Savouring Art, Hospitality & Redefining Italian Cuisine at CLARA Restaurant, Bangkok
Chef Christian Martena and Maitre D’ Clara Del Corso-Martena are married, and also business partners who have devoted their heart and soul to CLARA, a contemporary Italian restaurant. Taking guests on a culinary journey through different regions, the Chef Christian elevates his local cuisine by incorporating his modern vision and creativity. Apart from Italian delights, guests also enjoy the immaculate design of the venue developed by famous artists.
The current villa where CLARA is housed was an art gallery, the essence of which guests can feel in the restaurant's interior and exterior filled with splendid art pieces. A cosy, more private dining experience can be enjoyed on the mezzanine upstairs, while a buzzing vibe can be found downstairs. There is also a semi-private chef's table that looks over the kitchen with "tattooed" chairs by Tantai and gorgeous decor by P. Tendercool.
Here, we chat to the founders, Chef Christian and Maitre D'Clara Del Corso-Martena on the vision behind the restaurant and its menu.
What was the inspiration behind opening Clara?
We have always been in love with this location since it was an art gallery. Every time my wife and I come here we always think this will be the perfect spot for a restaurant. When the opportunity to take over the art gallery came up we didn't want to lose the opportunity and we were able to realise our wish. This was the perfect location for the restaurant concept we had in mind: sleek, elegant, modern, understated luxury.
How did you choose the neighbourhood for your restaurant in Bangkok?
We have been living in this area for the past 10 years. We love that residential area where you can find some unexpected hidden gems in small streets. Our daughters are going to a school in the street next to the restaurant. It was primordial to be close to our home and children.
What do you hope guests experience upon dining at CLARA?
We like the fact of being a destination (we do not have walk-ins). We hope that when guests enter the gate of CLARA they feel surprised by the first steps they take in our walkway and garden and by the elegance of our house design which in our opinion matches our contemporary interpretation of Italian cuisine and our sleek service.
Our will is that our guests experience a different way of seeing and eating Italian cuisine by taking them on culinary travels through different regions of Italy. We also want our customers to feel in a fine dining environment but in a cozy and warm atmosphere.
Where do you find inspiration for your menus?
Our menu changes seasonally. We want to make people discover the importance of seasonal ingredients.
We select seasonal ingredients from different regions of Italy and create dishes using those two factors and memories in my own interpretation.
What’s the inspiration for the restaurant design?
As it was an art gallery before, our biggest challenge in design has been to create a warm feeling in such a large space. We wanted to create a modern and elegant place with cosiness. For this reason, we added some wood elements, gold lamps, and warm lights to create a cocoon feeling and to give them an understated luxury feeling.
Do you have any exciting projects in the future for Clara?
We would love first to achieve our goals which have been quite challenged due to Covid and the fact that we opened two months before it started. Then other projects will surely come along.
All images provided by CLARA.
Instagram: @clarabangkok | Location: 69 Soi Prasat Suk, Chong Nonsi, Yan Nawa, Bangkok 10120
Phone: +66 95 879 62 57