Quiet Rainy Day Lunch at Simply Thai

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Despite having the sniffles and hardly having an easy time getting out of bed, I couldn't miss an opportunity to have a quiet lunch in a Thai restaurant that promises good food that's authentic as bringing the whole of Bangkok right here in Manila. Besides, I'll be having my evaluation for pole dancing that night and I need a hot pot of tom yum soup to rid my owies to put me in top condition.

When I got to Greenbelt, I had to look for the restaurant called Simply Thai. It's actually a sister company of Thai at Silk at Serendra, which I'm personally a fan of. Simply Thai is located at the garden side of Greenbelt 5, it's the side near Greenbelt 1, a very pretty restaurant with clean lines and a very fresh color scheme. I'll post a picture too, so you know how the restaurant looks like, so you won't get lost like I did.

When I got there, a few of my blogger friends who I haven't seen for the longest time were there, already with their drinks and appetizers. With them is Executive Chef Cecile Chang Ysmael, who was there to personally describe each dish, answer our questions, and share several fun tales of her adventures in her second home, which is Bangkok, Thailand.

One of the waiters asked me what drink I wanted. I opted not to have milk tea due to my sniffles (but I swear, when the sniffles are gone, I will go back for milk tea!) and had a tall glass of refreshing lemongrass juice. As requested and as my body needed, I ordered a bowl of Tom Yum Kung, with a very rich and tasty broth and didn't go stingy with shrimps and mushrooms, two of my favorite things in Thai cooking.

I don't know if it's just me, but I like nibbling on the leeks too and lemongrass stalks. I wasn't able to take pictures of the lemongrass drink, but it's got a pretty orchid garnishing to go with it. The green and purple contrasts beautifully.

Spring rolls are both healthy and refreshing to make you think that going pesco-vegan isn't such a bad thing. Oh, if you love carbs, they're stuffed with vermicelli.

Those people with qualms about catfish would be happy to know that their catfish is grown and raised from farms so rest assured that it's super clean and its guts didn't house an entire ecosystem's food web. The meat was sweet and tender and fried super crispy.

Soft-shell crab. A newfound love of everyone that was wiped out in minutes (Arpee: Crab? what soft shell crab?). I'm so happy that I could eat crab and shrimp.

I dedicate the next dish to my pole classmate, Tricia who's a fan of Pad Thai. The prettiest Pad Thai in the universe served in a handmade egg net.

That net is made out of egg, and to make the egg net requires training and practice and a very light hand. The waiter had to demonstrate it to us how to mix the Pad Thai. You break it in the center to make a well to mix all the ingredients then cut through the egg net into small pieces. The egg "strings" have to be cut well so you don't choke on them.

For carnivores, here's their bestseller: Lamb Shank Mussaman. It's got sweet potato, peanuts, and caramelized onions. The lamb meat was tender too and it didn't have that aftertaste that most people don't like about lamb.

Other non-seafood dishes to try are the super spicy Green Chicken Curry, Hainanese Chicken with Jasmine rice, and the Suhkumvit fried chicken with crispy and tasty batter that's not your ordinary everyday fried chicken.

They've got really pretty desserts too! Like the red rubies.

I thought they were candied cherries at first until Cecile said they were actually water chestnuts. Interesting to know that water chestnuts can appear in the dessert course of the meal as I'm so used to having them in stir-fried chicken or salads. I also asked why they're red. "Rubies are actually the national gems of Thailand," she explained. The water chestnuts were coated then dyed red. It's placed in a bed of finely crushed ice with cream. They use water chestnuts in a can because you get a more consistent quality of water chestnuts with them. It's like eating sago then you get the surprise crunch inside. It's not too sweet either, but the cream makes it rich.

Arpee gave me a 101 on how to eat the Sticky Rice with Mangoes. It's like a Thai style of our native suman and mangga. You pour some coconut cream into the sticky rice. A slightly tart mango contrasts well with sticky rice. Since it's kinda heavy, I think it's best having desserts like this to share.

More desserts!
Before it starts melting or be devoured by hungry sweet-tooths, I took a picture of that homemade coconut ice cream on a bed of taro and orange (there's caramel sauce too at the bottom).

Pretty tapiocas all in a row each with a red ruby on top.

Since there's so much pretty and tasty dishes, I think it's best to eat here as a large group so you get to sample out a lot of dishes. The dishes are best to share.