)
We’re expecting another delightful sea view from Da Maurizio but nothing could have prepared us for the actuality. The spot lit evening sea; with the white foaming waves crashing on the dark rocks feels like it’s right in the room with you. This quite traditional, elegant restaurant is given a more elemental edge when you seat right at the window. It’s simply spellbinding.
|View from Da Maurizio|
I love the story of Da Maurizio, Maurizio’s house. Maurizio came over on holiday to visit his friend, a local restaurateur and over beers they decided he should stay and they would open an Italian restaurant together. And so began a Phuket institution, that lingers until this day. We are greeted by the delightful Tonino, restaurant manager, but later discover that his name is not actually Tonino, that epithet being created by Maurizio who loved to give his staff Italian nicknames. Cheeky!
|Da Maurizio at Night|
I start my evening with a glass of Australian sparkling. I love this refreshingly soft, yet dry wine with its nutty flavours and hints of apple, pear and caramel. A yummy start to an evening (or indeed a morning or afternoon…) Apart from Monica’s riotous friend Peter, who is straight into double martinis, my delightful dining companions are enjoying glasses of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc and Orvieto Classico respectively. I sneak a sip of each. The Sunrise Sauvignon from the Central Valley holds a delicate citric aroma, on tasting, the acidity is balanced nicely, and the wine tastes fresh and elegant. The Ruffino Orvieto is fresh and fragrant, with delicate flowery notes and fruity hints of green apples and plums. It is a bright wine, sweeter on the palate and exceedingly delightful to taste. The choice of wines on the menu exemplify why Baan Rim Pa group restaurants consistently receive awards from Wine Spectator magazine. All these white wines are well priced at THB 435 per glass or THB 2,150 for the bottle.
|Italian White Wine|
A tasting trio of spoonful starters showcases a selection of local seafood and sensory flavours, soft avocado mousse, prawn with a spicy salsa, scallop with a teeny caviar burst.
|Trio of Starters|
Our first dish is an impressive looking Caprese Rivisitata da Maurizio (THB465) with an entire buffalo mozzarella ball, plum tomatoes and Modena balsamic. We enjoy digging into this ball of dense white creaminess, a classic taste of Italy.
The next sizzling plate is Monica’s favourite of the night, Parmigiana di Melanzane, Zucchine, Scamorza e Pomodoro (THB 395). The tomato sauce is bursting with flavour and there is plenty of oozy cheese layered through with succulent eggplant and zucchini.
Our table begins to groan with food as a plentiful bowl of local baby clams, Saute di Vongole (THB 325) is served. The fragrant sauce is laden with white wine, chili, tomato and herbs. Plenty here to dip your toasty bread into, but be careful not to fill up too much before the pasta course.
I’m really looking forward to tasting the Da Maurizio pasta as I have read that 90% of the fruit vegetables herbs and eggs used in the pasta are organic, 100% organic is the aim. And, the first sampler does not disappoint at all. In fact it is one of my favourite ways of serving pasta, cooked just al dente and tossed simply with flavour packed olive oil, basil and chili.
The next offering though is utterly scrumptious. Oodles of dark green spinach and firm ricotta cheese meet our greedy tongues when our teeth bite through firm fresh Ravioli (THB585) parcels. The slippery creamy tomato sauce is lightly laced with slithers of Parma ham, and the flavours combine with a delightful elegance. We’ve no sooner finished savouring these morsels of deliciousness, when we meet their meatier cousins. A savoury sensation of soft, red wine braised veal cheek (THB690) is the beautiful burst of flavour that our taste buds now enjoy. If you’re torn between which of these two yums to settle on, Da Maurizio settles your debate by offering a mixed ravioli dish simply so you can taste both. Double yum.
|Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Ravioli|
|Beef Cheek Ravioli|
If you have someone to impress, then Rock Lobster with Angel hair pasta, arugula, chili and white wine is your choice for sure. This visually intricate dish is also packed with flavour, and supping succulent fresh lobster with the sea crashing in your ears is not something anyone will ever forget.
|Local Lobster Spaghetti|
Although we’re already stuffed and happily could have stopped eating right at this point, we are pressed to try some of the main menu dishes and compromise on one fish and one meat dish between the four of us. A light coating of lemon and herbs crusts a fresh fillet of sea bass, Filetto di Branzion Del Mediterranean in Crosta di Erbe, Limone e Vegetali Saltati (THB1250,) served on a bed of sautéed greens. It’s a fresh zingy dish that would probably be appreciated a lot better on an emptier stomach. The sauvignon blanc compliments it beautifully.
I’ve convinced my table mates to try a Saltimbocca di Vitella alla Romana (THB1250), which is one of my favourite dishes, one my dad prepares often at home. I love the flavours of fresh sage and prosciutto in this dish. I’ve also been treated to a glass of Barolo Barolo DOCG 2008 “Ornato” Pio Cesare (bottle THB9,900) to complement the veal. A very rich wine, only produced in very small quantities, this has delicious flavours of concentrated ripe fruit, with nutty and spice tinges throughout.
|Pio Cesare Red Wine|
We really are stuffed now, and are grateful to be offered a digestif. Sue takes on a flaming Sambucca, Monica sips on a rather aromatic Frangelico and I indulge myself with the mellow tones of a Hennessy XO. Peter? His continual line of Martinis has not failed him yet. With very full bellies and the sound of the sea still echoing in our ears we climb the few steps to our rides home, groaning with that particular satisfaction that lingers from fresh Italian flavours.
Reasons to visit: simply stunning setting; fresh organic pasta; award winning wine cellar.
223/2 Prabaramee Road,
+66 76 344 079