Cucina Italiana, Cafe Della Moca

Excellent Family style Italian Food in Chaloklum Koh Phangan Thailand

The Italian Restaurant, Jenni’s Place, Cucina Italiana, Cafe Della Mocca, Boskow Nightlight — whatever its name actually is  —  is perhaps one of the best of all possible reasons to visit Chaloklum Fishing Village.

The restaurant is on the high road through the village and has occupied the same shop house on the ocean for the better part of 10 years. While it officially opened as guest house back in the day when there as very little to Chaloklum, it is now one of the best Italian restaurants on Koh Phangan and one of Chaloklum’s best kept, but most well-known secrets. Don’t be mislead by the appearance of the restaurant from the street, the beach front patio provides an excellent setting for even better food.

Owned and operated by Jenni and his wife Pit, Cucina Italiana is strictly a family affair. Born in Rimini, Jenni returns to Italy annually in the off season to work in his folk’s long-established  traditional Italian trattoria. Upon returning to Chaloklum and Koh Phangan he  begins cooking again, this time with wife Pit and his two daughters helping.

Cuccina Italiana Chaloklum Koh Phangan Thailand

A Family Affair

Pasta is made fresh daily, and the variety on the menu is excellent.  From the freshly made baked pastas like Canneloni and Lasagna, to the fresh Raviolis, Gnochhi and even the Strozzapretti Jenni creates daily from scratch,  you are guaranteed not to be disappointed — unless you arrive too late and your favorite dish has already sold out.

Jenni’s food is wholesome, rustic and best of all completely unpretentious in taste, presentation, and price. He takes great pride in his food, uses the best ingredients available to him on the island, and serves it all up on a sand covered patio right on the beach. Better yet, his beer is ice-cooled where pretty much everyone else in Chaloklum uses a refrigerator.

Cucina Italiana also does a bi-weekly pizza night Thursday and Sunday and folks come from all over Koh Phangan for Jenni’s pies. Personally, I find It difficult to get a better pizza in Bangkok, and, truth be told I would be hard pressed to find better Italian in the capital, period — the  carbonara is to die for. Simple and delicious, the food at Cucina Italiana is the real deal. One warning though, come early on pizza nights, as the crowd often takes over all the tables at Cafe Della Moca as well as the Lost Dog Cafe next door who do very well in drink sales as a result.

Cuccina Italiana is right at the heart of Chaloklum. It is a favorite of  locals, tourists and islanders and is one of the few restaurants in the village that is open for dinner like clockwork with the exception of Monday. It is definitely family friendly, and even the most picky kid can’t help but love Jenni’s food — I speak from first-hand experience. Any doubts you could  have about the authenticity and quality of the food are quickly dispelled by the number of Italians who gather around the restaurant afternoons and evenings.

While dinner service doesn’t start until evening, the beer goes in the cooler early. Cuccina Italiana is an excellent place to contemplate Chaloklum Bay as sunset approaches while watching Jenni complete his prep for the evening and have a beer while he waits for the night to begin.

After dinner it is not unusual to see the guitars, bongos, tambourines and all variety of instrument come out. Cuccina Italiana was the birthplace of the Chaloklum “Marmalade Social Club” which later grew into the weekly Jam session, Art Music, at Omega Bar.

Father Christmas Visits Chaloklum

Father Christmas Visits Chaloklum

With its strong sense of community and family, Cucina Italiana is one of those core businesses that has set the tone for  Chaloklum Village. This is especially apparent in their annual Christmas dinner. Christmas Day always begins with a visit from “Por Natale” (a mix of Thai and Italian meaning father Christmas) to the local elementary school to hand out small gifts.  The day then progresses on to a festival of meats and red wine as everyone gathers back at the restaurant. Any time of year, Cuccina Italiana  is truly an experience worth having.

But dont believe me, here’s what others have said:

Note: There are MANY more reviews out there, but I can neither read nor speak Italian, so these will have to suffice.

After five days on Koh Phangan, this has been the best eatery I have been to so far! Chaloklum is in the very North of the island, so not necessarily easily accessible but nonetheless, well worth the trip or distance!

long time i had the plan to go to the famous Italian restaurant in Chaloklum, everybody talk’s about, when it comes to good italian food.

The restaurant is in the old village part at the house row which have access to the beach. Actually many nice places there. But back to the Cucina Italia how it is named with a small board on the small street. It looks like all thai restaurant there. a small garden place above the beach (go through the restaurant’s empty room. So have a look out for that board.

We tried Pizza of coarse and other tasty stuff like seafood salad and we were served with a small digestive (local brandy). Gieni (or so 😉 the owner makes really good italian pizza’s. They are making the best pizza at the west coast so far. Nice atmosphere! I could even get a nice spicy chilly oil. The “bread” is thin and crispy. Enjoy

Gianni was always a favorite for us. While living on the island we did at least twice a week, the trip to Chaloklum, for his cuisine and friendliness.
During the European summer he used to go back to Rimini to help his mother who is running a trattoria.
But he trained his wife so well, that you would not have been able to see any difference in cuisine and qualite.:)

The Italian restaurant near the hotel is amazing, best pasta & pizza anywhere! The restaurants don’t look much from the street but they all have little areas on the beach front which look lovely at night with lots of little lights. (final review on page)

Previous post:

Next post: