IMAGE Ian Santos

10 Places for Great Thai Food in Manila

You'll be saying tom yum in no time.

PHOTO BY Ian Santos

(SPOT.ph) Thai cuisine’s predominantly spicy profile will awaken your senses, not to mention its great balance of flavors: Sweet, salty, and sour. And if its pleasant aromas won’t get you, maybe the vibrantly colored dishes will. We’ve gathered a list of restaurants in Manila that offer just what you’re looking for when it comes to honest-to-goodness Thai food. So whether you’re just hankering for a plate of pad thai, or want to warm yourself up with a hot bowl of tom yum, these restaurants are to Thai for!

Also read:
10 Places for Great Taiwanese Food in Manila
10 Great Restaurants for Indian Food in Manila
10 Great Spanish Restaurants in Manila
10 Great Vietnamese Restaurants in Manila

PHOTO BY Vincent Coscolluela

Nara Thai Cuisine

Treat your taste buds to the wonderful world of Thai food at the recently opened Nara Thai Cuisine at SM Mega Fashion Hall. Whet your appetite with the Nara Thai Sampler (P495) so you can have a little bit of everything—fish cakes, chicken satay, pork wonton, spring rolls, and a bright and fresh pomelo salad. If you don’t mind feeling a bit of burn in your mouth (the good kind, don’t worry), go for any of their curry dishes, which varies from yellow, green, red, and massaman curry. One great piece of advice we can give is to pair your pick with plain rice to highlight the spicy, bold flavors. It’s best to save room for dessert; the Nara Dessert Set (P345) is a DIY treat that has two scoops of coconut ice cream and sweet Thai condiments, which you can add as you please.

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Nara Thai Cuisine is at 3/F Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City.

PHOTO BY Azuthai Facebook page

Azuthai

There’s a chance you might forget your diet once you get a glimpse of Azuthai’s wide array of dishes, which can transport you to the Land of Smiles with one bite. It’s got everything under the sun—from soups to salads, curries, noodles, and even vegetarian-friendly options. Make your meal less complicated by trying their set lunch specials that come complete with an appetizer, main course, and dessert. Or you can go à la carte and try their Fried Spring Rolls (P395) with shrimp, pork, and glass noodles, or their mouthwatering AzuThai Grilled U.S. Angus Boneless Beef Ribs (P895), which is blanketed in a tangy tamarind sauce. Wash it all down with Singha Thai Beer (P195).

Azuthai is at G/F Milkyway Building, 900 A. Arnaiz Avenue corner Paseo de Roxas Street, San Lorenzo, Makati City.

PHOTO BY Basil Facebook page

Basil

Although their mall branches exude a different ambience, the lush garden aesthetic at this popular Thai place in Quezon City is a nice way to set the scene for their fresh and refreshing dishes. The spicy, sweet, and sour Tom Yum (P350) is big enough to share, so it's a good bet when you're out with friends or family. But if you’re feeling adventurous, you’ll like the Thai Sisig (P350), a twist on the Filipino favorite, cooked with Thai spices, galangal, and chili.

Basil has branches at White Plains, Quezon City; G/F Ayala Malls The 30th, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City; and G/F North Wing, Entertainment Mall, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.

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PHOTO BY SPOT.ph Archives

Crying Tiger Street Kitchen

With its grungy, al-fresco vibe, this hidden gem in Poblacion will give you a lot of hawker vibes, and you'll enjoy chowing down on their affordable and flavor-packed meals. Their menu is mostly made up of popular Thai dishes with a hint of Singaporean and Malaysian flavors. Crying Tiger Street Kitchen’s Pad See Ew with Chicken (P225) is a crowd favorite, with chewy flat noodles that give off a distinctive smoky flavor you can only get through a very hot wok. Another worthwhile option is the Chicken Satay (P165/five pieces), which gives you tender chicken skewers marinated in a rich peanut paste. You’ll especially love this place if you’re a night owl because they have an assortment of cocktails and imported beers that will keep you entertained until the wee hours.

Crying Tiger Street Kitchen is at 4986 P. Guanzon Street, Poblacion, Makati City.

