Just Thai: A Fusion With Filipino Taste

The cold and rainy season has started in the Philippines and a looming typhoon further aggravated the chilly weather. I was looking forward to eat something warm or spicy to negate the cold breeze when a friend asked me if I wanted to join them and try this Thai restaurant in Bonifacio Global City (BGC). The invitation was just in time as I was also craving for Thai cuisine the past couple of days.

Just Thai Second Level
Just Thai Second Level

The owners of the restaurant opened Just Thai after a trip in Bangkok. They tried several Thai restaurants in Manila but none suited the taste they were looking for. That gave rise to the idea of opening up their own restaurant. The original branch in BGC opened in 2010 and has two levels which can seat a total of fifty five diners. Outdoor dining was also possible but we chose to eat at the second floor since the gloomy weather indicated that rain was about to fall. The ambient lighting added a cozy feeling to the already cold weather. I looked around and saw two hanging and shimmering lamps that gave accent to the serene dining environment.

Tom Kha GaiTom Yum
Tom Kha Gai (left) and Tom Yum (right) | Php 190.00

We started our meal with two kinds of soup: Tom Kha Gai and Tom Yum. Tom Kha Gai is chicken soup cooked with coconut broth and lemongrass. The taste was different but definitely delicious. The lemongrass added a flavorful smell and distinct taste. Tom Yum (considered to be Thailand's national soup) or Hot and Sour Soup, a favorite among Thais lived up to its name. The spiciness kicked in after a few sips. I was arrogant that its was not hot and spicy but in a matter of seconds, I was already perspiring. Whew!

Yam Neua
Yam Neua | Php 350.00

The salad was served immediately after the soup. Yam Neua is vegetable salad topped with seared and marinated beef strips. The lettuce was fresh and crispy. I usually have Pomelo Salad when I dine in Thai restaurants but its good to know that this salad can be an alternative. I can even try to prepare this at home. The appetizer was so good that I forgot to try some of the sweet dressing.

Bplah Pla Kru KratiemKung Kratiem
Bplah Pla Kru Kratiem (left) | Php 300.00 and Kung Kratiem (right) | Php 500.00

The first set of main dish are both cooked in garlic and pepper. Bplah Pla Kru Kratiem used sliced squid as the main ingredient while Kung Kratiem uses prawn. I love squid but most of the time, it dismays me when it is not cooked well or when I feel like eating a rubber band. To my surpise, this squid dish was really delicious and each slice was really soft and tender. While I am not really a big fan of prawns, it was equally good as well.

Pad Gaprow Talay
Pad Gaprow Talay | Php 280.00

Pad Gaprow Talay is mixed seafood with basil-coconut cream sauce. The mix of mussels, squid, prawns and fish fillet is cooked with the creamy sauce and topped with basil leaves. Although the basil leaves can be eaten separately, be surprised what the basil does when eaten with the mixed seafood. Although the dish is delicious, I feel that the creamy sauce was too much that it covers the whole ensemble. Maybe, they could lessen the amount of sauce.

Khao Krok Kapi
Khao Krok Kapi | Php 250.00

A Filipino meal is not complete without rice, so we tried the Khao Krok Kapi. It is fried rice with shrimp paste (locally called bagoong) served with sweet ground pork, dried shrimp, scrambled egg and green mango strips. After taking some photos, the waiter mixed the rice. I expected the shrimp paste to overwhelm all the other ingredients but it was subtle enough that I can taste a little bit of the other ingredients. I liked the ground pork that added a bit of sweetness in the mix.

Gaeng Lanang
Gaeng Leuang | Php 260.00

Just Thai also have vegetable dishes like the Gaeng Leuang, which is vegetable and tofu cooked in curry sauce. It also has diced carrots, broccoli, string beans, eggplant and bell pepper. Parsley leaves are added as garnishing. Though it was my first time to try such a vegetable dish, the taste was just right. I would have enjoyed it more, if the vegetables were half cooked so there will be some crisp in each bite.

Pad Thai
Pad Thai | Php 280.00

The last dish is one of my favorite Thai dishes. Pad Thai is one of Thailand's national dish of stir fried noodles dish served with eggs, peanuts, bean sprouts, tamarind juice, chili and lime. I think I had most of the Pad Thai as I consumed everything on the plate. Perhaps I should try to cook this dish again when time permits.

Spices
Spices

Thai cuisine is synonymous to spicy dishes that is why some people avoid dining in such restaurants. What makes Just Thai different is that diners have the discretion on the level of spiciness on their food without losing the taste and aroma. The waiters would usually ask customers if they want mild spice or more on their dishes. Extra chili powder and chili is also served so diners can adjust the spice to their liking.

Drinks
Drinks | Php 80.00

Thai Iced Tea is one of my favorite drinks. It is prepared by blending Thai red tea, star anise, cinnamon and vanilla. The steeped tea is then flavored with sugar. When the tea is cooled, it is mixed with cream and often condensed milk for a refreshing drink. I have tried several Thai iced tea before but this really caught my fancy. I hesitated to try the Tamarind Juice but after some prodding, I ordered the drink and was really glad. It was just like having Bangkok sweet tamarind candies but instead of eating them, I was drinking it. The staff said the drink had several renditions until they were able to perfect it.

Tha Kho
Tha Kho | Php 140.00

If you are fan of majablanca, then Tha Kho, would be a perfect dessert for you. This coconut pudding wrapped in pandan leaves is very much similar in taste and texture with majablanca.

Khao Niaow Ma Muang
Khao Niaow Ma Muang | Php 260.00

To cap off our lunch, we had Khao Niaow Ma Muang. It is simply sticky rice topped with sweet mango slices and served with coconut sauce. I have tried several sticky rice with different Thai restaurants but this was the first time that I did not want to eat the dessert. Not because it does not look appetizing but the presentation was so beautiful, cutting in would make it less appealing. Nah, I was just bluffing, apparently, the taste was just heavenly. The mango slices and sticky rice was a perfect blend to a sumptuous lunch during that rainy and lazy afternoon.

Overall, the dining experience was quite better than I expected. Price was relatively low since all dishes were for sharing. The dining environment is serene and fit for those wanting more privacy. Service is quite excellent and fast. If there is one thing I could recommend, maybe they can add hot towelettes for the diners after their meal. This way they can freshen up after a bout with the spicy dishes. I was also looking through the menu but did not see any Pineapple Fried Rice. Ever since my Phuket trip, I have yet to find a perfect rendition of this rice prepared inside a pineapple. Maybe they can add this to the menu. I am looking forward to try the other dishes when time permits and hopefully a branch opens in the northern side of Metro Manila.

Just Thai BGC
Bellagio 2, Forbes Town Center
Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City
Taguig City
Tel No: + 63 (02) 403.8718
Operating hours: 11:00AM to 2:00PM, 5:00PM onwards

Just Thai Alabang
Molito Commercial Complex
Alabang, Muntinlupa City
Tel No: + 63 (02) 808.4058
Operating hours: 11:00AM to 2:00PM, 5:00PM onwards






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