I’ve always had a penchant for Thai food ever since I’ve encountered it a long time ago way back when Flavors and Spices, one of the pioneers of Thai cuisine in the country, was around. Then, there was also the more mainstream but nonetheless delicious offerings of Sukhothai. I had this notion that it’s pretty hard not to like Thai food because for all the differences it had with local fare, there are some striking similarities – the use of a shrimp paste, nam pla, for example bears strong resemblance to our bagoong and patis. Some of the flavors are also familiar – the liberal use of lemongrass or tanglad, lime juice, chilis and coconut milk.
It’s not everyday that I hanker for Thai food but I somehow lament the fact that it’s not as commonly available as before. Until I found out that there’s a Thai restaurant along Pasong Tamo that serves great Thai food – Thai Sticks ‘n Steaks. The blurb outside says its cuisine is inspired by Sukhothai. Don’t let the funky name fool you, the food is really very good. So come inside and let’s taste what it has to offer.
Lagal[og] said: It’s pretty strange to find this restaurant in a pretty nondescript location along Pasong Tamo, away from the commercial center. But I like the strategic location, just steps away from Little Tokyo. There’s ample parking during the weekends but I imagine this not being the case during weekday lunches. The interior lighting is warm and inviting. The furnishings are simple but the air conditioning is spot on, not warm or too cold.
Ironwulf said: I haven’t tried Sukothai before so I really have no expectations about the place and its food only. The interiors are pretty basic but with touches of Thai sculptures and paintings in its furnishings to accentuate its Thai feel. The warm light goes well with the combination of green, orange and pinkish hues. Air conditioning is just right.
Lagal[og] said: Chicken pandan is of course, a must-order. It’s hard to make a mistake with this dish anyway. It’s not everyday that you have a viand cooked in pandan (screw pine) leaves which gives the chicken an added aroma that’s hard to resist. The Stir-fried Kangkong goes well with the bagoong rice. One of my constant side order favorites is the Eggplant with Minced Pork and Shrimp – very tasty and filling. The Chicken Wings are a real treat, definitely miles away from the fast food varieties. Not to forget the Tom Yum Goong (flavorful hot and sour soup with shrimp and seafood), spicy enough to wet one’s taste buds for the treats ahead.
Ironwulf Said: I hve tried other Chicken Pandan’s like Shangri-La’s Circles but it didn’t compare with this one. The meat is really tender and it was cooked so that the pandan leaves added a hint of its flavor to the chicken as well. The Chicken Wings is one of the house specialty that I say is also a must try here. An order will give you two wings showered in crispy garlic with chicken covered in really tasty thin layer of crispy breading. Really good. Being a chicken lover I am, I really enjoyed both dishes. I really like spicy soups that I enjoyed the sour and spicy taste of the Tom Yum.
Chili Mussels and Curried Beef Stew
Lagal[og] said: I found the Curried Beef Stew appetizing to the last morsel. The curry used is very, very flavorful and just spicy enough to lend a hot twist without overpowering the taste of the very tenderbeef. The Chili Mussels are very tasty without being overly spicy. Really goes well with the Thai bagoong rice. Yum!
Ironwulf said: The chili is the key to this mussel dish. Tastes well even when topped on plain rice. Worth a try. The Curried Beef Stew also has a very rich sauce that adds strong flavor on the tender blocks of beef. I kinda liked the beef more than the mussels. They both taste good though it’s just a matter of preference.
Thai Sticks ‘n Steaks Halo-Halo
Lagal[og] said: This is a wonderful way to cap one’s dinner, especially to cool the palate heated by the chili-laden fare. The liberal use of coconut milk adds a nice touch to the dessert which resembles a cool version of our guinataan replete with sago and flavorful chunks. Not too sweet, too.
Ironwulf said: Seems funny at first taste. Like you mentioned, it tasted more like our guinataan but on the icy side. The difference also has got to do with the ingredients. There’s a curious red fruit there that I thought were strawberries and turns out to be some water chestnuts. It’s a nice dessert to wash off the strong flavors that Thai dishes have.
Thai Sticks n’ Steaks
Marvin Plaza Bldg, Grd Flr 2153 Don Chino Ave corner V.A. Rufino St., Makati City • Tel. 815-13-29 • Monday to Saturday 11:00am to 9:00pm