Thai Bistro Review - Chef In Stilletos
Thai Food has always been one of my favorite cuisines. The complexity of the dishes and their ability to mix a myriad of flavors into one harmoniously tasty dish has always fascinated me.
It used to be just Sukho Thai, Sawasdee and a few others which sadly, are now all closed. Through the years, several establishments have attempted to replace their spots as the top Thai restos in Manila but none have ever been able to truly duplicate or replicate what they were able to do (in my humble opinion at least). Until now.
Thai Bistro is a new restraurant located at Robinson's Magnolia and is owned by Chef Cecille, better known as the Chef In Stilletos. The same talent behind Simply Thai and Just Thai. But now she is doing it all on her own with style, flair and taste that only a true cooking fashionista would know.
Let's start with the interiors of the place. Simple but chic with its jewel-toned interiors and tufted sofas makes it the perfect cosmopolitan hot-spot. A great backdrop for keepsake photos of fun girls night outs, weekend dates and family dinners.
|Thai Bistro at Robinson's Magnolia|
At Thai Bistro, style doesn't compromise taste and quality. Chef Cecille pays attention to her food the same way she would plan an outfit, meticulously.
Each dish is served and plated to perfection with an aroma that promises a night of pure gastronomic orgasm.
People are visual creatures and your impression of the dish starts with when you first take a glimpse of it, followed soon after by its scent and finally its flavor. You miss one and you spoil the experience. Thai Bistro doesn't just take you on this culinary drive, it completes the 360 degree cycle with the tastiest Thai food in the Metro.
Chef Cecille's food bursts with flavor but not overly so that you get the "umay" factor. She just injects the right amount to keep it from getting boring. And just like fashion, you can take a dish, any dish and request it to be altered to suit your taste or diet issue perfectly. Wherelse can you do that?
Though already on the menu, their traditional Roti with dip is a great example. You can opt to order it the traditional way with curry sauce or get yourself the healthier version which is served with a tomato dip. I, of course, take the indulgent route, and request for the curry. Which is safe to say, one of the BEST curries I have ever tried. If you're a fan of Roti, you must definitely order this.
|Choo Chee Roti (curry dip) vs Herbed Roti with Spicy Tomato Dip - P190-195|
Another must try on the menu is their Prawn Fresh Rolls. Although pegged as an appetizer, it is quite heavy and would make a great main dish especially for people on a diet. You can also get it customized, "vegan style" just like what my friend Ana requested for. Each roll is huge and filled with rice noodlem, vegetables, and perfectly cooked prawns. The sauce that comes with it is to-die-for and bottomless, which is a good thing because I'm sure you will be asking for seconds or thirds. GREAT with a chilled glass of white wine as well.
|Prawn Fresh Rolls vs Vegan Fresh Rolls - P320*|
Not just a hangover cure but a great starter as well, their Tom Yum Talay impressed me with how perfectly well each different seafood variation was cooked. A task not easily done in a bustling restaurant kitchen with wildy different cooking times.
|(Seafood) Tom Yum Talay - P155|
Unlike most other Thai restaurants, Thai Bistro doesn't only concentrate on food found in Bangkok. Their menu is filled with dishes from other provinces of Thailand as well.
Deep fried to a crisp and finished off with a generous amount of pomelo, their soft shell crab salad makes quite a refreshing treat. Fresh and delicious, Thai Bistro's crabs are flown in all the way from Vietnam! Most ingredients found in their dishes are also hand-picked by Chef Cecile during her monthly "grocery shopping" trips to Bangko to ensure that each dish is as authentic as it possibly can.
|Soft Shell Crab Pomelo Salad - P395|
If there's one thing you should try during a visit to Thai Bistro, it should be this. Their Mieng Kham. Simple, straight-forward, yet heavenly. Thai Bistro's Mieng Kham will leave a lasting impression on you that won't go away unless you give in to your cravings again.
|Mieng Kham - P180|
Another first for me was their Chang Mai Khao Soi which lends a twist to our beloved ramen. It's cooked with soft egg noodles at the bottom and topped with a crisp-fried counterpart. Sauce reminds me of Laksa in a way but not really. It has a much lighter feel. Also good as a sole entree when you're in the mood for ramen.
|Chang Mai Khao Soi - P295|
Here's something that'll hit close to home and make you want to spend all your breakfasts at Thai Bistro. Their Kaffir Garlic Rice. I have always been a fan of sinangag. Mornings of siningag and tuyo brings back so much nostalgia, fond memories and gets me heady every single time. Kaffir Gralic Rice is like siningag on stilletos. You will want to take home a whole order and eat it the following day for breakfast with tuyo or daing na bangus. Yummy!
|Kaffir Garlic Rice - P180|
One for the men in our lives, their Black Pepper Soft Shell Crab is a perfect beer match. Order it on a date with your beau.
|Assortment of Pad Thai Sauces|
One of my all time favorites and something I definitely can't live without, Pad Thai! At Thai Bistro, Pad Thai is served with a twist. Aside from your usual sugar, lime and peanuts, they also serve it with puso ng saging. Now I'm not having it any other way. You can also request for it "vegan style".
Though not really a fan of red meat, the beef in their curry was sooo tender. The meat literaly melts in your mouth and it comes with the same or similar irrisistable curry sauce as the roti.
|Beef Panaeng Curry - P385|
Another healthy/vegan option is their Bangrak which takes vegetable stir-fries into a whole new level with lime explosions here and there brought by expertly cut , hair-thin kaffir leaves. Of course veggies are perfectly cooked with just the right amount of crunch. Nothing soggy here.
|Bangrak - P260|
And finally, one of my favorite entrees in the whole world! Green Curry Chicken. The best. 'Nuff said.
It's big enough for sharing but order back up cause it's so good you just might finish it off by yourself.
|Green Chicken Curry - P320|
Desserts are also unique as their fashionista chef in stilletos just can't help but inject style and a certain air of sophistication to otherwise humble delicacies.
A favorite of mine is this jeweled rice pudding which kind of reminds me of maja blanca.
While my other friends preferred this (I'm sorry I forgot the name) which is like a halo-halo,
And this, which is coconut ice cream served in a nest made out of fried camote and topped with a coconut ala Latik sauce. Similar flavor to Gula Melaka but with a totally different texture.
And before I forget, also try their Thai Iced tea which will kick all those sprouting little tea shops to the curb, and their lemongrass iced tea which feels so clean you almost feel like you're getting a detox while sipping it. The Lemongrass Iced Tea comes with syrup but I prefer mne neat.
|Lemongrass Iced Tea & Thai Iced Tea|
And lastly, to ensure your visit meets its maximum potential, make sure to order a glass of white wine or beer. Both perfectly compliment Thai dishes and it will help you appreciate the diverse flavors even more.
Although relatively a newbie, Thai Bistro is strong and very well educated in its culinary foundation which makes me think that this is by far the best Thai Restaurant in Manila as of the moment.
Thai Bistro is located at the Al Fresco area of Robinson's Magnolia. Right across the park.