Last Monday, our friend Anton flew to Manila so we invited everyone in DLSU Pride (our group’s name) for dinner. Originally, the plan was to have it in Kangaroo Jack, but since it’s not existing in SM Mall of Asia, we went for a Thai restaurant introduced by my current work colleagues.
Some of us have seen its branches in Robinson’s Place Manila and Greenhills, but it was all our first time to dine in this restaurant (in the Mall of Asia). And this is my first time to review food / restaurant in this blog with my friends. I’ll also try to post my evaluations from selected backlogs of our other past dining escapades soon, to uncover more selection of food entrees. Without further ado, here goes SOI for now.
Review of Soi Thai Fine Cuisine (SM Mall of Asia, Pasay)
The interior was designed with modern sensibilities, a minimalist, clean and streamlined look I like. With the little accommodating space, it had the wall mirrors that gave the illusion of an expansion and consistent colors, violet and brown, which presented a comforting vibe.
In addition, Thai chandeliers, machuca tiles, wooden fan and furniture finished with wenge (dark wood) added a touch of elegance to dining in. Music background’s volume was soft — not so loud but one that still enabled us to hear our normal conversations. Each table had a [fake] flower and a ready set of condiments.
The upbeat and lively waiters wearing black polo shirts are said to be one of the pillars of SOI. True enough, they were very attentive to customers. As we entered, we were offered a space and they arranged the chairs and tables to fit nine people. They gave us one menu each and a small dish consisting of spicy nuts and crackers (?) and a glass of iced water.
We were told that orders will come 10 to 15 minutes after, but they came sooner than expected — about 8 minutes tops, in average. In between, they refilled our glasses with water even when they were still half full. Best of all? There was no mandatory service charge. Khob kun kha! 😀
This casual Thai restaurant has broad line of more than 70 quality Thai food in its menu ranging from a variety of noodles, rice dishes, salad, soup, curry dishes, grills, specialties and desserts. They claim that their ingredients are freshly imported from Thailand and carefully selected for quality and flavor.
For appetizers, we had (1) Fresh Spring Rolls and (2) Pomelo Salad with Prawns, both of which I didn’t quite like. I thought I can also make these dishes on my own as they looked very easy to prepare. The taste of the fresh spring roll was bland (but undeniably fresh) and did not well complemented with the soy sauce that came with it. The salad, on the other hand, was nothing exquisite and special but a mix of ordinary chunks of pomelo and prawns sauteed in onions and some Thai sauce. They were light to the stomach, so they can be your best choices if you’re on a diet, maybe.
For our main courses, we had (3) Pad Thai Chicken, (5) Pad Thai Vegetarian, (6) Chicken Satay, (7) Red Curry Fish and (8) Fried Spring Rolls with Carrot Sauce. Now this is where SOI lives to its slogan “eat thai, love thai” as we really loved their authentic Thai flavors.The pad thais and the red curry fish, particularly, were impeccable, having flavors with eminent semblance to ones in Thailand. The pad thais were not too sweet with a tangy aftertaste. The texture of the noodles was firm to the bite with some parts mushy. The bean sprouts were slightly half-cooked, I thought, but still were crunchy. There was not that much scrambled eggs in the dish compared to other restaurants’ versions, however it didn’t affect the overall quality of the dish.
I can’t say anything about the chicken satay because I did not try it! Haha. Anyway, it must have been delicious for they ordered another one after the first. Moving on, the red curry was too spicy; on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the hottest, the score is 11 or 12. But it’s perfectly manageable with rice. The slices of fish fillet in it were moist and juicy. If you have not tried Thai food or if you haven’t gotten the real essence of their cuisine, their curries are the real deal to start with. They are super highly recommended. As a matter of fact, as the red curry fish lingered to my delight, I went back to SOI last Friday to buy my family this same treat for dinner amidst the heavy rains.
Lastly, the fried spring rolls were done well but otherwise not remarkable. To me, they were just like plain Shanghai rolls in a much thinner form. Dip a piece in carrot sauce and it can get to about three levels higher of splendor. I also tried the different sauces in Picture (4): vinegar, unidentified white sauce assumed to be coconut milk, red chilli and soy sauce with toothsome green pepper. Nevertheless, they did not seem to lift up the tastefulness in any way.
Price for Value: ★★★☆☆
Food prices were high, with portions scanty. The Pomelo Salad costs PHp 258; Pad Thai Veg, PHp 188; Fresh Sprill Rolls, PHp 148; Red Curry Fish, PHp 288; Fried Spring Rolls, PHp 296; Chicken Satay, PHp 170; Pad Thai Chicken, PHp 288. They also ordered Jasmine Rice each small bowl costing PHp 38; and Garlic Rice, PHp 48. Well, I guess it’s okay to splurge this much sometimes — and when you’re with a group of great friends. ✌
Soi Thai Fine Cuisine
Ground Floor SM Mall of Asia, Central Business Park Bay Blvd., Bay City, Pasay City (adjacent to McDonald’s near Hypermarket)