A Penne for Your Thoughts

A Penne for Your Thoughts
A Penne for Your Thoughts

The Pasta Factory Buffet had me at hello. Not since Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory had I been so excited to visit a factory. The buffet can be found in the San Marco restaurant at the Dusit Thani Hua Hin. Open for 25 year, it just recently earned a 2016 Best Restaurant award from Thailand Tatler magazine. Designed after the Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy, wherever you sit you will see water. Every Wednesday night, the Italian restaurant pulls out all the stops for its Pasta Factory Buffet. The buffet is open from 6:30pm – 10:00pm, and is THB 1,450++ per person. San Marco’s sous-chef, Yodrak Saensena, can often be seen walking the buffet line. With an easy smile and an expert hand, chef Saensena has this buffet down to a science.

His favorite part of the buffet is the whole, aged, ham leg from which he is happy to slice fresh prosciutto if you ask. Although it is tempting to jump right in when arriving at the buffet, you are well served to take a few minutes to take everything in, then go crazy. At the cheese station I counted 10 different types of cheese, Danish bleu, Boursin, Taleggio and Pecorino. Close by was the bread – again 10 varietals, all being kept warm in a mini glass oven. Further exploration brought me to a cold seafood display – huge prawns, smoked salmon, house-cured mackerel (delicious), crabs, and rock lobster. Next to this was a cold salad station with various types of lettuce, toppings, and dressings. Smaller salads dotted the area including a tomato/ mozzarella salad, grilled vegetables and various cold cuts.

More treasures I discovered included deep fried goat cheese, thin-crust 4 cheese pizza (amazing), mini calzone, pork picatta Milanese, cod in a truffle cream sauce, lamb osso buco, Italian sausage risotto, and sautéed mussels in a spicy tomato sauce. Then the cavallo di battaglia… the main event… the buffet’s namesake… the Pasta Factory! 15 types of pasta (many made in-house), 16 different add-ins (seafood, vegetables, sausage), and 5 different sauces – the combinations are endless. I opted for a beetroot linguine with shrimp, scallops, carrots, onion, zucchini, and tomatoes, finished in a red tomato sauce.

The portion was generous, and I ate every last bite. And then came dessert – chocolate mousse, panna cotta, risotto pudding, tiramisu, banana flambé, a chocolate fountain, and house-made gelato. I can highly recommend the mango, it was the perfect way to end the meal. Address: 1349 Petchkasem Road, Cha-am Petchaburi Telephone : 032 520 009