Midway through last year, without great fanfare, a dynamic new restaurant popped up in Surin, Phuket. Whilst low key in arrival, it is far from inconspicuous. A distinctively stylish frontage affords passers-by an ever so partial view of a vibrant interior, enticing you to venture within to see more. The name Semi Di Tsubu is intriguing; translating to seeds from grains, referring to the flour relied on in both Japanese and Italian kitchens. This marriage of cuisines is named Itameshi, translated as Japanese/Italian fusion food, a first in Thailand; quietly becoming super popular across Asia and upon a visit here, one can easily see why.
Stepping inside, one is instantly struck by the unique and elegant décor; wallcoverings inspired by the stunning beauty of Japanese cherry blossom and ceiling arches offering a nod to Roman architecture. The restaurant is helmed by general manager, Steven Tait, an affable, well-travelled Scotsman with hospitality coursing through his veins. Begin your meal with an aperitif from an extensive selection of signature craft cocktails, carefully curated combinations of Japanese and Italian ingredients, true to concept and that will not disappoint. Drink offerings overflow with gems of Italian wines, Japanese sakes and selected local Phuket artisan beers. However, the main attraction is the food. Take time to peruse the menu with options of dishes to share from the extensive a la carte, or an experience menu giving the diner an authentic and immersive taste of Itameshi.
The menu is helpfully divided into sections showcasing, raw, robatayaki, skewers, ramen and pasta. Whilst there will be many dishes that ultimately may become your favourite, the insider tip is the handmade spaghetti pesto; truly exquisite and incredibly moreish.
Semi Di Tsubu's Tartar.
Semi Di Tsubu's Ravioli.
Premium imported produce is delicately combined with the best locally sourced ingredients. Pearlescent Hokkaido scallops, melt in the mouth, Miyazaki A4 wagyu and glisteningly fresh, chu-toro mingle with painstakingly handmade pasta; a ravioli expertly filled with ricotta and Tajima wagyu, finished with aged parmesan. A deliciously wood-oven baked rigatoni pasta with Phuket lobster and spicy miso has already become a popular diner choice. When the picture-perfect plates arrive, each reflects meticulous Japanese attention to detail, thoughtfully blended with that renowned Italian passion for flavour. This is exceptionally clever cooking.
Complete your culinary culture combining evening, with either a boozy baba with sake or an ethereally light, yet decadent moji tiramisu, both spectacular finales. Or in traditional style with a Japanese Whiskey or Grappa from Italy. The friendly price will offer you great value for money.