It's funny how these past few weeks, I have already been posting about nothing but Asian restaurants. And today, I'll be sharing with you yet another great Asian find. But this time, it's a hole-in-the-wall Thai restaurant in Quezon City by the name of Thai Resa.
Located along N.S. Amoranto, formerly Retiro, Thai Resa is a humble and unassuming restaurant drenched in magenta and purple with some Buddhist accents. As both a pink and purple shade lover, the color scheme of the place definitely enticed me. It's also the only eye-catching establishment along the street with a bright and happy facade.
Even without an air-conditioning unit, staying in Thai Resa is as comfy as it gets. The restaurant has ceiling fans, and the location itself provide for well ventilation. We dined on an afternoon, yet we didn't shed even a single droplet of sweat!
As for the food, we first had the Catfish with Green Mango Salad (P180), an ensemble of crispy shredded catfish, green mango strips and lime juice. Although it has only been a year since I first tried Thai cuisine, this simple salad has always been a favorite. I just love the play in flavors and textures. You get both a subtle savor, and a punch of tang, as well as both delicately crispy and a solid bite from the green mangoes.
We also had the restaurant's version of Tom Yum Goong (P130) which is a famous Thai hot and sour prawn soup. Although it was generous of Thai Resa to include four pieces of plump shrimps considering the price, our group was a little surprised at how this bowl isn't as red nor as creamy as we're used to. You still get that spice and tang, but we thought it resembled our local Sinigang (tamarind soup) more in terms of overall flavor. Maybe a little more cilantro would have made this bowl more Thai, in my opinion. However, this was still a good hearty soup to sip on a chilly day.
We then got to try the Pad Thai (P150), another popular dish I look forward to eat when dining in Thai restaurants. Thai Resa's serving of this stir-fried rice noodle dish with eggs, tamarind and lemon juice, fish sauce, chili peppers and beansprouts is definitely hefty compared to other Thai dining establishments I've been to. And while my friends found something lacking in this serving in terms of flavor, I thought this is a satisfying but a different approach to one of the tastiest noodle dishes around.
I may not be a fried fish lover, but this dish is a very clear exception. This beautiful plate of Crispy Tilapia with Thai-Resa Sauce and Green Mango Salad (P200) is by-far my most favorite Thai dish not just in Thai Resa, but in all the Thai restaurants I've been to. Despite the concept being simple -- tilapia fillets cut into chunks, battered and deep-fried, glazed with a special sauce, and finally laid on a bed of green mango salad, I still can't help but exclaim moans of pleasure with every bite. Seriously, this dish is so good!
Next, we had a serving of the Beef Green Curry (P180) which is another house specialty in Thai Resa. Although I'm not a big fan of curry in general, I liked how this dish has the right amount of curry flavor. It wasn't too overbearing, yet you know it's curry. I also dig the eggplant chunks which went perfect with the tender-cooked beef pieces.
For carbs, we had the Bagoong Fried Rice (P150) which comes with chicken pieces, egg strips and green mango shreds. Again, we were surprised at how generous the portion was. This plate can seriously feed three people with ease, or even up to four light eaters. Despite having good side accompaniments, we found the bagoong lighter and sweeter than usual. Somehow, I think the flavor of this dish was already adjusted to suit the sweet-loving Pinoy palates. It was good as it is though.
We also got to try the Crabmeat Fried Rice (P180). Compared to the previous rice dish, this is definitely lighter in flavor. However, I liked the fact that you'll still get to taste hints of fried crabmeat without the crab flavor being too overpowering, making this a nice rice dish to pair with viands. As for my beverage, I had the Thai Iced Tea (P60), a smooth and creamy black tea and coconut milk concoction with a hint of caramel flavor.
True enough, hole-in-the-wall restaurants like Thai Resa can really give a different sense of dining pleasure. It may not have an extravagant interior, but food quality is still excellent without having to put a hole in your pocket. Another feat I love is the owners' personal touch. Since husband-and-wife duo Wilfredo and Theresa Yu, is hands-on in operating and managing the restaurant, you can request your food to be adjusted according to your preference. Thai food newbies can also get a free introduction to Thai cuisine just by chatting with the friendly owners.
Ambiance - 3.5/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 4/5
Overall Value - 4/5
Thai Resa Authentic Thai Cuisine, Retiro
135-D N.S. Amoranto cor. Iriga St.,
Brgy. Paang Bundok, Quezon City
Metro Manila, Philippines