Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Educating my Thai Palate at THAIPAN

Have you ever had those times when everything doesn't seem to fall into place and what you've planned didn't materialize for some out-of-this-world reasons?  I'm sure you all would be raising your hands and some would even have their feet up.  Well this is one of those days, but dare not to succumb to disappointments, rather I turn to food for some comforts.  Though I really wouldn't categorize my doing as emotional eating, or do I? 

Though this time, I turned to writing about food and well, eating a child-made gourmet-looking spring roll at the same time.  Also, I need to forgive myself for sharing you about this wonderful discovery, yet again at Tomas Morato, after I had tried it for about two weeks ago.  I know, I know, I should have blogged about this gem of an epicurean place the minute I've stepped out of the resto.  Everyone has to know about this and be enlightened about what Thai cuisine is all about.

Thai cuisine for many Pinoy locals is startlingly esoteric but definitely not thrillingly new.  In Zomato alone there are over 60 listings of Thai restaurants in Manila alone.  All of them vouch for their cuisine as authentic, however some validates having a modern take or fusion on theirs.  

I've always crossed boarders all for the love of food, though my palate isn't for really spicy food, I'm always up for a challenge.  In the light of this, I'm not saying I don't like Thai or Indian food, well I like them but never have loved them as much as being in love with the cutest fanciest cupcake.  So when I had the chance to try this Thai restaurant that's off the beaten track.  

Settled, not so remotely, at Scout Dr. Lazcano Street adjacent to Tomas Morato,  Thaipan pays tribute to the culinary traditions found throughout Southeast Asia within a homespun setting.  The restaurant's goal is to bring the taste and flavor of Thailand closer to home.  

The venue is adorable.  It's actually a 60's house transformed into a chic Thai restaurant.  I'm totally loving their lamps, I have this penchant for light fixtures and the ones at Thaipan pull everything together.

With the added interior elements making Thaipan's place designed contemporary, streamlined with clean whites and earth tones.  

Invigorating our palate for the fiery fete was this freshly fried, hot off the pan, crunchy-fried garlic and peanuts.  There's nothing like having hot crunchy and slightly spiced peanuts.  It was paired with a refreshing glass of lemongrass tea.  

While waiting for the appetizer, we had a chat with Ms. Corazon Padiernos, the owner, how being authentic means to them.  According to her, she had to spend years of educating her palate eating Thai food in Bangkok.  Being authentic meant using the right ingredients and components for a classic, traditionally prepared Thai food.  She needed to make sure that what she's serving is how she exactly had it in Thailand.  Thus, ingredients had to be imported rather than using similar local ones setting apart the authentic flavor that's purely Thai.

Mhieng Kham, our plate of colorful earthy appetizer. a robust snack often sold as street food.  Don't be afraid of the fresh heart-shaped leaves that are meant to cover the myriad of ingredients.  Also known as Miang Kham, it's namesake translates to "eating many things in one bite", from miang and kham. (Wikipedia)

The dish involves wrapping little tidbits of several items in a leaf, along with a sweet-and-salty sauce. The leaf is called "cha plu" is in the same family of betel leaves. Chewing all the myriad ingredients together gives taste receptacles on the tongue and mouth a thrilling experience – from the rich, roasted flavors of coconut and peanut, to the tanginess of lime with zest and the pungent bursts of diced ginger and chilies. 

Then we had Green Papaya Salad or Som Tam in Thai.  According to my friends, this dish is eaten almost everyday as a staple in Laos, probably even in some parts of Thailand.   It looks refreshing but I found it really interesting as I love whatever that is turned into salad, though I had to admit it was my first green papaya taste for a salad and it contradicts my notion of a local papaya salad I  knew, the atchara, oh wait it's pickled.

Surprisingly, it was refreshingly yummy with the perfect balance from the fish sauce, lime juice and sweetener.  The dried salted fish shreds crowned at the top amplified the flavor of the salad.

The quintessential Thai food, Pad Thai is always a good sight in every Thai table.  The net-like covering is actually made of whisked and fried eggs, perhaps it's safe to say that this is the most beautifully ornated Pad Thai I've seen, better than Silk Road.

After it was served, the cheerful and accommodating staff asked if he can mix everything up for us.  You do have an option not to add any of the condiments served outside the net-like covering.

The unique sour and spicy taste of the the Tom Yum Kung will stimulate each and every one of your senses.  I do believe that eating Thai is more of a multi-sensorial experience, the vibrant colors of each dish, the aroma, the burst of flavors and of course you get to sweat a lot after every sip of this soup. 

What's good about their menu is that you can customize the hotness or spiciness of each dish, whatever would suit your palate better. 

This plate of Thai rice wasn't enough for all of us in the table, The fact that we all love it simply isn't enough to explain why we ought to order more of this plate of savory rice goodness.

Green Chicken Curry.

One thing that I can rightfully boast about Thaipan is that they don't scrimp on ingredients.  As you can see on the photo above, you can actually see how rich and creamy the dish is and it does however implies the spiciness of the curry dish.

Whenever I cook chicken curry at home, I preferred using green curry paste cause it's more flavorful. The unique taste of galangal, lemongrass, and kaffir lime melded so well your palate will just going to love the taste encounter.

 Another great thing about Thai cuisine is the sparing use of diverse ingredients which successfully creates delicious plates, such as the Fish Fillet with Tamarind Sauce.  The breaded fish fillet is smothered in a tart sauce made from tamarind and palm sugar and trimmed with a crunchy fried basil leaves adding to the exoticness of the dish.

We also had one final entree which I regrettably forgot to capture, the Cinammon Pork Ribs which is a must to order on your visit here.


Address: 120 Scout Dr. Lazcano Street,
                Near Tomas Morato,
                Sacred Heart, Quezon City
Contact Numbers:  02 3524926
                              +63 9178080718



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