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The Smokaccia Laboratory by Chef Luca

An amazing restaurant in Surin Beach

The Smokaccia Laboratory is a unique and one of the best restaurants in Phuket, created by Chef Luca Mascolo from Italy, supported by his wife Brigitta Houkamp and talented Sommelier Massimo Zoz. The Smokaccia in Surin Beach is a place unlike any we have experienced before. We have been lucky to try many modern and creative restaurants in Thailand and around the world, but this was an experience like no other.

The Smokaccia Laboratory by Chef Luca

Before we tell you about the dinner, we need to explain what Smokaccia is. We love sourdough, but because we were unfamiliar with this unique concept, we wrongly imagined something halfway between a sandwich and bun bread. We were surprised to discover such a light and crispy texture. Our first experience with Chef Luca’s creation, the Smokaccia, was a revelation.

The Smokacia Laboratory in Surin Beach, Phuket

This was our third visit to The Smokaccia, and we knew Chef Luca was proposing a brand new 18-course menu, still based on his unique concept of sourdough, yet totally different from our two previous visits. The last time we came, the restaurant was smaller and was not yet in the Michelin Guide for Phuket, but it already offered a refreshing new concept we had not found anywhere else, instantly making it one of our favourite restaurants in Phuket.

the smokacia laboratory

We arrived for dinner and appreciated the spacious restaurant, tastefully decorated with lights and tones that create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. We were warmly welcomed by Chef Luca and the Sommelier and invited to sit at the counter, which is definitely the best place to be. This way, not only can you see the team at work, but the chef also has more time to tell you about each dish and the story behind the concept.

The Smokacia Laboratory in Surin Beach, Phuket

The kitchen is like nothing we had seen before; we recognized a couple of machines but heard that Chef Luca designed several machines at great cost. A surprisingly large team was busy preparing the many ingredients necessary to craft each dish. They were all quite young and looked really passionate about preparing dinner.

The Smokaccia Laboratory 15

Modern fine cuisine is a growing trend in Thailand. It started about 15 years ago in Bangkok and arrived in Phuket a couple of years ago. It usually consists of many tiny dishes, lasts quite long, and is expensive. This is something quite different. If you look at the menu, it can be a little intimidating… 18 dishes? That is a lot at first sight! But we trusted Chef Luca when he said we would not be too full at the end of the dinner!

The Smokaccia Laboratory by Chef Luca

Once the Sommelier served us wines and mocktails, the first dish arrived. (Dinner comes with a reasonable wine pairing option, but we usually prefer not to choose this option as we are not big drinkers). We usually dread the elaborate explanations that often come with each dish in fancy restaurants, as it usually feels rehearsed or even hard to understand and very long.

The Smokaccia Laboratory by Chef Luca

Not here! Chef Luca shared the passion he invested in each dish, with mostly local ingredients, and with a few hints about the origins, how the delicate dishes were crafted, and how to enjoy them. To our surprise, they even left a little board when serving each plate, so we could read more about the ingredients involved as well as their origins.

The Smokaccia Laboratory by Chef Luca

The team also makes a very strong point on the ’Zero Waste policy‘, inventing amazing ways to maximize all parts of the ingredients. One of the most delicious dishes we tried was aptly called ‘One Man’s Waste – Another Man’s Treasure and was made from fish waste, skin and smoked pie roe! Each dish had a short story behind it, and when describing each creation, it never felt rehearsed. It sounded genuine and interesting, and we could feel the passion. Each plate came with one, two, or three items, and we followed the order in which we should eat them.

The Smokaccia Laboratory by Chef Luca

Truly, each bite was a moment to appreciate, difficult to put into words. Presentation and colours, consistency and texture changing as you put it in your mouth, and this incredible journey through a palette of tastes we had never found in any other restaurants.

The Smokaccia Laboratory 2

It would be impossible to describe each dish one by one, superbly complemented by wines from Italy, but it was one of the best dinners we had in years! It never felt long because the restaurant is friendly and casual, never formal as it is too often. Guests are well taken care of, and you can hear laughs and see people smile in a cheerful atmosphere. If you come to Phuket and know how to enjoy creative cuisine, The Smokaccia Lab is a must-try, especially if you come as a couple.

Note that The Smokaccia Laboratory just started to serve a vegan course and the feedback is already excellent. We’ll try it soon and let you know about it.

The Smokaccia Laboratory by Chef Luca Mascolo

Who is behind the Smokaccia Laboratory?

Chef Luca Mascolo and Brigitta Houkamp

Brigitta Houkamp and Chef Luca at the Smokaccia Laboratory Phuket

Chef Luca Mascolo is the creative force behind The Smokaccia Laboratory. He is an award-winning Culinary Scientist who has developed a unique 18-course tasting menu. His culinary approach combines food alchemy and molecular gastronomy to create innovative flavours. Chef Luca focuses on healthy, sustainable cuisine, incorporating a ‘Zero waste’ philosophy into his creations. He is passionate about his work and enjoys sharing information about his dishes with guests at the open kitchen/chef’s table.

Brigitta Houkamp is Chef Luca’s wife and the Managing Director of The Smokaccia. She has a background in nutrition, which complements Chef Luca’s approach to healthy cuisine. Brigitta is responsible for the restaurant’s design, which is inspired by the 1950s and incorporates sustainable, locally sourced materials. As the financial director, she handles Thai business matters and focuses on staff happiness.

Massimo Zoz

Massimo Zoz at The Smokacia Laboratory in Surin Beach

Massimo Zoz serves as the Restaurant Manager and Master Sommelier. He expertly provides laboratory-inspired drink pairings, including fine wines, artisanal beers, and unique non-alcoholic beverages to complement each dish on the tasting menu.

Photos of The Smokaccia Laboratory

The Smokaccia Laboratory Info

Location: Surin Beach
Address: 116/4 Moo 3 Surin, Choeng Thale, Phuket 83110
Hours: 12 pm – 9 pm, closed on Tuesday and Wednesday
Phone: 093 179 4489
Facebook: click here
Reservations are recommended, especially for dinner

The Smokaccia Laboratory Map

Get the directions on your phone: https://goo.gl/maps/SA3hMdN1Knchn3Tn8

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What’s around?

Surin Beach ⛱️

4.9/5 - (59 votes)
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Born in France a long long time ago, I started to travel the world early until I settled in Phuket in 1994. For the past 30 years, my passion for photography and my curiosity have taken me to every corner of Phuket, Bangkok and everywhere I could go in Thailand. My goal is to share my discoveries, photos and tips to help travellers plan their holidays by making Phuket 101 as easy as possible to use for everyone!