Senzanome: No name, just flavor

PHUKET: Confidence is silent, insecurities are loud. In a world of bragging loudmouths, marketing talk and aggressive advertising, food at Phuket’s Senzanome restaurant speaks for itself.

At the far end of Phuket Boat Lagoon, right on the edge of a yacht pier, is a quiet place. There are no crowds here and no motorbikes zooming back and forth, just an occasional boat passing in front of Senzanome’s windows. Inside, the peaceful, subdued atmosphere prevails. Design is minimalistic, with the entire place painted white – white are the tables, white are the flowers in the vases, white is the bar.

Nothing to distract you, nothing to take your focus off of what matters here: the food.

The same is true of the chef, Bruno Nicolino. If he wanted to, he could talk about his food, his career and his famous guests for hours. Hailing from Italy, Nicolino has worked in Mexico City, Wiesbaden in
Germany and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, but it was his venture to the Belgian capital of Brussels that won him a Michelin star for his efforts at a restaurant of the same name as his latest Phuket venture – Senzanome, meaning “no name” in Italian. However, chef Bruno is not keen on interviews; he dodges the spotlight and prefers to let the food do the talking.

And so he does, but it’s not chitchat, rather poetry of the highest grade. The moment the first dish lands on my table, I understand the reasons behind the sterile whiteness of the interiors that surround me at Senzanome. All this is a clean canvas, an empty sheet of paper waiting to be filled with the artist’s vision. My senses are taken for a ride.

It begins with Belgian beef Carpaccio cured for 27 days. The texture is soft, the flavor intense and the balance undisturbed. In short, it’s perfect. The same can be said about each dish tried that evening. The cappuccino egg with black truffles that follows the Carpaccio feels as light as a summer cloud in my mouth, with flavors kept untouched thanks to slow cooking at a low temperature. The main dish of young chicken (pollito) with porcini mushrooms is among the most delicate, flavorful and extraordinary poultry dishes I have ever tasted. One day later, when I’m writing this, I clearly remember each of the flavors, and it brings back a lot of pleasant memories.

Yes, the food at Senzanome is of classic Italian origin. Yes, it’s simple yet creative. Yes, it’s made with organic produce and with heaps of passion. But, haven’t you heard this a thousand times before, and haven’t you read it in pamphlets of a dozen restaurants? As good as it sounds, it’s only words.

Senzanome doesn’t need all that pointless talk – it doesn’t even need a name – it has the food, and that’s all that matters.

— Maciek Klimowicz

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Legacy Phuket Gazette

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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