Saturday, January 3, 2009

AZUTHAI

4 out of 5

I took foodie protégé Pao out to Pasay road for his birthday. Instead of giving him a gift and letting him guess what’s inside, I’d (and maybe he would, too) rather take him to a new restaurant and let him figure out what it is.

Even before touching Buendia, Pao was already asking over and over what resto it is. I just kept mum and drove continuously near the Greenbelt area, piquing his interest all the more. Would I finally succumb to the resto-mall that I often made fun of? Maybe not, as I drove up the incline parking of the Milkyway Building. Tsukiji, perhaps? Haha, sure, if he wanted us to wash the dishes.

I don’t think he figured out where we were eating until we literally stepped into the doorway. The restaurant itself is not big, but with the way things are arranged, it looked very spacious. If there was a “Thai minimalist feel,” that’s what it’d be described as. The decoration was found more in the architecture, with its embossed wooden panes on the ceiling, and small industrial lights circling the room. There were accent pieces here and there, a bouquet of white flowers by the side of the bar, some potted plants along the sides of the room, a huge Buddha right smack on the hallway…this simplicity was carried into the centerpieces composed of a lacquered tray filled with water, marble stones and a single orchid (bottom right).




Fortunately for us, it also had a small private room for smokers (pic to the left), where the purifier was efficient with removing any odor of smoke. The waitress recommended the spring rolls while we perused the menu. And though I was hesitant to get a vegetable dish and that it was just three pieces, I still went through with it anyway, along with spicy seafood noodles and baby crispy pata.


The Fresh Thai Spring Rolls or Poh Pia Paksot (195 PhP) came first, and I was pleasantly surprised on how much nicer in presentation it was than expected. It was a healthy roll of lettuce, carrots and cucumber, and yet it was so delicious for just some vegetable dish! What made it so good was the glutinous rice wrapper and its special peanut-based sauce. The wrapper didn’t feel like the wrapper commonly used in our own lumpiang ubod, but felt sticky, almost like the wrappers of hakaw only a little less moist. Meanwhile, the sauce was sweet, yet had a hint of citrus and cilantro, making it as vibrant as the vegetables it accompanied. There was also a darker vegetable lining the wrapper, and I didn’t know what it was, but the most similar vegetable I could probably compare it with is the wakame seaweed found in miso soup.

The Spicy Stir-fried Prawns, Mussels and Squid with Egg Noodles or Pad Kee Mao Talay (395 PhP) can be a meal in itself. Apart from the egg noodles, you have your seafood and lots of healthy vegetables, including, spinach, beans and baby corn. The menu was not kidding when it wrote it as spicy! My lips were tingling the entire meal, and I even had to chew on the cucumbers used as garnish to cool my tongue down.

Finally, the Baby Crispy Pata with 2 Thai Sauces or Kha Moo Tod Brob (795 PhP) was presented with a garnish of jumbo tomato slices. It differed from out version of crispy pata since it was smaller, and had less fat. The skin was also thinner, and very crispy. It had two sauces --- a red one and a green one. I thought I’d like the red one more, but I liked the green instead. It was sweet, yet tart, and I could heap lots of it with the crispy pata, along with some of the tomato. I never felt so healthy eating so much vegetables, and yet I didn’t feel like I was sacrificing taste.

This is a great place to dine in. Considering this resto is brought to us by the Gamboas, who also own Cirkulo and Tsukiji, they have opened up our options by giving us Thai food in a classier and more sophisticated setting. Among the three dishes, I would surely do a repeat of the fresh spring rolls. I’d stay away from the noodles though (too spicy for me) and stick to the classic pad thai. Ooh, and I'd also try their desserts. For sure this will not be my last visit here!

What a feast!
other recommended dishes:
Papaya Salad
Crispy Shrimp Cakes
Tom Yum
Crispy Plapla with Fried Basil
Banana in Syrup and Coconut Ice Cream

The menu. Click to magnify.









Azuthai
, Makati
G/F Milkyway Bldg., 900 A. Arnaiz Ave. cor. Paseo de Roxas
Makati City, Metro Manila
(02) 817-6252
M, T, W, Th, F, Sa: 11:00 am - 2:30 pm
M, T, W, Th, F, Sa: 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

4 comments:

M said...

i really enjoyed the food and ambience at azuthai! great service also. the papaya salad, tom yum soup, crispy pata and the crispy fish really made my night. also liked the dessert.

haven't tried thai patio yet but please let me know what you think of it :)

keep writing! love reading your entries!

graey eats said...

thanks, M!

Will try Thai Patio when I'm free. Never eaten there, but several people have written good things about it :) And will get what you ordered, too!

I remember you had that unfortunate experience in Aubergine. I also had my own bad service and treatment at Cicou recently. I'm actually going to write about it soon, and I can't help but write it from a point of view that is very much biased after that incident.

jotan23 said...

we loved the service and the ambiance, and most of the food too.

Their fresh spring roll was our least favorite also :)

http://jotan23.blogspot.com/2010/12/azuthai-restaurant-in-makati.html

graey eats said...

thanks for the input! Looks like you had a feast in azuthai!!! :)

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