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Phuket dining: Sardinian sizzles in the kitchen

PHUKET: Italian Chef de Cuisine Patrizia Battolu has been at the Amari Phuket for just a few months, but is already making her mark on the restaurant.

By Claire Connell

Friday 18 April 2014, 03:50PM

Prior to working at Amari, Patrizia – born on the island of Sardinia – and her boyfriend ran an Italian restaurant in Bang Tao called the Garden of Flavors.

With no formal training, Patrizia started cooking Italian food at the age of 10, and took up her first professional position as an Italian chef in her early 20s, at a small hotel in northern Italy.

As a young female chef working in a busy kitchen, it wasn’t all fun and games, she explains.

“Some of the men thought I was stupid and wasn’t capable of anything, and that I wasn’t good enough.”

But fast forward many years of working hard in the industry, and Patrizia says the men usually respect her now.

At Amari’s La Gritta Italian restaurant we were recently treated to around 10 dishes carefully prepared by Patrizia, which included an antipasto platter, pasta and seafood.

All were delicious but the highlight was the Australian beef tenderloin, served on tender potatoes and fresh asparagus, priced at B1,150++.

It’s this dish she recommends to beef lovers – particularly men, Patrizia says.
For dessert, guests are advised to order the trio of tiramisu, panna cotta and cassata (a traditional Italian fruit cake), priced at B195++.

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The menu at La Gritta is diverse, and at the moment features a range of specials which change daily.

Pasta, fish and appetisers are Patrizia’s strengths, and also her favourites to cook, she says.

“For me, I like risotto. At the moment we have one which is pumpkin, whisky and black pepper.

“I like change. I don’t like to make the same thing all the time because after one period it’s not special. I like trying new things.”

As well as the great food, also worthy of a special mention was the exceptional service at La Gritta. Staff were attentive, polite, friendly and incredibly professional during our dining experience.

There is a Resident Privilege Card available for both Thais and expats who work in Phuket, offering 20 per cent off food, beverages and spa packages.

La Gritta is open daily, serving Italian food with contemporary flair. For reservations phone 076 34 0-106. amari.com/phuket.

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