Hello, Thai Original BBQ!
It is hard to miss Thai Original BBQ as its prime corner location facing 5th Avenue and Central Square is very easy to spot.
I was warmly greeted by its front host wearing traditional Thai outfit and ushered me inside.
The interiors of its Manila branch is not quite the same as its Los Angeles’ restaurants as it lacked fresh orchids. I do understand though that such tabletop could cost a fortune.
I was so happy that they kept most, if not all, of the dishes offered by its US counterpart. Of course we had to go with the bestsellers Gaiyang Dinner (PHP530) and BBQ Spare Ribs Dinner (PHP580). We also ordered Fried Calamari (PHP280), Yum Pla Dook Foo (PHP380), Tom Yum Goong (PHP380) and Pad Thai (PHP380). For our drinks, we all went with Thai Milk Iced Tea (PHP140) except for M who tried Iced Coffee (PHP140).
First served were our drinks and I liked that our Thai milk tea was not watered down. But it could have been a bit more flavorful as well. One other thing I noticed was the lack of orchid on the rim of the glass.
Next served were our appetizers Fried Calamari and Yum Pla Dook Foo.
The fried calamari was your usual deep fried squid rings but made a bit special with its delightfully sweet plum sauce.
I fell in love with the Yum Pla Dook Foo or what we simply call catfish salad. The deep fried catfish was tasty and very crispy which was beautifully complemented by the tangy mango strips and peanut bits. I also loved the beautiful blend of salty and sour flavors which whet my appetite for the mains.
But before attacking the huge chunks of barbecue chicken and spare ribs, I had some Tom Yum Goong.
I liked that it was mildly spiced making it easier for me to slurp several spoonfuls of this classic hot and sour Thai soup without gasping for water. Though stingy with the shrimps (there were only two pieces in our bowl), it was still flavorful thanks to mushrooms, lemon grass, chili paste and various spices.
The classic Pad Thai was pretty good as well. The rice noodles were cooked al dente and the shrimps, bean sprouts and peanut bits gave texture to the dish. The stir-fried egg added a bit of sweet and spicy flavor which blended perfectly with all the other ingredients.
I’m so happy that the bbq chicken of Thai Original BBQ Manila is exactly the same as the one I loved in LA. The perfectly barbecued and flavored chicken went well with the generous serving of rice topped with a few shrimps. I couldn’t comment on the side dish as I totally ignored the cucumber salad.
The BBQ Spare Ribs Dinner was pretty good as well. The meat was succulent and the serving size was huge! One order could definitely feed at least two very hungry individuals. Just like the other dinner plate, this one came with fried rice and salad. But if I were to choose between the two platters, I’d stick with the bbq chicken.
Overall, it was a pleasant dining experience. The only thing we didn’t like was that one server kept on trying to get our plates when it was clear that we were still eating. It really pissed K during the latter part of our lunch.
Thai Original BBQ Manila is located at Ground Floor, Fort Strip, 5th Avenue corner 28th Street, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.