I’ve been to Robinson’s Magnolia several times and enjoy the place immensely. I like the fact that it’s not (yet) too crowded and that the air-conditioning has (so far) been operating quite nicely. Since I’m there for several hours at a time, it’s not unusual for me to look for a place to eat when the need arises. I rarely find myself at the al fresco area so I wasn’t aware that a Thai restaurant was located at the ground floor until I was invited by Aldous for an event last Thursday night.
The first adjective that came to my mind when I entered Thai Bistro was “posh”. It looked so high-end, but without being too formal. I liked the high ceilings and warm colors all over the place. Owner and Chef Cecille Chang (also known as the Chef in Stilettos) was personally there to talk to us and share a lot of information about her restaurant.
Thai Bistro opened their doors to the public in August 13, 2012. Ms. Chang has spent a lot of time traveling all over Thailand, learning about the country’s food. Her extensive training has allowed her to create the various dishes being served at her restaurant.
So I went with a glass of Lemongrass Juice (Php80.00) instead. This refreshing drink came with a small (shot)glass of syrup, which you mix with the juice. I only went with half of the syrup because I didn’t want my drink to be overly sweet.
The first dish which arrived at our table was this platter of Mieng Kham (Php180.00), a traditional Thai appetizer. Ms. Cecille Chang told us to roll the entire leaf and eat it whole. On top of each leaf is a piece of shrimp, crushed nuts, a small bit of chili and burnt caramel with fish sauce.
This was my first encounter with this type of appetizer and I must say, it was VERY good. I honestly liked every single thing about this dish.
Here’s a closer look at the appetizer. I was able to eat two of these: one without the chili and one with the chili. I really enjoyed the one WITH the chili because it managed to elevate the flavors to a different level.
If you’re up for the challenge but are feeling unsure if you can handle the heat, I suggest you have something to wash it down within your grasp. If you’d really rather skip the chili, that’s perfectly fine too. No one’s going to judge you. 🙂
Next came a serving of Choo Chee Roti (Php195.00), buttered roti served with a small bowl of red curry dip. I’ve always been a big fan of roti, so this was a real treat for me! The red curry dip isn’t spicy at all. Perfect for non-spicy food lovers out there.
Chef Cecille asked us if we wanted try their other dip: the Spicy Tomato. This was supposed to serve with herbed roti, but it was still fine with the buttered roti that we were already having. I liked this one better than the red curry dip.
The Pink Pomelo Salad (Php360.00) was served next. This salad had chicken, shrimp and various herbs along with the pomelo. It was all mixed together to create a dish that served as a nice palate cleanser.
It came with an assortment of condiments which you can mix with the noodles to achieve the taste that’s most suitable for your palate. From left to right, you have chili flakes, sugar, fish sauce and distilled vinegar.
The Siam Chicken Wrap (Php315.00) arrived at our table simultaneously with the other dishes. When I first saw this dish, it reminded me so much of the Chinese Lettuce Wraps my family and I enjoy at restaurants and at home. In Thai Bistro, you get to put the crispy noodles and the ground chicken & chili inside the leaves and enjoy a simple, yet flavorful, treat.
What you see above is a photo of the Thai Ravioli (Php295.00). Inside each rice paper is a mixture of beef and shiitake mushrooms. Sadly, because of some dietary restrictions, I wasn’t able to try this one out and had to rely on the others for feedback. I received positive reactions for this one.
Bagoong Rice (Php315.00) is another one of those dishes usually ordered by customers in Thai restaurants (my family included). Thai Bistro’s version had all the other ingredients circled around the rice, allowing the customer to mix it all by himself.
One of the dishes which I consider to be highly amusing that night was the Sala Daeng (Php328.00). I love discovering new & unusual dishes and this one definitely did not disappoint. These are actually lemongrass florets stuffed with chicken and are then fried. They are served with a sweet chili sauce on the side.
I’m thankful that Chef Cecille decided to demonstrate how to properly AND easily get the chicken inside, or I might have looked really silly trying to eat this dish. :p You have to cut through a part of the floret and then scrape the chicken meat off the lemongrass. It takes a bit of practice to get the chicken meat out without creating a mess though. Give it a try when you’re visiting this place. 🙂
Those closest to me know that I’m a big fan of lamb. Just imagine my delight when Chef Cecille said that she’ll be serving the Lamb Shank Massaman (Php120.00/100 grams) to us that evening! The meat was very, very tender and was served with crispy noodles and sweet potato chips. The meat itself was already a winner, but I must commend the use of sweet potato chips. That in itself was a winner too! This dish was, without a doubt, my other favorite (along with the Mieng Kham). 🙂
I was already pretty full when we finished with all the mains, and yet I was glad I still had some room for dessert. We were given the chance to sample three types of sweets that evening. The Sticky Rice with Mangoes (Php210.00) was one of them. Thai Bistro uses rice imported from Thailand for this dessert and it was yummy. Don’t forget to drizzle some coconut milk over your sticky rice and mangoes for added oomph.
Last, but definitely not the least, was the beautiful Bistro Nest (Php240.00). Those are crispy slivers of taro and sweet potatoes, topped with homemade coconut ice cream. Drizzle some of the Kaffir caramel sauce served alongside for a really nice touch. 🙂
Dining at Thai Bistro was an enjoyable experience for me. I was amused by everything, from the food presentation to the overall atmosphere of the place. Prices are a little higher here compared to the other Thai places I’ve been to, but I think most of the dishes are pretty worth it.
It was also such an honor to have Chef Cecille spend time with us. We know how busy she can be, and yet she didn’t mind sharing things about her experiences, her food, her schooling and even her diving trips! Big thanks to her and her team for being so accommodating to us that evening. ♥
**Thai Bistro is located at the Ground Floor of Robinson’s Magnolia Town Center, Aurora Blvd. corner Doña Hemady, Quezon City. You may visit their official Facebook page by clicking here.
**Thank you, Wazzup Pilipinas, for organizing this event.