Basil, Authentic Thai Cuisine in White Plains

Last week crawled by sooooo slowly that I was really ecstatic when Friday finally came!

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All the more, I was also so excited to have dinner that day. Why? Well, first was because I couldn't wait to see my college best friend L and I was hoping her baby bump would finally show. The next reason was because we agreed to have dinner at Basil, a new Thai restaurant along White Plains and after reading several blogs raving about it, I couldn't wait to try it out myself.

Traffic has horrible that we got there an hour after our agreed meeting time. Good thing, we still managed to get a table despite not being able to reserve ahead of time. The restaurant was packed and parking was very limited but thankfully it went smoothly for us.

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I'm happy that both L and T were just as excited as we were to try Basil out. I just love how my friends share the same love and passion for food. Basil's ambiance is different from any ordinary Thai restaurant out there. I love how there were a lot of plants even a tree inside the restaurant. It reminds me of a native Thai village that we saw in Siam Niramit in Bangkok.

We browsed through the menu and called out dishes that we would like to try. Our first unanimous choice was the Pork Ribs with Honey (Php. 235) which unfortunately wasn't available that evening. L suggested we go with the Spicy Wagyu Ribs (Php. 355) instead which was also highly recommended by our server. I'm glad we ordered this as it was soooo good! No hint of spiciness and the beef was just so flavorful! The meat was fork-tender and we all enjoyed scooping up the sauce to drizzle over our rice. The serving was quite small as I guess it's intended to be shared by two but since we had more dishes, we were able to share this among the four of us.

Our next dish was also highly recommended by the server -- Fish with Three Flavor Sauce (Php. 750). To be honest, we were a bit hesitant as it's one of the two most expensive dishes in the menu but trusting our server and hoping that she wasn't just recommending this because of the price, we ordered with it and prayed that it will be worth the expensive price tag.

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We got a medium-sized fish, deep-fried and covered with their homemade three-flavor sauce. What three-flavored sauce, you may ask? Well this dish is meant to treat your taste buds by showcasing a wonderful marriage of sweet, slightly spicy and sour notes brought by the tamarind and chili added into the sauce. It was really good and I think I ate the most number of fillet pieces as this was conveniently placed in front of me. Obviously worth the price. :)

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To go with our two main dishes, we had a plate of Thai Bagoong Rice (Php. 295) which was a unanimous choice. We love bagoong (shrimp paste) rice and Basil's version was very delicious! I love how fragrant the rice was and how they presented it in such a way that the mango strips, sweet pork and scrambled egg were not mixed into the rice. It allowed us to customize what we want in our Thai Bagoong Rice as some would rather skip the chili and have more green mango strips or vice versa. This was really good that I'm sure Paul and I will have more of this in our next return.

We were initially planning to just order the three dishes mentioned above however the server once again recommended that we get another dish as three dishes for four hungry diners does not seem to be enough. We took her word again and after going over the menu, she mentioned that their Pad Thai (Php. 325) was worth trying. It took us a while to say yes to this knowing that we will have our fill of carbs with the Thai Bagoong Rice. I initially wanted to try an appetizer but eventually gave in as she sounded really proud of their Pad Thai.

I'm a fan of Pad Thai and this was the main reason why my sister and I spent almost every meal in Bangkok eating this noodle dish. For me, a good Pad Thai lies on the quality of the noodles. If the Italians want their pasta al dente, the authentic Pad Thai noodle should also have a good bite. Not too hard and chewy nor should it be slimey or mushy. It should have a good hold that will still allow you to chew on it. The bean sprouts have to be fresh and crunchy and it should have a good amount of shrimps, eggs and nuts too.

So how did Basil's Pad Thai fare? 

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Sadly, it failed and miserably paled in comparison to even the Pad Thai noodle dishes served in smaller Thai restaurants in the metro. The noodles were just too chewy bordering to rubbery. There was a lot of beans sprouts that it somehow overshadows the rest of the toppings and ingredients too. Needless to say, this was the only dish that we regret ordering that evening.

We wanted to get dessert but there were just three choices available -- Sticky Rice with Mango, Sherbets/Ice Cream and Thai Halo Halo. Wish they have my favorite Tako which is a gelatin-like dessert with sweet corn kernel and coconut cream delicately wrapped in banana leaf. None appealed to us thus we decided to just have coffee across the street.

Our first Basil experience was superb. Service was great despite the place filled with customers. I appreciated the recommendations given by our server and the food was delicious! Next time though, I'm skipping the Pad Thai and will just try something else.

Basil is located at the corner of White Plains and Katipunan Avenues. It's across Corinthian Hills in Quezon City. Call them at 911-4158.

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