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PHUKET: My tastebuds had been tingling for some authentic Italian food for a few weeks, so I feel fortunate to have discovered Leonardo DaVinci restaurant located in Kata Hills.

The restaurant recently launched a new menu, in addition to a sizable wine list offering a variety of sparkling, white, rose and red wines.

The newly renovated restaurant can seat up to 70 people in multiple dining areas, which include two bars, private rooms and an outdoor seating area for an intimate dining experience under the stars. The ambiance is modern and elegant with a wooden, earthy decor. At the same time, the feel is serene, warm and inviting. The restaurant is also launching a deli in November.

The first course of the night was burrata alla caprese – a soft, fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream, served with rocket salad and tomatoes. Following this tangy treat were three varieties of fresh bruschetta. Both appetizers were light enough to keep your appetite whet for the main course.

I’ve always found it difficult to order at restaurants I’m unfamiliar with, but the chef’s recommendations put my mind at ease. The first main course I tried was ravioli stuffed with Asiago cheese and onion-balsamic jam, sauteed in saffron sauce. This was followed by an Angus beef tenderloin and then a grilled lamb fillet. These may sound like contrasting choices, but I was right to trust the chef – he knows exactly what makes his guests tick.

Being a beef enthusiast, I questioned him about how the beef is sourced. He said that the cows are bred in Australia and kept on a 100-day pure corn diet, and then the tenderloin is aged for 120 days before being brought in to Thailand. To top it off, the beef was succulent and cooked to a tee. The steak is served with a mix of vegetables and porcini mushrooms, and topped off with a green pepper sauce.

The sous chef is passionate about what he does and it’s easy to tell that he really cares about each of his creations. He says he loves to experiment, and served us one of his originals – a seafood soup made with freshly caught lobster, crab, sea bass, calamari, cherry tomatoes, garlic, spring onions and fish sauce.

The team at Leonardo DaVinci offers a variety of fresh salads, soups, hand made pasta, pizza, spaghetti, risotto and, of course, desserts, but if you fancy something off the menu, they are happy to oblige. The servers were friendly and attentive, adding to the overall pleasure of the experience.

Leonardo DaVinci restaurant is open from 5:30-11:00pm Monday to Saturday. For more information, call 076-604296, or email for reservations at leonardodavinci.asia.

— Zohaib Sikander