There's a New Thai Dining Spot in Town and Their Tom Yum Is Anything but The Usual

Thailand's Greyhound Café is letting us see the cuisine in a refreshing light.

Greyhound Café
UG/F SM Aura Premier, Bonifacio Global City
Contact: 0917-623-2606
Facebook: www.facebook.com/greyhoundcafephilippines
Open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Monday to Sunday)

greyhound cafe
PHOTO BY Kit Singson ILLUSTRATION Warren Espejo

(SPOT.ph) Traveling for food was quite common pre-pandemic, but not much so nowadays, what with all the challenges that flying out of the country poses. But there’s some good news for those who particularly miss food tripping in Thailand, as famed Thai dining spot Greyhound Café recently opened its first outpost in Metro Manila.

Also read: Try the Reimagined Thai Cuisine at Greyhound Café

greyhound cafe
Thailand's Greyhound Café has landed on our shores.  
PHOTO BY Kit Singson
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Try some of the cuisine’s best-known dishes given a modern spin at this new Thai restaurant:

There’s no need to fly a thousand miles to experience its signature cuisine since it officially welcomed diners in its recently launched branch at SM Aura Premier. “Greyhound started as a fashion brand in the 1980s in Bangkok,” shares Vicente Raphael del Rosario IV, President and COO of Viva International Food & Restaurants Inc., which includes other brands such as Botejyu, Paper Moon Cake Boutique and Café, and more. Around 1994, he shares, the four friends behind the brand were inspired to open a café. The result? Greyhound Café, which serves modern Thai eats given their own twists. “It’s your usual Thai food but all inspired by other cuisines,” del Rosario continues.. “We decided to bring in [the café to the Philippines] because we want to keep expanding the Asian choices here in the country.”

greyhound cafe
You can't miss this sight at the upper-ground floor of SM Aura. 
PHOTO BY Kit Singson
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You’ll see that this restaurant is anything but traditional as you enter. Don’t expect to find heavy wooden furnishings and art carvings, or colorful Thai patterns here. Instead, you’ll see contemporary neutral tones predominant in its façade and interiors. There's the black and white typography tiles on the kitchen counter, stylish street-inspired décor by the front, bright neon lights in the middle, and lush greenery at the back.

greyhound cafe
Employing contemporary neutral tones, this Thai dining spot is anything but traditional.  
PHOTO BY Kit Singson
greyhound cafe
The stylish street-inspired décor lend it a hip, modern feel. 
PHOTO BY Kit Singson
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“When you enter, it’s Bangkok by day and then in the middle is Bangkok by night so there’s that certain ambiance,” explains del Rosario, pointing out that the back portion of the establishment has a courtyard feel to it; check out the plants hanging from up top. The whole area can accommodate around 98 diners, and it’s pet-friendly too, so you can bring your furry friends along with you for lunch or dinner.

greyhound cafe
Touches of greenery lend hominess to the space. 
PHOTO BY Kit Singson

Greyhound Café’s menu is a mix of the classics from Bangkok and the bestsellers from its branches in the other regions like Hong Kong, Singapore, and London. Their extensive menu was curated by Thai Executive Chef Aniwat Vadhanachai, with promises to introduce local flavors in the future. For now, take your pick from its wide array of inventive dishes creatively prepared and presented with a still distinctly Thai note. Purists beware!

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greyhound cafe
Words to live by. 
PHOTO BY Kit Singson

Since scanning their menu might take a while, you can snack on the complimentary dinner roll and butter to prepare your palate for a welcome onslaught of flavors. Whet your appetite with the Salmon Sashimi in Spicy Hot Sauce (P380)—a Japanese-inspired dish featuring intricately plated slices of fresh salmon formed into a star. In the place of wasabi and soy sauce is Greyhound’s spicy lime sauce with slivers of fresh garlic, dill, and other herbs. If you don’t mind the piquant flavors of garlic and coriander then this is a must-try. It definitely packs a punch—just so you’ll know what your taste buds will be up against.

greyhound cafe, Salmon Sashimi in Spicy Hot Sauce
Salmon gets taken out for a spunky ride in the Salmon Sashimi in Spicy Hot Sauce.  
PHOTO BY Kit Singson
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A more wholesome appetizer is the Greyhound Famous Fried Chicken Wings (P390). Not your usual bar chow, that's for sure. These are single-bone wings marinated in Thai fish sauce and fried until crisp and golden brown. It’s also infused with the taste of pandan, and adorned with fried bits of the Asian screwpine. Even with all the flavors, there's no heat to this one, making it a kid-friendly option and great for non-spice lovers.

greyhound cafe, Greyhound Famous Fried Chicken Wings
Greyhound's take on chicken wings is infused with the flavors of fish sauce and pandan. 
PHOTO BY Kit Singson

Of course it wouldn’t be a Thai restaurant without the ubiquitous Light Tom Yum Soup (P580). All the elements of the traditional Thai tom yum koong are in this big bowl of soup that highlights good-sized tiger prawns. What sets it apart are ravioli stuffed with shrimps swimming in the fragrant broth, which is laden with mushrooms. It’s a light broth with slightly sour notes—kind of like a warm hug in a bowl.

