Tamarind is one of the few Thai restaurants in Metro Manila. According to the owner, he conceptualized the restaurant to spread knowledge about Thai food among Filipinos. He credited this desire to his long-standing love affair with the cuisine. To him, preparing Thai food has come from his heart. I say that his passion has manifested itself so well in his food. His dishes are abundant with flavor and technique.
We first had a taste of their green papaya salad. It was a tangy mix of chicharon, green papaya strips, leeks, chili, string beans, lemon zest, garlic, nuts and tomatoes. These are ground in a mortar and pestle then served fresh.
The Sok Lek Tuna was a round of Tuna Ceviche over hard pastry. This was akin to the Filipino Kilawin. Like the latter, this dish was also excellent with alcohol due to the fresh and salty taste.
The See Klong Khai Krem was their Salted Egg Spareribs. The salted egg was in the breading. The delightful mix of saltiness and meatiness was very much strong with this one. Also, the breading was pretty crispy.
One of their desserts was composed of Kanom Takoh. This was their creme brulee pudding with a caramelized top. I loved the bittersweet taste provided by the caramelized top.
The Thai iced tea cheesecake was a sample of the owner's ingenuity. The pinkish based was actually their milk tea drink hardened into a cheesecake crust. The same sweet and milky taste from the drink was very much present in this delightful cheesecake.
The Yam Tao Ho was their spicier version of their fried tofu selection. It was composed of tofu with whole dried chili, nuts, and leeks. The chili accentuated the oily flavor of the dish.
The Pad Pad Tao was a sampler of their fried tofu topped with kangkong. The oily and garlicky taste was very much appreciated. The kangkong also served as a healty topping to this dish.
The Plamug Kratiem Prig Thai was composed of squid sauteed in its ink and chunks of garlic. The simple yet elegant dish was remarkable for its meaty seafood taste. The squid ink also provided a certain tanginess to the taste.
The coconut ice cream and the milktea and matcha ice cream were some of their wonderful dessert creations. The cocount ice cream, colored white, was comprised of a sherbet type ice cream infused with coconut milk. The milktea ice cream was another form of their milktea drink. The sweet flavor also translated well as ice cream.
Singha and Chang beer were just two of the most popular Thai beer brands. The beers were excellent with a lot of their dishes, particularly the ceviche and the Sai Krok.
The Sate Vegemet was something I had to get used to in order to fully appreciate. The meat had the feel and taste of sotanghon noodles and were quite soggy.
The managers and staff were very hospitable and accommodating to our visit.
The Miang Pla Too with Nam Prik Kapi was a mix of fresh vegetables, grilled fish, and their version of bagoong. The bagoong was quite light to the taste. It wasn't too strong like Philippine bagoong.
The Sai Krok was the Thai version of the sausage. It was a mix of ground meat with lots of herbs. It also came with a sweet sauce. I loved its meaty taste and its pairing with the beer. I suggested that the cabbage be blanched or turned into sauerkraut so diners would eat it.
Tamarind is located in the first floor of the Block SM North. Their Thai favorites will surely work their way up to your heart.