Siamaroi May Have Just Become Our New Standard for Thai in MakatiApril 23, 2020
- Pamela CortezWords
I love Thai food. I’ve always leaned towards Asian cuisine really, because I find that it is more robust and complex than anything Western or European. I love the assault on my senses, the interplay between spicy, sweet, sour, and the challenge you meet when you need to dissect a dish because it tastes like so many different things all at once on your palate. Thai in particular, is a favorite: the cuisine has so much in common with ours, but is entirely different and singular on its own. It always fascinated me that a country so close to ours could have such different ingredients in spite of sharing similar climates and soil, or how a country so close to ours could have similar ingredients but address them in starkly opposite ways.
The selection of Thai food here actually ain’t that bad–we’ve got everything from stalls in food courts to white tablecloth establishments and in between. There are some that are quite authentic, and others that show off not just the center’s cuisine, but pander to Isaan or Northern tastes as well. But it has always felt like a Thai restaurant in the Philippines, if you get what I mean. The food can be mind-bogglingly delicious but I rarely feel transported.
Siamaroi is a different story. I saw the place on a friend’s feed and was intrigued by how many Thai products they had on their shelves–sticky golden balls of rice, dried squid, even Thai instant noodles and bottles of Chang. A Thai grocery alone would suffice, but entering the tiny door at the side of a careening building on a busy thoroughfare leads you somewhere else–a shophouse in Chiang Mai, maybe? A soi in Silom? Countless photos of Thai dishes adorned the walls, linoleum tables were covered by plastic tablecloths, and the aforementioned snacks were stacked along the tiny space.
It probably has something to do with the fact that the chef is Thai, and the people running the place are Thai, too. It’s not trying to peddle authenticity or recreate it; this is just what they know. And let me tell you this: the menu is even better. It may have a little too much and can be overwhelming, but the stuff looks pretty damn good.
In Siamaroi, they have more than just the staple pad thai or chicken curry. There are omelettes, necks and legs of pork, crispy noodles, and the dessert even has stewed pumpkin. I can tell you that this is pretty legit, and has become my standard for Thai. The food is a little pricey, but average for Makati. 300 bucks can get you a sharing plate of that sticky, fatty pork neck with a sauce that is all lemongrass and sweetened tartness. A clear broth did not shy away from heat, and the ribs that came with it were tinged by the spice. A deep-fried omelette was as good as any in Thailand, without too much grease, and a moorish-ness that made you want to order another plate. Curries were complex, and the green chicken curry bled into the rice to create a satisfyingly mushy mouthful. The Thai milk tea was the only letdown: a little too sweet and overpowering. All the bells and whistles were out; real galangal, real lemongrass, Thai basil–it justified the slightly steep prices.
I didn’t get around to dessert, but I’ll probably be back next week, gobbling down mangoes and sticky rice, and coconut puddings and stewed pumpkin, and little golden balls of rice covered in syrup. I am transported.
Have you tried Siamaroi? Where’s your favorite place to get Thai? Tell us with a comment below!
Address: 124 Jupiter St., Bel Air, Makati