10 Places for Great Thai Food in Metro Manila (2019 Edition)
Their food is to Thai for!
(SPOT.ph) Spicy might be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Thai food—after all, you do need a high tolerance for heat when you indulge in this cuisine. But it’s definitely worth the burn to experience the whole spectrum of flavors and textures that Thai food has to offer.
Make your way to these Thai spots around the Metro for some good eats:
From a food-hall stall at The Podium’s Corner Market, Easy, Tiger has evolved into a full-fledged restaurant. Instead of the typical Thai representations like purple silk and a golden Buddha, you’ll find edgier, grungy-cool interiors instead. Their mismatched walls and quirky light fixtures make for good conversation starters, but be prepared for their food to be the center of attention. The Green Papaya Salad with Chicken Skin (P225) is a tasty appetizer, with shredded papaya tossed in chili lime dressing and topped with sinful crispy chicken skin. But the star of your meal will be the Crispy Pata with Red Curry (P645), deep-fried pork knuckles that are crunchy outside but juicy and succulent inside. The mouthwatering pork is good on its own, but it’s even better with the rich and spicy red curry sauce. You’ll fall in love at first bite!
Easy, Tiger is at 2/F Uptown Mall, Uptown Bonifacio; The Corner Market, 2/F The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City; and 4/F The Block, SM City North EDSA, Quezon City.
Siam Sukh Jai
You’ll sense Siam Sukh Jai’s homey vibe the moment you step inside. With their warm wooden furniture and wall accents, it’s easy to feel comfortable here, especially once you get a whiff and taste of their Thai-style home cooking. One of their signature dishes is the Khai Jeaw Phoo (P280) or a crispy omelette with minced crab. Its exterior might remind you of okoy, but it’s actually airy and fluffy on the inside. There’s also the Tom Yum Goong (P575), the quintessential spicy-sour shrimp soup of Thailand. Siam Sukh Jai can adjust the spice levels of the soup—and most other dishes—for you. Beware, though: The soup may still be too hot for those with low tolerance for spice, so just make sure you have a drink at the ready.
Siam Sukh Jai is at 2/F S Maison at Conrad, SM Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.
You might just do a double take when you see the chic interiors of Muang Thai. There’s nothing distinctly Thai about the mostly white motif with touches of green, except when you look closely at the wood carvings in the furniture. It actually provides a good backdrop for the colorful cuisine that showcases famous specialties such as the classic Pad Thai (P360), which is arguably one of the best in town. A good accompaniment would be the Gai Hor Bai Toey (P310) so you’ll have your serving of protein in the form of chicken wrapped in pandan leaves. Dip it in their homemade soy sesame sauce, then wash everything down with their Frozen Thai Milk Tea (P130) and you’re all set.
Muang Thai is at 138 Malakas Street corner Matalino Street, Diliman, Quezon City.
Same Same Thai Satay Bar
Even in busy Kapitolyo, Same Same is easy to spot with their huge griller out front and center. The space may seem small and cramped—there's no air-conditioning—and you might even feel like you’re eating at a sidewalk stall in Bangkok, but that's part of the appeal. Their simple and straightforward menu puts street food in the spotlight. Get the Satay Sampler (P159), which comes with two sticks each of pork, chicken, and isaw. Pair it with a bottle of local beer or get more substantial fare with any of the Khao Pad (P110/pork, P140/crab, P160/shrimp), tasty fried rice with vegetables and your choice of meat flavored with Thai seasonings. You won’t put a hole in your pocket!
Same Same Thai Satay Bar is at 6B San Rafael Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City.
You can’t get any more authentic than Nara Thai—they actually opened their first branch in the Land of Smiles back in 2003. Take your pick from their wide assortment of Thai dishes like the Khao Phad Kapi (P245), their tasty version of bagoong rice, big enough to share. If you like seafood, you’ll delight in their Goong Tord Sauce Ma Kam (P750), fried prawns with sweet tamarind sauce or the Phu Phad Pong Karee (P250/100g), stir-fried crab with yellow curry sauce.
Nara Thai is at 3/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City.
If there’s one herb that Thai food is big on, it’s this one—hence the name Basil. The original location at White Plains is rustic and surrounded by greenery, and it's built up a loyal following thanks to its consistency. This is one restaurant that knows no shortcuts—everything is made from scratch. Pair the Thai Heavenly Pineapple Fried Rice (P385) with the Stir-Fried Fish with Crispy Holy Basil (P460) and you’ll leave with a happy tummy.
Basil has branches at White Plains corner Katipunan Avenue, White Plains, Quezon City; Level 2, One Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City; G/F, North Wing, Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City; G/F Ayala Malls The 30th, Meralco Avenue, Ugong, Pasig City.
From a casual eatery beside a public market, Krung Thai has branched out into a stand-alone restaurant where you can enjoy Thai-style home cooking. You can’t go wrong with the usual suspects like Yam Pladook Fu (P399) or crispy catfish with mango salad, or the Pad Thai Special (P299), a stir-fried noodle dish cooked with shrimp. And if you’re planning to end your meal with some Sticky Rice and Mango (P199), make sure to go there from Friday to Sunday, when the classic dessert combo is available.
Krung Thai is at Liwasang Kalayaan Avenue, Marikina Heights, Marikina City; Marikina Public Market, W. Paz Street corner M. Cruz Street, Santa Elena, Marikina City.
Experience Thailand’s street-food vibe with Crying Tiger’s playful concept in the hip Poblacion district. The spruced up hole-in-the-wall has a lot of color and a festive feel. They open late in the afternoon and close way after midnight, so you might want to have dinner and drinks here. Best to reserve a table so you don’t have to wait in line; the relatively small space can get crowded. Go for the Moo Krob (P565), a slab of Thai crispy pork belly that can serve four. This would be the perfect pulutan, along with Thai-style barbecue called Moo Ping (P35), with an ice-cold beer or any of their Asian cocktails.
Crying Tiger is at 4986 P. Guanzon Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Smile Elephant Thai Restaurant
As expected, you’ll see a lot of elephant art and figures alongside other distinctively Thai décor at Smile Elephant—they are named after the national symbol of Thailand, after all. Their version of the popular sour soup, Tom Yum in Hot Pot (P435), ensures that your broth will stay warm throughout your meal. Complete your lunch or dinner with Bangkok Fried Rice (P220) and tender and smoky Grilled Pork Neck (P260). The menu also has a long list of seafood and meat options. Make sure to save room for Thai Halo-Halo (P130) for a sweet and cool ending.
Smile Elephant Thai Restaurant is at 45 West Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City.
With their high ceilings, huge silver lanterns, and spacious interiors at their Bonifacio Global City branch, Mango Tree presents a laidback yet elegant restaurant where you can sample Thai food in an upscale setting. Choose from their wide selection of either Purist or Adventurist food. The former offers tried-and-true dishes like Pomelo Salad with Prawns (P420), while the latter features more modern takes like Thai Tapioca Dumplings (P380), sticky balls filled with ground pork, and ground peanuts.
Mango Tree is at C3 BHS Central Square, 7th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City; 2/F Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati City; 3/F, Trinoma Mall, Bagong Pag-Asa, Quezon City.