PHOTO BY Krung Thai Facebook page

Krung Thai

You know everything’s fresh at Krung Thai because it’s situated just beside a public market. This no-frills hole-in-the-wall is a classic dining destination in Marikina and you’ll be thrilled to know that they have a Thai chef manning the kitchen. Their home-style dishes are a hit among diners—the crunchy Spring Rolls (P379/10 pieces), umami Thai Bagoong Rice (P199), and juicy Pork Satay (P449/10 pieces) all come in generous servings that are perfect for big groups. Don’t forget to try their sweet and cool Thai Iced Tea (P129), which tastes exactly like the ones you’ve had in Thailand.

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Krung Thai is at Marikina Public Market, M. Cruz corner W.C. Paz, Santa Elena, Marikina City.

Mango Tree Bistro

This Bangkok-born restaurant has branches across the globe, including a few here in Metro Manila. Mango Tree Bistro has been dishing out Thai favorites since it opened on our shores in 2010. You’ll relish their tasty creations, like the Prawns Pad Thai (P480), an excellent take on the classic pad thai. The restaurant’s trendy vibe also makes it a great date spot or a place to unwind. While having your nightcap, why not accompany their signature cocktails with some Tom Yum Chicken Wings (P290)?

Mango Tree Bistro has branches at 3/F Trinoma Mall, Quezon City; C3 Bonifacio High Street Central, 7th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City; and 2/F Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati City.

PHOTO BY Smile Elephant Facebook page

Smile Elephant

Though plain from the outside, Smile Elephant’s cuisine and vibe is anything but. Don’t be distracted by their eccentric Thai-inspired décor—instead, focus on tantalizing your taste buds with their herb-packed dishes. Their fresh and spicy Papaya Salad (P185) and comforting Tom Yum Seafood in Hot Pot (P385) are bestsellers you can go out of your way for. Also order one of the specialties, the Stir-Fried Squid with Salted Egg (P240), a delicious and filling meal that’s light and perfect with steaming white rice. Price points aren’t bad while servings are good for sharing—it’s definitely worth the drive!

Smile Elephant is at 45 West Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City.

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PHOTO BY Som's Noodle House Facebook page

Som’s Noodle House

From their humble beginnings as a home-based restaurant over a decade ago, Som’s Noodle House has made a name for itself and has become the go-to for budget-friendly Thai food in Makati. Aside from their soups and stir-fried noodles—the Seafood Pad Thai (P250), of course, is a given—a must-try is the Green Curry (P200 to P250), which features a sweet and savory curry sauce you’d want to have over and over again. The good thing about it is you can select whichever protein you want with it—pork, chicken, beef, or seafood.

Som’s Noodle House is at 5933 Gloria Street, Poblacion, Makati City.

PHOTO BY Thai Dara Facebook page

Thai Dara

Thai Dara is a staple in the Kapitolyo neighborhood. Their simple interiors let the flavors of their food shine through—pretty evident given that the restaurant is always full with customers. Some famous choices here are the Pomelo Salad (P249), Bangkok Spring Rolls (P179), and Tom Yum Goong (P229/chicken, P249/shrimp). They’ve also got a lot of other traditional Thai offerings, but one thing that stands out is their Green Curry Pasta (P209), which fuses Italian techniques with Thai ingredients, with pasta topped with a special spicy chicken curry. Purists might not find this appealing, but if you’re feeling quite daring, then go for it!

Thai Dara is at Pioneer Supermart, Pioneer corner United Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City.

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PHOTO BY Ian Santos

Thai Original BBQ and Restaurant

Sawadee ka! You’re sure to feel welcome at this international franchise that sports modern and casual interiors. It’s no wonder that Thai Original BBQ and Restaurant, which first opened in L.A. in 1978, has earned a cult following because of their authentic Asian flavors that aren’t easy to replicate. A guaranteed hit is the Gaiyang BBQ Chicken Dinner (P620), their famous barbecue chicken, which is plated with a generous portion of shrimp fried rice. You’ll find more protein-based specialties on the menu, but don’t forget to finish everything off with the famous Thai staple, Sticky Rice with Mango (P320)—you won’t regret it.

Thai Original BBQ and Restaurant has branches at 5/F Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong City; G/F Glorietta 4, Ayala Center, Makati City; 2/F Ayala Malls Vertis North, Quezon City; and G/F Fort Entertainment Center, 5th Avenue corner 28th Street, Bonifacio Global City.

 

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