Who has heard of a vegetarian Italian food restaurant?
It’s not a concept you run across very often. Meat is the active ingredient that pairs so masterfully with pasta and Italian flavors. Osso buco without the veal, lasagna without the beef, or spaghetti without the Bolognese? Is vegetarian-Italian even worth it? Govinda Italian Restaurant has the answer.
And so, it was with great trepidation that KohSpot ventured down a tiny sub-soi near the mouth of Sukhumvit Soi 22 to Govinda Italian. Billed as a small eatery that serves vegetarian Italian dishes at moderate prices with quick service. Arriving at the doorstep, you wonder if anyone else even knows about this place, but once you walk in the restaurant is active, crowded and warm. Part of the first Honey House mini-mall, Govinda also has a large outdoor seating area and a smaller one inside. The décor is cliche Italian, with red and white checkered tablecloths and lighted paintings on the walls.
The crowd is a major ‘yawn’ factor with families and couples occupying most tables being rather predictable. No surprises with the menu – its exactly as you would find at a trattoria, with soy products taking the place of meat in dishes where it’s required. If that’s your cup of tea, dig in mate, but we opted for the inherently vegetarian dishes that we already know – gnocchi and risotto.
The kitchen did just fine. If pressed, the the four-cheese risotto (380 baht) was a tad salty, but that’s stretching ourselves to be critical. The gnocchi with pesto (230 baht) was pre-made, but the pesto was addictive topped with pepper and parmesan. It wasn’t until after we ate that we realized our flagrant rookie mistake, consuming a completely carb-based dinner. Not advisable.
Pizzas run from 155-290 baht and looked appetizing, while porcini mushrooms feature prominently on the menu. Wine selection was decent, but nothing too shocking. The free focaccia bread that comes with the meal needs to be dipped in olive oil and destroyed because it is fantastic.
Overall, good food, fair prices, quick service, but not very memorable. No risks at Govinda Italian beyond the obvious – no meat. If you’re looking for a predictable Italian dining experience, where the dishes are sure to come out consistent and eatable.
Location: 6/5-6 Sukhumvit Soi 22, in the second sub-soi on the right. Look for the Honey House sign.
Mass transit: BTS Phrom Pong
Hours: 11:30am-3 pm, 6 pm-midnight Wednesday-Monday, closed Tuesdays