I love Thai food, but after a while in Thailand, I sometimes crave Italian food, my favorite of all cuisines. Finding great Italian food can be a challenge in Thailand – but Phuket has one of the most authentic Italian restaurants I have found in Asia – from great food and wine to a unique service experience it’s all I’d ask for and it’s worth making the trip to LaGaetana in Phuket town!
Friends who are locals to Phuket took me to their favorite Italian restaurant in town years ago – and we’ve been back to La Gaetana several times since. It’s popular with long-term residents and it’s so good, it’s worth the trip from the beach towns around the island!
La Gaetana is a small restaurant with a handful of tables and there is – in true Italian tradition – only one seating per night, so you should make a reservation ahead of time! You are welcome by the owner and his wife and their cheeky banter throughout the evening is part of the experience. Your first choice is from the long, well crafted wine list. Feel free to ask for assistance to pick one to match your taste and food – he loves wine and pouring your wine is a show all its own! From the presentation of the wine to the opening, the tasting and finally, the pouring, it sure beats your average sommelier and is a fun start to your meal.
There is also a lengthy menu for the food, but there are lots of personalization and specials, so I’d suggest to just tell the chef what you’d like and go with his recommendations – you are sure to discover some of the specialties and there is plenty to enjoy.
We started our meal with the burrata – a deliciously soft and tasty mozzarella, with a little green and tomato on the side. We also had a homemade sausage – very tasty and with just the right amount of spice to it and a great contrast to the cheese!
I picked the truffle pasta as my main course – and the bland look of the dish (not helped by the grainy photo of my phone camera) did not do the flavor any justice. The truffle sauce and shavings made for some of the best, yet simple pasta you can have.
We shared two desserts to finish our meal – and it’s worth saving some room for (if you are not blessed with a separate dessert stomach, like me)! We ordered two of my all-time favorites and both were some of the best of any restaurant! The chocolate cake has a hot, molten core complemented by ice cream and sauce. All of it was perfectly made, matched and presented – I don’t know how it could be better.
The second choice was the creme brulee, a common dish, yet expertly crafted as well. Needless to say, we finished all of it without leaving even crumbs!
Over the years, I’ve tried a number of dishes and have not found a single one I didn’t like – that’s a compliment I’ve rarely made to a restaurant and is the highest recommendation I can give to a restaurant. The friendly service of the husband & wife team makes you feel like being guest to their home, enjoying a meal made with love & passion! If you want the best meal in Phuket, leave the hotel or beach restaurants behind and head to La Gaetana – it’s my favorite and it might become yours, too!