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Light Tom Yum Soup, greyhound cafe
The Light Tom Yum Soup may not be traditional, but it still delivers all the comfort of the original.
PHOTO BY Kit Singson

You’ll also find familiar flavors in the GHC Seafood Spring Rolls (P550), stuffed with scallops, shrimps, squid and asparagus. Don't be fooled by the humble look; these are stuffed with sophisticated flavors of the sea—ideal for the Lenten season or just anytime the hankering for seafood hits. It also comes with a serving of leafy greens that you can use to wrap the rolls. Make sure to dip it on the sweet and sour sauce for added flavor.

greyhound cafe, GHC Seafood Spring Rolls
For the best experience, try wrapping the GHC Seafood Spring Rolls around lettuce before giving it a dip in the sweet and sour sauce.  
PHOTO BY Kit Singson
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Better be ready to eat with your hands if you dare to order the Complicated Noodles (P380). Don’t be discouraged by the name, as it’s less intimidating than you think. It’s surprisingly a fun, interactive, and flavorful dish where you basically create your own wrap using iceberg lettuce leaves, square noodle sheets, minced pork sauce, and chili sauce. The green chili sauce gives quite a kick and the coriander flavor is intense as well, so just dab them on according to your preference.

greyhound cafe, complicated noodles
Don't be intimidated by the Complicated Noodles... 
PHOTO BY Kit Singson
greyhound cafe, complicated noodles
...It's actually a fun and interactive dish where you can assemble your own wrap with the included components.  
PHOTO BY Kit Singson
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On the more familiar end of the spectrum is their Chicken Satay (P490) that’s simply served on skewers. This colorful dish has chicken pieces alternating with cucumber salad sticks, plus it’s served with bite-sized squares of toast on the side. The chicken itself is tender and mild in taste—best to dip it in the peanut sauce for added excitement in the flavor department.

greyhound cafe, Chicken Satay
Your eyes are bound to pop as the naturally colorful Chicken Satay lands on your table. 
PHOTO BY Kit Singson
greyhound cafe, Chicken Satay
Be sure to give it a dip in the peanut sauce! 
PHOTO BY Kit Singson
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Yet another staple in all Thai restaurants is the Pad Thai with Fresh Shrimp (P450)—and their version of this stir-fried rice noodle dish is somewhat deconstructed. Diners are encouraged to season it according to preference since the condiments are served separately. The noodles itself are already cooked in tamarind sauce and have fresh shrimps and tofu, but feel free to mix the seasonings like chili flakes, fish sauce, sugar, and spicy vinegar. Don’t forget to squeeze the wedge of lime over to give it some acidity and balance all the flavors.

greyhound cafe, Pad Thai with Fresh Shrimp
You can season the Pad Thai with Fresh Shrimp according to your preference. 
PHOTO BY Kit Singson

A noodle dish here that’s quite unexpected is the Spaghetti Cha Cha Cha (P645). Yes, there are pasta selections here that would seem out of place, but once you get a taste of it, you’ll discover that Thai flavors kind of work well with Italian pasta! Take this squid-ink spaghetti cooked with shrimps and scallops stir-fried with Italian basil leaves—one look and you would think it’s all Italian, but the addition of green peppercorns and chilis give it a Thai edge.

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greyhound cafe, Spaghetti Cha Cha Cha
Thai and Italian flavors come together in the Spaghetti Cha Cha Cha.
PHOTO BY Kit Singson

Greyhound Café has a bevy of beverages to wash all the food down—and are perfect for pairing with their spicy eats. Some of their cool concoctions are the Thai Tea Granita (P190), shaved ice granita style; and healthy mocktails like Pink Journey (P300), a blend of strawberry, apple juice, and lime juice; as well as the Oriental Kiss (P300), where guava juice meets Chinese plum.

greyhound cafe, Thai Tea Granita
Cool down with the Thai Tea Granita. 
PHOTO BY Kit Singson
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greyhound cafe, Pink Journey,  Oriental Kiss
The Pink Journey and Oriental Kiss are as vibrant in taste as they are in appearance.
PHOTO BY Kit Singson

Don’t leave without trying their desserts! For eaxmple,classic mango sticky rice gets a (literally) cool twist in the Sticky Rice + Mango Parfait (P250). It’s just how you would imagine an ice cream concoction would look—like except that at the bottom of the clear glass is a bed of sticky rice that’s layered with fresh mango slices and topped with coconut milk and coconut sherbet. Dig in with your spoon so you can get everything in one bite.

greyhound cafe, Sticky Rice + Mango Parfait
Greyhound gives the classic sticky rice-mango combo a (literally) cool twist in the Sticky Rice + Mango Parfait.
PHOTO BY Kit Singson
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If you’re more for the nuttier side of the dessert world, go for their signature Young Coconut Crepe Cake (P250). Think buko pie, made lighter, since this has thin crepes layered with fresh cream and fresh coconut meat. The crepes are delicate and soft—a good contrast with the chewy coconut meat and the crisp animal-shaped biscuits.

greyhound cafe, Young Coconut Crepe Cake
The Young Coconut Crepe Cake will feel familiar, given its similarity to buko pie—but still refreshing with its crepe cake format. 
PHOTO BY Kit Singson

Ready for a new food adventure? Taste and see for yourself the modern Thai cuisine with a twist at Greyhound Café, which is set to open branches in Podium, Mall of Asia, and Rockwell Power Plant within the year.

Photos by Kit Singson

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