CHECK IT OUT: Basil at White Plains, Quezon City
Good Thai food coupled with beautiful design make it worth the trip.
Katipunan Avenue, corner White Plains
Tel. No. 911-4158
Open from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily
A Thai garden in the city. Click for more.
(SPOT.ph) Blanketed in lush green interiors, Basil is a charming new restaurant that takes its name from the renowned Thai Basil or Bai Horapa. Delighting patrons with traditional Thai hospitality, the restaurant is located in a recently refurbished garden supply structure and is an ideal venue for a quick lunch, drinks with friends or a leisurely meal with the family.
The interiors were a collaborative effort between the owners who are both plant and art enthusiasts. Working with the original structure-making clever use of the previous elements like the old wooden floors and panels-they meticulously adorned the space with beautiful plants and decorative pieces. "We wanted to offer customers a unique and memorable dining experience" said Eugene Lorenzana, "a place where they could enjoy good food in a setting which is beautifully designed. For us, Thai cuisine evokes a strong sense of nature and greenery so we felt the setting was a good match for the Thai food we serve. We also noticed that there is a lack of stand-alone restaurants with this kind of green and cozy ambiance."
White chandeliers and colored glass window panes make for a sophisticated, rustic and elemental space. To complement the interiors, details such as the simple all-white plates with lotus edges, silver Thai serving pieces and other vessels were all sourced from travels to Thailand.
The Thai cuisine of Basil is traditional and the menu is extensive, ranging from classic appetizers such as the Yum Som Oh (P295), a healthy pomelo salad with shrimp in a sweet and pungent tamarind sauce, and the Tord Man Gong (P275) or crisp golden prawn-filled cake flavored with Thai herbs to the ever popular spicy seafood soup, Tom Yum Ta Lay (P298) and Pad Thai fried noodles (P325).
Here, everything is made from scratch. No shortcuts and prepared mixes. All dishes are painstakingly made by the manual pounding of the spices to the precise mixing of ingredients, and it is because of this that the food takes a little longer than usual to get to your table. Other delectable must-orders include the Pad Gra-Prow Nua (P325), a Wagyu beef dish with Holy Basil and the signature Pla Kao Rad Prik (P750) or crispy fish with three-flavored sauce. The latter is a specialty of the house-a whole grouper is deep-fried crispy and topped with a sharply sour, spicy, and sweet homemade sauce featuring tamarind and chili flavors.
Of course, no Thai restaurant would be without a tantalizing offering of green and red curries. Kaeng Phed or red curry is available with a choice of Wagyu beef or duck (P425) and a Kaeng kiew Wan Kai, chicken green curry (P325) is also quite popular.
For a perfect ending, order the requisite Khao Niew Ma Muang (P130), sticky rice with mango, or sample one of the refreshing sherbets and ice creams such as the Buko-Gata and Buko-Lychee (P95).
Photos by Majoy Siason