I love Thai food not just because of the green curry but the story of each dish that completes the dining experience. I've just attended a food bloggers' event last Thursday introducing Simply Thai, a contemporary Thai cuisine from Silk appreciating the difference of using authentic Thai ingredients not used in popular Thai restaurants these days.
Located at the heart of Greenbelt 5, at the garden area, Simply Thai looked refreshing with light tones of green decors and designs that felt so inviting. Like most restaurants in the area, they also have a bar serving different types of cocktails including their signature Lemongrass Martini. Since I'm an alcohol intolerant and I love cold drinks, I was served their freshly-made Lemongrass juice, well-presented with a fresh orchid flower and lemongrass stalk garnish while the others had freshly-brewed Thai Green Milk Tea, Pandan Juice and Thai Milk Tea.
Simply Thai is owned by the same group of successful Thai at Silk, Executive Chef Cecile Chang Ysmael. She told us that all ingredients used for the dishes served in Simply Thai is regularly shipped straight from Thailand and she even do the personally shopping of ingredients to make sure that they are fresh.
First, we were served the famous Thai soup varieties, Tom Yum Kung (P155) and Tom Khang Ghai (P155) which started my stomach to grumble.
The aroma of the lemongrass with the spices reminded me of my first Thai dining experience in Boracay twelve years ago. Then came more delectable appetizers.
Chuchi Roti with Minced Prawn Dip (P195). You'd wonder how to make your dip better than this because it's thick and flavorful.
Chicken Satay (P220) with spicy and sweet sauce and minced prawn dip.
Tod Man Kung or Thai Prawn Cakes (P295) with sweet and spicy dip. The cakes are too big you'd forget to eat the main course so it's best shared.
Mieng Kham (P220) peanuts, prawns, fresh lemongrass, cucumber and scallions with a mint leaf topped with a slice of red chili peppers on a betel leaf. We call this "Ikmo" but this betel leaf is smaller in size being imported from Thailand. It's a great appetizer to roll and dip with a local beer. I loved the crunchiness and the bursts of heat and freshness of the betel leaf with fresh lemongrass. Sweet, spicy, crunchy and really refreshing.
Kung Sarong (P375), large prawns wrapped with egg noodles deep fried served with sweet and spicy sauce. Creative and really delicious with the crunchy fried noodles wrap.
Papaya Salad (P240) fresh papaya strings, carrots, scallions, leeks on a sweet and spicy vinegar dressing with beef jerky strands as garnish. This dish is most popular to Europeans with the blend of sweet, sour and spicy taste and I really enjoyed the crunchiness of he veggies.
Green Mango and Apple Salad (P240), fresh green mangoes, scallions, apples with crunchy deep-fried soft shell crabs on top. The sour green mangoes with the sweetness of scallions and apples was wonderful and really delicious with he crunchy soft shell crabs. I really loved how they have presented the salad and it was so filling.
Pomelo Salad (P360) had more than just chunks of fresh sweet pomelos because they serve the dish with prawns.
Thai Fresh Rolls (P210) reminded me of Vietnamese spring rolls with vermicelli noodles, carrots, fresh Thai basil and coriander wrapped with rice paper. It's quite heavy as an appetizer and the serving was really huge.
Catfish Salad (P320), marinated catfish strips deep-fried with authentic Thai basil leaves served with roasted cashew nuts.
Then came the most memorable main course dishes starting with this Suhkumvit Chicken (P360). The story about why it was called Suhkumvit told by the owner was so interesting that we were so excited to taste how different it is from the usual fried chicken we'd get anywhere.
Thai Hainanese Chicken (P395) I also wondered how different it was compared to most Hainanese chicken we've all tried until we tried the soup and the rice. Most Hainanese chicken were steamed with the spices and flavors but this one is boiled and the flavor of the soup really separates it from those served in fast food.
Plan Tyang Mam Plaa Warn (P390)or simply roasted Catfish with crunchy garlic bits on top. The fish was so big as the flavors with the garlic that will make you love catfish. It's the best dish to recommend for those who had not eaten catfish in their life because it's really delicious.
Lamb Shank Massaman (P565) was their best-seller dish. It was my choice also as recommended by Chef Cecile. The meat was really delicious and one of those melt-in-your-mouth experience. I was itching to scrape the sauce on the plate because the sauce is a bit spicy and salty with a drizzle of sour cream to balance the taste. Massaman is another Southen Thai curry I have experienced and enjoyed for the first time in this dish using Lamb Shank instead of the usual beef served in most restos. It's similar to most Indian dishes with a tinge of sweetness.
Thai Green Curry (P320) is a more common Thai dish I've always ordered but Simply Thai's Green Curry is sweeter and more spicy and I loved it. I cook Green Curry at home but I've realized the careful use of coconut milk and fresh coconut strips while cooking will make the dish more exciting and really sweeter.
Then came the most popular Thai dish that surprised us all, Pad Thai (P320), a dish of stir-fried rice noodles with eggs, fish sauce, tamarind juice, red chilli pepper, plus any combination of bean sprouts, shrimp, chicken, or tofu, garnished with crushed peanuts, coriander and lime. The egg net presentation was so beautiful and amazing that we were hesitant to eat it. One of the waiters had to show us how the dish can be eaten mixing the other ingredients outside the net destroying the egg net. It was hard to imagine how anyone can learn to make that egg net considering the texture of fried eggs.
I was already too full with the dishes served until Arpee ordered the Sticky Rice with Mango (P220) and they explained how different Thai's sticky rice is from those available in the groceries.
We also had this Thai's Nest (P240), vanilla ice cream on a bed of deep-fried sweet potato strips and cassava with caramel sauce.
Takhoo Fakhoo (P190) sticky rice pandan flavored wrapped in pandan leaves and drizzled with sweet coco cream. I loved the flavor and the texture of the sticky rice reminding me of our very own "suman" with pandan.
Red Rubies (P155) red colored water chestnuts on crushed ice and fresh milk. It was surprisingly not too sweet but those with nuts allergy may avoid it.
Finally, the Frozen Brazo de Mercedes (P240) which was really hard to resist because of the presentation.
I can't really decide which dish was best since all of them were really delicious. On top of realizing that a distinct name of the dish with a great story can really provide a memorable dining experience, Simply Thai had proven one thing that sets it apart from most restaurant. It serves too many variety of dishes and each dish will really make you want to try more because no dish served will disappoint you. I'd like to go back to try their other appetizers and other main dishes which names I know I'll never forget. Simply Thai is really more than simple.
For more information:
Simply Thai accepts booking for events, private parties and the like with a choice of main or garden al fresco dining. Call 7290860 or 7296860 for reservations.