It has been seven months ago since I had my dream vacation in Thailand. Those two weeks were blissfully spent in the city of smile, Bangkok, as well as the popular sin city, Pattaya. Aside from its rich history and culture, another reason why Thailand has been on top of my travel list is its unique, aromatic, and most of the time spicy, cuisine. As someone who eats not only for survival, but for experience, I found Thai food to be very much agreeable to my palate. It wasn’t a surprise that after arriving here in Manila, I was in a continuous search for a restaurant which could offer the same gastronomic delight I had before.
It seems my pursuit for epicurean delicacies was finally over. Just a month ago, I visited Just Thai at Burgos Circle, Taguig City. To let you know how and why this local restaurant caught my heart (er, taste), let me give you a virtual tour on what to expect when you dine there.
Located along the busy streets of Burgos Circle, Just Thai is among those restaurants often visited by employees working around BGC, students studying nearby, and curious hearts out for another food adventure. But what makes Just Thai stand out? Let me count the ways.
- The Place
Just Thai wasn’t blessed with a big space. With a lot of restaurants lining the popular food street, it will be a feat to get a few more square meters. However, the restaurant put this into its advantage. It made the place cozier as few tables and chairs were put in the first floor, while a more spacious level awaited on top.
The interior was simple – reddish mixed with wood and the golden frames and statues made me reminisce my trip to Thailand. The atmosphere was pretty relaxing – one can associate the restaurant to a Thai spa, sans the mint smell.
The restaurant is pretty accessible, too. Located at the heart of Bonifacio Global City, it can be reached either by bus or car. When in a cab, simply tell the driver to bring you to Burgos Circle, BGC, then look for Just Thai.
- The Menu
I appreciated the restaurant’s no-nonsense menu. It is minimalist, but I had everything I needed. There was a variety of food to choose from. I loved the fact that all local dishes were with English names and descriptions. In my opinion, most food here have big servings, and if you are like me, it is better to bring a friend so you can share your order while tasting other dishes as well.
- The Food
I love Thai food and as someone who already know what authentic tastes like, I was hoping that Just Thai will meet my expectation.
Chicken Satay (Gai Sate)
I admit this has not been my favourite food when I was in Thailand, so I cannot really compare the taste. Still, it was worth noting the soft meat of the chicken and strong nutty flavour of its peanut sauce. Since I love peanut butter, I simply drowned my chicken stick with it.
Spring Rolls (Poh Pia Tod)
This set was tasty, albeit oily. I would love to eat more rolls if only I wasn’t into this “less oil phase”. Still, the spicy sauce fought the oily taste of the spring rolls, so it was okay. 🙂
Tom Yum Goong
This is my favourite Thai soup of all time, so I was expecting a lot when a steaming hot bowl appeared in front of me. As I had my first sip, it wasn’t that bad. That unique mixture of sour and spicy was there, though a bit weak. I attributed it to the spicy level of the soup my blogger friends ordered – low for my taste! Still, another good point for Just Thai for having its customers adjust the level of spiciness they want. Next time, I’ll go for level 10!
Tom Kha Gai
Perfect for the rainy weather, this creamy coconut broth with chicken immediately became my third favourite. I am not sure if I have tried this in Thailand, but the taste was really rich, texture a bit thick, and lemongrass-ginger aroma appetizing.
My second favourite Thai food. I have eaten a lot of varieties of this dish here in Manila and almost everything did not appease my taste. Lowering my expectation, it was no joke that I found Just Thai’s version more to my liking. The noodles were passable, though on the soggy side, but still tolerable for me. The mixed spices and the taste of peanut made it more authentic than others. Moreover, I was happy to bite those crunchy and fresh bean sprouts! Almost similar to an authentic street pad thai!
Mixed Seafood in Basil
I love creamy sauce and adding basil in it made it more appealing to me. This dish is a tiny bit salty to my taste, but perhaps that’s only because of the seafood. I recommend to have this turn into a seafood pasta with white cream sauce though it might not be a local Thai food then.
Squid with Garlic and Pepper (Bplah Pla Muek Kratiem)
The best thing I found in this dish was the freshness of the squid. The spiciness is okay, too.
Crispy Fish with Tamarind Sauce
I am not a fan of fish, but I tried this nonetheless. The fish tasted like a fish with flour, of course, but the secret was in the sauce. The tamarind sauce worked its magic as I didn’t notice I was happily popping several fried fish balls in my mouth.
Prawns in Garlic and Pepper (Kung kratiem)
Unlike its squid counterpart, this dish easily became the crowd’s favourite. Those huge and fresh prawns were so inviting in its garlic and pepper sauce.
Bagoong Rice (Khao Krok Kapi)
Even in Philippines, I don’t fancy eating bagoong rice. However, the green mangoes convinced me to try the Thai version and I was surprised to find it tasty. It had a strong taste though and eating it along with a milder viands might just do the trick.
I didn’t know this to be a local Thai food as I often see it anywhere in my country, but I still tried it. Boneless and tasty chicken with an aroma of pandan leaves assaulted my senses.
Mixed vegetables and Tofu in Yellow Curry (Gaeng leuang)
For vegetarians, this is just the dish for you. The mild spicy yellow curry brought a new taste to your ordinary steamed vegetables.
Mango Sticky Rice (Khao niaow ma muang)
I was looking forward to desserts when I learned Just Thai also offers the famous mango sticky rice. I have eaten a lot of tasty versions in my previous adventure, but it was my first time to encounter something beautiful and delicate as this. I was hesitant to eat it at first for fear of destroying this masterpiece.
The sticky rice with coconut milk was nice, but the mango chosen was not fully ripe and it made the entire dessert tasted a bit sour.
This was actually the first thing I ate as soon as I landed in Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok. Similar to Filipino mais maja, this coconut pudding with corn kernels was a nice way to end the night.
Just Thai is one of the many Thai restaurants sprouting in the metro these days. What make it stand out are its almost authentic cuisine, relaxed ambience, generous servings, and affordable price. As both of this restaurant’s branches are accessible to me, I look forward to dining here again. More to Tom Yum, Pad Thai and Tom Kha Gai!
JUST THAI. Forbestown, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; Tel: +63 (2) 403-8718 | Molito Lifestyle Center, Alabang; Tel: +63 (2) 808-4058| Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you also like eating Thai food? Which is your favorite?