I was saddened by the news that my favorite Thai restaurant, Silk Road Thai Bistro, would be closing its doors by the end of the month. Owned by a friend, Cecille Chang a.k.a. Chef in Stilettos, she invited Jericho and I, as well as a few other blogger friends, to a sort of farewell lunch, a fantastic feast for the senses, celebrating great food and saying goodbye to one of the best kept secrets in Bonifacio Global City… at least for now.
We met up with Cecille and the rest of our friends for Sunday brunch that almost turned into dinner – we were so busy chatting we completely forgot about the time! Here are a few of my favorites:
Mieng Kam, a traditional snack from Thailand ad Laos. A popular street food snack, mieng kham translates to “eating many things in one bite” and is a mixture of shallots, ginger, garlic, lime, chopped peanuts, small dried shrimp, green mango, and red chili. Wrap up everything tightly in the accompanying betel leaf, and pop the whole thing in your mouth, giving one a mix of interesting flavors of spicy, sweet, nutty, and savory all in one go.
The Prawn Rolls don’t come any fresher than the ones I get at Silk Road, so I will definitely be missing this a lot once they close their doors. The fresh prawns, light vermicelli noodles, carrots, cucumbers, and lots of green cilantro with a peanutty dipping sauce. Delish!
A Cecille Chang original creation, the Salmon Cones, takes their inspiration from the Philippines, Japan, and Thailand – fresh salmon diced and tossed in a spicy dressing, served in a sorbetes, which makes for a totally fun way to enjoy this delicate appetizer. Pick them up by the cone and take a bite – the different textures making for an int
Sour, sweet, and salty, Thailand’s Son-In-Law Eggs or Kai Loog Keuy, is a favorite, especially around kids. Hard-boiled eggs are fried until golden brown and served with a sweet and sour tamarind sauce. makes for a simple yet tasty snack, or in the case of the guests who dine at Silk Road, a great appetizer! Served with a betel nut leaf, one should pick everything up by the leaf so you don’t get your hands dirty.
To wash it all down, I will miss the sweet and earthy Green Thai Milk Tea and it’s more popular equivalent, the bright orange Thai Milk Tea one can see vendors hawking all over Bangkok. Good Thai milk tea is really hard to come by in this country – I find that if it isn’t overly sweet, it’s diluted with water. This is the only restaurant that I have been to that has the perfect balance of sweet, earthy, and milky.
Satay is a popular dish in Southeast Asia, and Silk Road’s Satay Duo uses chicken and pork skewers with cucumber relish served with a peanut sauce. This also has a vegetarian version that uses tofu in lieu of meat that I particularly like, especially when I try to eat clean.
A starter that can very well be a meal in itself is Silk Road’s Prime Angus Beef Salad. Served with a light and slightly spicy vinaigrette, the shredded vegetables soak up most of the dressing, with a smokiness from the grilled beef, crunch from the peanuts, and that freshness that is so distinctly Thai that comes from the cilantro.
My absolute favorite at the Thai restaurant is Cecille’s Crispy Tilapia with Tamarind Puree. Big chunks of tilapia are filleted, cup up into strips, and fried ’til crisp before being doused with a sweet and tangy tamarind sauce and served atop what is left of the tilapia (mostly just the head and tail) with fried basil. I could probably polish off one whole order in one sitting.
Another original Cecille Chang creation is the Sala Daeng, lemongrass florets which have been stuffed with minced chicken to look like little florets before being fried and served with a sweet chili sauce.
I never really took to the Fresh Steamed Seabass until a few weeks before Silk Road would be closing, because Cecille kept bringing me some to work, and I would mindlessly pick at it, savoring the soft meat and the broth it was in made from chili, lime, and garlic.
One of the heavier dishes that I will absolutely miss is the savory Lamb Massaman, an ode to the Muslim way of cooking in Thailand that involves lamb shank that’s been cooked for hours and a thick, spicy curry served with bright orange kamote chips.
Khao Khluk Kapi – better known as bagoong rice – is no stranger to the table whenever I pay my favorite Thai restaurant a visit. Mix everything together – the strips of green mango, cucumbers, onions, chicken, sweet caramelized pork, egg, chili and bagoong rice – before tucking in and relish all the different flavors that form in your mouth with each bite.
What one cannot miss out on when dining at Silk Road (and probably what I will miss the most) is the Pad Thai. Everyone has their own version of the Thai staple, but I love how Silk Road’s is presented – with a little egg net that holds in the rest of the ingredients. Break open the net and toss everything together (don’t forget about the strips of banana heart on the side!), dousing it all with a generous squeeze of lime. The pad thai comes with your usual assortment of Thai condiments – chili, sugar, soy, vinegar, etc. which you can mix and experiment with flavor combinations that work for you.
For dessert, I particularly like the Silk Road Dessert Sampler, which has a little bit of everything for everyone including homemade durian, coconut, and mango ice creams, coco pearls and takhoo thai, a tapioca-based pud with coconut custard.
Lastly, I will miss the mini work of art that is the Silk Nest, made with crispy slivers of taro and sweet potato shaped and served to look like a little bird’s nest with a quenelle of coconut ice cream in the middle to look like an egg. The best part is breaking apart the nest and scooping up a little bit of the ice cream for a sweet, crunchy end to the meal.
Silk Road Thai Bistro is located at 4th Avenue corner 31st street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig and will be open from 10am to 10pm until June 30, 2015. For inquiries and table reservations, please call +63 2 824 1678.