Special Scoop: Le Meridien

 |  November 30, 2011


Walking into Le Meridien’s Favola restaurant causes an instant pleasant reaction to one’s senses; the pervasive smell of baked breads, pizzas cooking in a wood fired oven, while the soft lighting glowing against the backdrop of an open kitchen and refracting against the glass panelled walls, creates a very soothing ambience. In terms of creating good first impressions, Favola certainly exudes acumen in that department.

Their authentic Italian cuisine, ranging from pizzas (definitely a contender for the much sought after accolade of Chiang Mai’s best pizza), pastas, and steaks, are made from mostly imported ingredients. As we were empathically told by their international chef and manager, “We use only the highest quality products, we do not compromise on quality.” And as you’d expect, the food is sublime. We recommend you try their mixed seafood open ravioli ‘ravioli aperto con frutti di mare salsa alla zafferano’, or their succulent slow cooked lamb loin ‘lombata di agnello al miele e spezie’, and if you are in the mood for pizza then their signature pizza, the Favola, is proof that a pizza made with passion can be exceptionally mouthwatering compared to many dull contemporaries. If tempted into the realm of desserts, their special Favola tiramisu is predictably delicious. Though you probably won’t have room, especially if you decide to indulge in their assortment of homemade breads, which come with four dips.

In every large and small detail of the restaurant you’ll find something unique, quirky, Favola-esque if you like, from their cutlery and tableware, to their ultra-chic cocktail bar, and the unforgettable walk-in glass wine cellar where diners can take their time looking through a selection of over 200 bottles of wine. You’ll also find a large selection grappa, some champagnes, while the drinks menu contains a dizzying array of spirits and cocktails, as well as beers.

In spite of Le Meridien’s deserved reputation for being a luxurious establishment, Favola is surprisingly very affordable, and won’t hurt the pocket too much more than many other of our city’s refined Italian restaurants. “There is always a promotion here,” we were told by the Dutch manager, and at present Favola is offering up to 50% off on various wines, while until January if you reserve a table before 5 p.m. you’ll receive a 20% discount on your entire bill.

Favola was chosen for one of Tatler’s best restaurants in Chiang Mai for two years running, and has also just topped Tripadvisor’s best Italian restaurant in Chiang Mai list. And to reiterate, in spite of its ‘high-end’ status, Favola is a very casual, fun, and laid back dining experience where a meal for two can cost as little as 1,000 – 1,500 baht (without wine). Their regular co-hosted wine events happen almost every two months and diners have the honour of meeting visiting wine families from around the world and learning “the story” of the wines they are drinking, which compliment a five course set menu. The next event should be held in January 2012.

And if you receive a text message anytime soon saying you’ve won a bottle of wine at Favola, it’s not a hoax. Those on the winning end will receive their free bottle of quality wine, providing they spend 1,500 baht, or more, on their dinner.

Reservations are not required (other than for events), and their dress code is casual.