Basil is a restaurant that specializes in Thai cuisine they proudly proclaim as “authentic.” There are currently three branches open in Metro Manila – White Plains, Quezon City, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig and SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City.
Thai dishes are as authentic as it gets because it is prepared exactly the way it is done in Thailand. They make great use of the Basil herb which is a staple in Thai cooking. Once you step into the restaurant, that aroma permeates the surrounding.
The layout makes you feel like you are in a garden; the idea is to make customers relax and feel at ease as they settle in to dine. The staff wear sarong around their waists for added realism.
The writer has ordered two dishes that are his favorite among Thai cuisine – Ref Beef Curry and Pad Thai. Both are served on metal dishes though the dish with Pad Thai was lined with banana leaves (this is unique). Pad Thai is stir-fried noodles topped with sprouts (toge) tofu, shrimp, herbs and chopped peanuts with a slice of lemon and chili powder on the side.
The herbs and the banana leaves give the dish a very fragrant aroma you want to savor over and over again. The noodles are chewy (they use broad noodles) but not tough. It is still soft enough to eat. The chili powder gives the food a kick (the writer likes spicy food) though the lemon juice reduces the spiciness.
Red Beef Curry
Next came the Red Beef Curry. It is so named because red pepper is used as opposed to the green pepper in other dishes. This is served on a metal bowl. This is an ala carte dish so you will have to order rice separately. The herbs and pepper leaves give off a powerful aroma so strong it can wake you up if you feel sleepy. What makes this curry dish unique to Basil compared to others is this has pineapple which is a surprise!
The dish is really spicy (as requested by the writer). You will know it is very spicy if you are sweating, your eyes will water and you may develop a runny nose. You should feel it in your tongue but the pineapple and coconut milk mixed in the curry sauce somewhat neutralizes the spicy heat and it makes eating it bearable though you will still feel a little of it. The beef is grilled (you can see the grill marks) but it is very tender as you chew it and the taste is just right.
This sampling of dishes underscore Thai cuisine that combines sweet, sour, salty and spicy together. The ingredients used create a harmonious balance of these flavors that makes them pleasant to the smell and taste and you will leave very satisfied, not to mention that authentic feeling of being in Thailand. You can count on Basil to do that.
White Plains cor. Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City
Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City
The Plaza, Arya Residences, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City