April 19, 2008
Greenbelt 3, Makati City
With Brian Gorrell's name on the title of this blog, let's see how much hits I get for this. Hehehe!
This though, is not the real reason behind his name on the title. There is actually a valid reason for this and not just a pathetic attempt to be like those people blogging just to get noticed. I heard about People's Palace from Brian Gorrell's blog first. I guess everyone knows about him and his story so I don't need to expound on the blog contents anymore. You guys know me as a person who looks for good in everything and so amidst all the rants in his blog, I actually was delighted in finding a rave. He raved about this restaurant that he and his friends frequented and coincidentally Aileen showed me where it was. My friends decided to try People's Palace out.
I just love Thai cuisine. I believe that it is one of the best Asian cuisines out there and People's Palace amplified this belief that I have. It's been quite sometime now since I devoured Thai food. I think the last time I ate Thai food or in this case, what seemed like it, was in the comfort of our hotel room in Japan. Instant noodles. So I was excited to try something really good to satisfy my thirst. People's Palace is a lovely place, its ambiance looks really high-end and it was very cozy with all the lighting and the elegant fixtures. The service was really good and fast. Now onto the yummy bit, no pun intended:
We tried six dishes. The first one was the Tom Yam Goong. You have to have the Tom Yam soup when eating Thai. The soup was very good. It was very flavorful, it lacked a bit of sourness and spiciness in my opinion but nonetheless amazing. We got some lime to squeeze over it which was surprisingly a great way of adding a bit more punch to the dish. The thing I noticed digging into the soup was the presence of basic Thai herbs (Galangal, Kaffir Lime Leaves, Basil, and Lemon Grass) which made the taste more authentic. The serving size was just right for one person if you're really hungry but enough for two if you happen to be on a date.
The Stir-fried Clams and the Stir-Fried Chicken With Cashew Nuts were the next to arrive. The clam's serving size was really small and I always wonder why every time I eat clams in restaurants, the empty clam shells always exceed the clam meat. I wonder why? Anyway, the dish was alright but a bit salty. This always happens with this dish since the salts or sauce gets stuck inside the crevices of the clam shells that when you eat it, it gives you a jolt of saltiness. The chicken dish, on the other hand, was good. It's a bit too "Chinese" for my taste though. I didn't like the fact that it tasted like EVERY OTHER Chicken with Cashew Nuts I've EVER tasted. It felt authentic alright but not extraordinary. Well, we all know that the Chinese cuisine had a big influence on almost all the other Asian cuisine and Thai cuisine is no exception. Both dishes were really just alright and didn't actually stand out. Remember, I was looking for ACTUAL Thai cuisine, something indigenous to the country per se and not an influence. Or so I thought...
The next dish to arrive was yet another Chinese influence, Crispy Lapu-Lapu Fillets. The dish was another Chinese influence so I felt a bit bored. I was wrong. It was probably one of the best dishes we had during the whole dinner. The fish was really crispy on the outside and tender in the inside. Usually, fried fish ala Fish-and-Chips have cuts that are so small that they are sometimes overcooked. This dish was really different. It had a really crispy exterior but when you bite into the big cut of Lapu-Lapu meat, it was really moist and tender. There was no fishy aftertaste which tells you that the fish was very fresh and perfectly stored before the cooking. The red sauce was also really good accompaniment to the fish. It wasn't salty and blended with the crispy fish excellently.
Next was the Kao Soi Gai, crispy egg noodles on a bed of Northern-style chicken curry. I don't know what's so different with the "northern-style" but I really was not fond of this dish. Something different about the flavor of the curry maybe but I just feel there is something wrong with the effect of the "fried" flavor of the noodles on the chicken curry. The only thing I love with this dish was that it was made with fried noodles. I love fried noodles and the way they become tender when it is mixed with the sauce. Even in North Park, a Chinese restaurant, my favorite was the crispy noodles. In People's Palace's case, I love the texture of the fried noodles with the sauce, I just didn't love the flavor it made when mixed.
After all those dishes, here comes the final test for a good Thai restaurant, the sampling of the curry. In this case, we ordered the Green Chicken Curry because that was my favorite curry of all the curries. The green curry. Something about green curries that leaves a fruitier, less-spicy taste in your mouth. Don't get me wrong, I love all types of curry, I love red curry also but that night I wasn't in search for something spicy but something more sweet and safe. The dish was absolutely excellent, something to top the whole Thai experience with a happy note, a perfect juxtaposition of flavors, chicken meat, vegetables, and curry. The serving size was also just right. This was probably one of the best curries I've ever tasted today.
All in all, we had a great dinner at People's Palace. I will definitely come back for some more Thai food. Thank you Brian Gorrell for exposing the alleged "con" of DJ Montano and the exploits of the Gucci Gang. But more importantly, thank you Brian Gorrell for exposing the lovely, People's Palace.