All throughout our 3-day stay, Pan and I ate Pad Thai and drank Thai Iced Tea in almost every single meal. Comparing which outlet was better than the other one, we then concluded that we loved the Pad Thai at Big C which was actually a big supermarket similar to our very own Puregold or Shopwise. There, we had the best Pad Thai and Thai Green Curry that up until lately, Pan and I have been on a look out for one that would come close to it here in Manila.
Then came an invite from two of my dear friends S and S to try Thai Bistro which recently opened in Robinsons Magnolia. We rounded up the The Food Club to try this restaurant out one Monday evening.
Let me share with you the various dishes that we were able to try:
We arrived at the table with this dish already there. When I asked what this was composed of, I was just told to give it a try to see for myself. True enough, the menu doesn't say much about what's included in this traditional Thai appetizer so this one is perfect for the adventurous ones who would close their eyes, would take a big bite and who are daring enough to enjoy the fantastic mix of flavor that this appetizer brings.
I've always associate roti with Malaysia or Singapore. I guess most Southeast Asian countries do share the same types of spices and ingredients thus the similarity in our dishes. This one was more like a quesadilla which goes really well with the dip. I was still mesmerized by the Mieng Kham that I wasn't able to give much focus on this one. Nonetheless, my dinner companions enjoyed this as well.
Oh I love Fresh Spring Rolls! This has been my staple whenever I visit any Thai or Vietnamese restaurant. All the time though, I get dismayed by the tiny shrimp added which sadly I wouldn't even consider a prawn. When this dish was served to us, I felt my heart skip a beat at the size of the prawn on top of the spring roll. The clear wrapper underneath the mustard leaf was literally bursting with herbs and veggies too.
We also got to try this deep-fried appetizer which was just a-okay for me. Perhaps the prawn cakes would have been better but for the sake of variety, we opted to have the fish cakes instead.
There are two salads that Paul and I love to order when dining in a Thai restaurant -- Pomelo Salad and Catfish and Mango Salad. Both are very refreshing and we just love the mix of sweet and sour flavors in every spoonful. Thai Bistro's version must be the most glamorous form of pomelo salad in town! Adding in a generous portion of soft shell crab, I was totally blown away by the delicious deep-fried crab that was free from all unwanted shells and I happily enjoyed this with some juicy pomelo strips. Yum!
It's pretty obvious how much I love Pad Thai and as mentioned earlier that Pan and I are still in search for the best one here in Manila to match the amazing Pad Thai tasted in Bangkok. I ordered this to see if Thai Bistro's version would be the one. At first glance, I loved how the noodles were kept inside a creative egg net.
Breaking it open, I had a small serving and my eyes lit up as I tasted the al dente rice noodles mixed well with pork, shrimps, veggies and nuts. It.was.AMAZING.!.!.!. This could be it! I continued to get more and thoroughly enjoyed how creamy yet it wasn't too rich that it will definitely entice you to eat more. My heart was turning cartwheels as I have a good feeling I finally found THE ONE and Pan couldn't agree more when she tried it during lunch last Sunday.
For those who wants a different take on noodles, must try the Chiang Mai Khao Soi which is a popular dish from North Thailand. Enjoy crunchy egg noodles on a rich and thick curry broth. I liked it when we mixed it all together and was pretty amazed that the noodles still stayed crunchy despite being covered with the soup broth.
Moving on to the main dishes, I was really excited to try this after hearing Sophie's non-stop rave about this particular dish. This is a different take from the usual bamboo prawns instead it made use of chicken fillet on lemongrass florets. I was just too OC that I had a hard time getting all the meat out from the lemon grass stalk and was extra cautious so as not to wound my tongue from the lemon grass strips too. The lemon grass has infused its strong and sweet flavor to the meat so this is perfect for those who loves lemon grass.
You may have noticed that we had a lot of seafood dishes that evening and this one is perfect for those who wants to balance it out with some meat. Our ultra-chinky eyes widened (that doesn't happen very often, believe me) at the sight of this grilled caramelized pork belly! This is Thai's version of our famous liempo and we loved how tender the meat was.
Siam Chicken Wrap (Php. 315)
We tried this last Sunday during Paul's birthday celebration and my Kongkong loved this! It's very similar to our Chinese dish that makes use of either minced pork or pigeon. One order gives you about 3-4 lettuce cups so I had to order an additional plate worth Php 60 for all 8 of us to enjoy. Making use of Thai herbs and spices, this dish is really fun to eat and is equally delicious too.
Another seafood dish, we all enjoyed the crunchy fish fillet covered in caramelized ginger chili sauce. This one is more on the sweet side and is really flavorful that we all enjoyed with lots of rice.
Mahanak (Php. 245)
Paul wanted to have some veggies during his birthday lunch thus we tried the Mahanak upon the recommendation of our server. I'm a big fan of mushrooms and I'm so happy to see that this came with a generous serving of oyster mushrooms with garlic Taiwan pechay. It's very light perfectly complementing the richly flavored dishes above.
There are the two desserts that I truly love at Thai Bistro:
I know some may cringe at the thought of having durian for dessert but for me..I love it! In fact, I was the only one in our group who ended up enjoying the entire bowl of durian ice cream to the last drop. Thai Bistro makes their own ice cream so you can really taste the rich and creamy flavor and even bite into some bits of durian meat too.
This has been my favorite Thai dessert since I was young There's really something about this hand-crafted dessert made of tapioca pearls topped with coconut milk and polished off with a piece of red ruby that has made Pan and I truly addicted to it. Sadly, not a lot of restaurant serves a good version of this. I was really happy with Thai Bistro's version and lucky Paul, they actually gave him a giant piece for his birthday!
While Bangkok, Thailand is about 4 hours away, I'm happy to have Thai Bistro located just a few minutes away from home where I can easily run to should the craving for Thai food comes up.
Thai Bistro is located at the Ground Floor of Robinsons Magnolia in New Manila. It's located right bin between Elias and Tao Yuan. Call them at 703-6910 / 09178381696 / 0231003530.