Monday, June 25, 2018

Nara Thai Cuisine, Mega Fashion Hall

One of Bangkok's best Thai restaurants is now in Manila!

Just a few months ago, Nara Thai Cuisine opened its first branch in the Philippines at the Mega Fashion Hall of SM Megamall. The brand was brought in by the Roku Group of Companies (the group behind Roku Sushi + Ramen and Sushi Nori) led by the mother-daughter partnership of Sheila and Milka Romero.
Nara Thai Cuisine has seven branches in Bangkok alone, as well as restaurants in Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Taiwan, Mumbai, and now in the Philippines! Just recently, we were invited for a dinner featuring the bestsellers at Nara.
For starters, we had the Nara Thai Sampler (P395) which features their fish cake, chicken satay, pork wonton, spring roll, and pomelo salad. This one's a good dish to order for first timers who want a bit of everything in one go.
Next, we had the Yum Phak Khom (P225). Here, fried spinach leaves are served with minced pork and prawn chili lime dip. I really enjoyed this one as it's not something you usually find here in Mania. Take note: the spinach leaves tend to get oily if you let it sit for too long, so take a quick snap and eat away!
Another unique dish (to me, at least) was the Goong Chae Nampla (P390). These prawns in fish sauce marinate are thinly sliced and served raw. I honestly had to wait for someone else to taste it first before trying it myself. 
The verdict? I liked it. It tasted way better (and way less slimy) than I thought it would. I suggest eating everything - from the prawns to the garlic, the chili and the sauce - together as it's really how it is intended to be eaten.

Next, we had the Phad Thai Kai Krob (solo P285; sharing P390). I haven't had phad thai in a long while, and I guess everyone hasn't too, since we finished the entire plate in just a few minutes.. or maybe it was just that good!
Next, we had the Yum Som O (P380) or Pomelo Salad - something that's also part of the Nara Thai Sampler. So if you're getting that, I suggest skipping this one and move on to something else instead.
The soups are the best though. I absolutely loved the Tom Yum Goong and Tom Kai Gai.
The Tom Yum Goong is their spicy lemongrass soup with prawns, while the Tom Ka Gai has chicken in coconut soup. I honestly couldn't decide which one I like more. Haha. Don't be fooled by the Tom Yum Goong's color though, it's not as spicy as one might think (in fact, it's just right!)

Moving on to the mains, we had the Phu Nim Tord Kra Tiem (P850) - a dish featuring soft shell crabs with garlic. This one's really good so prepare to fight your way for a bigger serving. It's more on the pricey side (as to be expected with seafoods) but I'm telling you, it is worth it.

If prawns are your thing, go for the fried prawns in red curry sauce or Chu Chee Gong (P750). It's one of the dishes they have here that are really spicy, so make sure to always have a glass of water nearby. A milder version would be the Goong Phad Pong Ka Ree (same prawns but in yellow curry sauce).
If that's not enough, they also have really good green chicken curry (Kang Kiew Wan Gai) here. It has a kick to it, but it's pretty tolerable so don't worry. It reminded me a lot of my favorite, so it's good to know I could also find it at SM Megamall when the craving hits.
I really enjoyed the Plan Gao Neung Ma Nao (P250/100g). The steamed grouper comes with a spicy chili lime sauce which I really, really liked. I've always been a fan of sour broths like sinigang and paksiw, and if you're anything like me, you'll definitely like this as well.
Last but not the least, here's the Ped Yang Kra Pao Krob (P650) or grilled duck with crispy hot basil. This is the first time I've eaten duck with this much sauce; it's a welcome change from the usual way they serve it at Chinese restaurants. It's tender and goes so well with rice. :P
Speaking of rice, they have a couple to choose from, but what I've tried are the following: the traditional Khao Phad Kapi (rice with shrimp paste served with condiments) and Khao Phad Sapparod (pineapple fried rice with chicken and shredded pork). These can be eaten on their own, but I would suggest having them on the side instead, so you can still enjoy all the other offerings at Nara.
We sampled three items from their dessert menu:

Khao Niew Ma Muang (P265) 
mango and sticky rice with coconut milk
Khao Niew Lam Yai Nai Maprow Ice Cream (P255) 
longgan sticky rice with coconut ice cream
Nara Dessert Set (P345) 
two scoops of coconut ice cream with Thai sweet condiments
Among the three, my favorite is the mango and sticky rice, but I also have to add that their coconut ice cream is crazy delicious! I didn't really care much for the longgan and other condiments, but the coconut ice cream is something you absolutely have to order! Coconut ice cream is Php 125.
So, the next time you find yourself at Megamall, consider dining at Nara Thai Cuisine located at 3/F Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City.
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Nara Thai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato