From the same people behind Señor Pollo, the famous Latin chicken chain in the Philippines, comes Khao Khai Thai Chicken House.
Khao K(h)ai which translates to "chicken rice" in Northern Thai dialect, aims to give its customers a different experience by straying away from traditional Thai food like Pad Thai, Green Chicken Curry, Pandan Chicken, Catfish Salad and Tom Yum. It's pretty simple; if you want to veer away from the usual Thai dishes, Khao Khai is the perfect place! "We do regional Thai cooking which are dishes that actual Thais eat," Mabanta notes.
Having been to Thailand a couple of times, restaurateur Daniel Mabanta shares that he decided to open the restaurant thinking that Thai food is underrepresented in the world. He thinks their average street food alone is vibrant, tasty and so much more than what we're getting here. Some dishes are inspired from the North of Thailand (Isan), Central Thailand and South Thailand (Chiang Mai).
Other than the food, Khao Khai also completes the whole experience with the whole aesthetic (interior and music) of the place that would transport you to the typical Thai eateries. Some posters were even bought in Thailand to complete the look! Already curious on what this newest gem in Poblacion offers? Here are a few dishes you need to order on your visit:
Whet your appetite with a serving of Som Tam (P250) which is a hand-cut papaya salad tossed in a mixture of lime, fish sauce, chilis and sugar. They suggest that you use your hands when you roll the sticky rice into a ball and dip it into the som tam and chicken sauce.
Just like its older sister, Señor Pollo, Khao Khai focuses on chicken dishes – Gai Tod (P115/one piece; P190/two pieces; P260/three pieces), a typical fried chicken you'll see in the streets of Bangkok and Gai Yang (P200/quarter; P350/half) which is a Northern Thai-style roasted chicken. Both chicken dishes are served with a dark sweet and spicy sauce that's made in-house. You can add a side of som tam for only P85.
Skipping on chicken? Khao Khai serves other rice dishes like the Moo Hong (P190) which is a braised pork belly dish just in salt and pepper, scallions over Jasmine rice. A personal favorite is the aromatic Dry Pork Curry (P225) which hails from the South of Thailand. It has turmeric, lemongrass, kaffir lime and served with Jasmine rice. Both are served with a well-done crispy fried egg, just like most Thais prefer. Once a month, there will be specials on the menu so watch out for that!