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Silk Road Thai Bistro, Taguig Review: One Night in Bangkok

May 13, 2019

Thai at Silk, Chef Cecile Chang’s first venture, was one of those restaurants that’s always quick to get a reaction  when mentioned. Tucked away in the corner of Serendra where restaurants always seem to die a relatively quick death, my memory of it remains a good one. It was one of those places you ate lunch at with your family on Sundays, and you were hardly ever disappointed. The execution of their dishes was much, much better than at other Thai establishments in the metro, but they also had no great draw to set them apart either. Fortunately, it looks like the’ve fixed that last part.

Chef Chang’s new venture, Silk Road, has made its home in a very different part of Fort Bonifacio. Although those who frequented Thai at Silk will be glad to see familiar items, keep in mind that this restaurant is a whole other creature. Silk Road is That at Silk’s fun cousin, the hip older sister, and the fabulous aunt who comes to reunions in pearls all rolled into one. The food is a lot more grown up, the place definitely more refined, and best of all, the food is just as good as you remember—if not better.

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When it comes to the textbook Thai standards, Silk Road does them well. Their pad thai, and I’ve tried many, is definitely one of the best this side of town. Silk Road offers guests sugar, fish sauce, chili, and vinegar sauces, although you don’t need it with their take on the national noodle dish. It does say a lot about how well thought out the presentation of their dishes are.  It really makes a huge difference when you are served the condiments tableside, just like at roadside carts in Bangkok. The egg net its presented in may feel a little old school, but tradition doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste good. Thai spring rolls were excellent, from the soft shell crab to the more ubiquitous prawn, and curries were generally delicious across the board.

When you venture out of your comfort zone at Silk Road, you’ll never regret it.

I feel the need to point out, however, that Silk Road shines most when they introduce different dishes, whether fusion or regional, to diners. The green chicken curry may be wondrously milky, but please try to be more daring with your choices at Silk Road. I’ve never seen foie with tamarind or a fish fillet in a curry mousse at a Thai restaurant here before, but when you venture out of your comfort zone at Silk Road, you’ll never regret it. The Sala Daeng, lemongrass florets stuffed with a mixture of minced chicken, is incredibly fragrant, and a great surprise. The soft shell crab covered in a sticky black pepper sauce is all at once sticky, sweet, crispy, and savory. The Thai Ravioli, which seems to be the signature dish at Silk Road, is as good as the hype makes it out to be. The rice paper is evidently fresh, and is light instead of being impossibly chewy, as most interpretations are. Sesame beef, and shiitake mushroom may not seem Thai at all, but when enhanced by herbs, and chilies from the region, it seems like a native dish rather than creative fusion.

Sala Daeng (PHP 340)

Soft Shell Crab Roll (PHP 360)

 

However, there’s still something off about Silk Road. No matter how good the food was, there was something about the place that prevented me from completely enjoying the experience. Yes, it is the hip older sister, but some things felt just a little contrived. The place was too dark, and while more refined than its previous incarnation, doesn’t fit in with the joyous food coming out of the kitchen.

Who knows, maybe that’s Chef Chang’s point exactly, to create a more upscale setting for diners to enjoy her cooking, a clientele with a palate that will really appreciate the strong Thai flavors she’s capable of producing. Unfortunately, when the dishes feel like they’re made by a loving Thai grandmother cooking for her favorite apo, the interior design choices don’t add up. If you can get past that however, Silk Road’s food as well as attentive service staff is something Thai restaurants in Manila should be afraid of.

Pad Thai (PHP 340)

Silk Road Thai Bistro
4th Ave. corner 31st street.,
Fort Bonifacio, Global City.
1634 Taguig
Phone: 02-824-1678/+639234218294

Pamela Cortez Pamela Cortez

Pamela Cortez writes about food full-time, and has honed her craft while writing for publications such as Rogue, Town and Country, and The Philippine Star. She once rode on a mule for a mile just to eat mint tea and lamb in Morocco, and has eaten a block of Quickmelt in one sitting. Her attempt at food photography can be viewed online @meyarrr.

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2 comments in this post SHOW

2 responses to “Silk Road Thai Bistro, Taguig Review: One Night in Bangkok”

  1. Volts Sanchez says:

    Food looks good, but the name’s a little unfortunate considering the other Silk Road that’s been in the international news lately.

  2. The last time I dined in Silk Road, it was a friend’s birthday and I gave the same exact opinions to Cecile herself. She is a very hands-on owner and she really takes the time to talk to guests about the experience. I did not find the interiors “traditional” in the very sense of the word, but what I love about the whole place is that it doesn’t try to be “Thai”. She graciously explained that her goal in melding modern interiors with the good food is to create a cosmopolitan and modern feel to the place. After all, she wants it to be a classy and hip joint that will serve good food, and will also double as a bar or a hangout place after dinner hours. It’s all about fusion. Even the food is not traditionally Thai to the core. I have to give it to them for coming up with a good and well-rounded menu. The soft-shelled crab is the best!

    I happen to think that with the BGC crowd, the place is perfect for the people who just got off work and would like to eat comforting food in a very cool setting: high ceilings, casual world music, uncluttered design treatments and a well-stocked bar. Great point on the “overall experience”, meaning the food and the interiors have to jive, but hey, Cecile said the Silk Road paved the way for modernization and exchange of luxury goods in Central Asia, and she wants to do the same to her BGC outlet by giving the place a cool and modern feel.

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