Review | Basil Restaurant, Thai cuisine

Basil's Pad Thai. (All photos by Jessica Rae Mayo).

If you love Thai cuisine, try out Basil, an authentic Thai cusine restaurant with several branches in the metro.

We visited the Ayala Malls The 30th branch one Sunday lunch and ordered shrimp cakes, chicken chicken curry, Thai bagoong rice, prawns with garlic and pepper, and, of course, phad thai.

I am no picky eater, always ready to taste the flavors of the world, but Thai cuisine, with its distinct aroma, spice, and complexity, isn’t as exciting to me as Indian cuisine. Or even Vietnamese food. And so dining at a Thai restaurant is nothing exciting for me.

The interior of the Ayala Malls The 30th branch is warm, dim, and redolent of Thailand’s traditional designs. They have good customer service and provide an overall comfortable dining experience.

Basil's cozy ambiance.
Basil’s cozy ambiance.

The appetizer shrimp cakes (P375) are pretty forgettable. Dipped in sweet chilli sauce, these cakes are made of de-veined shrimps, long beans, mixed with red curry paste, and coconut milk.

Next up is the chicken green curry (P325)—chunks of tender chicken swimming in green curry sauce, thrown in with some vegetables, lime garnish, and is super hot for my taste. So hot that I was never able to actually taste the dish. The experience was just all spice and texture, with gulps of ice-cold water in between. Very aromatic, though.

Eating the chicken green curry with the Thai bagoong rice (P298), which is also hot, made the experience just one lengthy and spicy lunch for me. At least I managed to taste the distinct bagoong rice, and it’s pretty good.

The prawns with garlic and pepper (P435) is okay. Sweet, garlicky, nice, but not exactly an eye-popping delight. This Thai seafood recipe is made up of sauteed prawns, Thai garlic, black peppercorn, oyster sauce, sugar, water fish sauce, coriander root, and deep fried garlic.

Shrimp cakes, chicken green curry, prawns with garlic and paper, and Thai bagoong rice.
Shrimp cakes, chicken green curry, prawns with garlic and paper, and Thai bagoong rice.

Now, the phad thai (P360). The highly anticipated dish. My first time to try it, believe it or not. My whole family loved it, except me.

Commonly served as a street food in Thailand, phad thai, or sometimes called Pad Thai, is a noodle dish stir-fried with eggs and tofu, and soaked in an array of flavors and ingredients: fish sauce, garlic, dried shrimp, shallots, palm sugar, roasted peanuts, and red chilli pepper.

There’s a lot of going on in your mouth as you chew a mouthful of phad thai, and I realized I’m not a fan. I found it chiefly sour-y than sweet or salty, and the combo of flavors, although rich, do not agree with my taste buds. But I’m not crossing out phad thai from my life. I want to try it again someday—hopefully, one day, in the streets of Bangkok.

Basil Restaurant
Ayala Malls The 30th, 30 Meralco Ave, Ortigas Center, Pasig, Metro Manila.
Opens 11AM–10PM
Phone: (02) 535 5514