A Burst of Thai Flavors at Tamarind

January, April, July, and October are months I always look forward to; the beginning of each quarter signifies another office team-building activity, which ultimately translates to … BINGEFEST!!! This time around, the seven of us let go of our attachment to buffets and headed over to SM Aura Premier to look at other options aside from banquet spreads. With my gift of persuasion, I managed to lead them away from Yabu and convince them to go somewhere we haven’t tried before. Thus, we landed into Tamarind, an upscale version of the Thai restaurant, Jatujak.

      Other restaurants in SM Aura Premier:


We were initially torn between Tamarind and Coca—both serving Thai cuisine, except that Coca also does Cantonese. My intrigue at all the hype surrounding Coca fooled me into thinking I wanted to try it, but when I saw the menu—specifically, a certain chicken dish that consists of a single thigh portion but which costs P400—I ran off towards the other direction.

Actual dialogue with the Coca server:

Server: Dito na lang po kayo sir, siguradong maa-accomodate naming kayo.
Me: Malamang. Bakante nga kayo o, walang kumakain.

Just thinking about our meal at Tamarind makes me hungry all over again. I love Thai food not only because of the spiciness, but also because of the interesting combination of tastes and flavors experienced among a variety of dishes. In addition, it is best consumed family-style so I got to sample many dishes!

The Tom Yum Talay was the perfect way to start our Thai dinner. A spicy and sour mixed seafood soup, it definitely fired up my stomach for an even better feast ahead. The shrimps were fresh and huge, and I loved how the sour taste made me want to slurp non-stop! Every spoonful was an explosion of flavor!

Tom Yum Talay, P328 (large, good enough for 8)
Tamarind’s Crispy Catfish and Mango Salad was soooo good, I’m unable to find the right words to describe how marvelous it was. I loved the mounds of flaked, fried catfish on top of strips of green mango, complemented by a citrus dressing. Will it suffice for me to say that I wanted to bury my face into the plate and eat it like an uneducated, uncivilized animal? Haha!

Crispy Catfish and Mango Salad, P258
Of course, an authentic Thai meal wouldn’t be complete without curries, so we ordered two varieties: the Green Chicken Curry and the Red Beef Curry. I liked the Green Curry better, perhaps because the red one only reminded me of caldereta.

Green Chicken Curry, P288. Red Beef Curry, P316
What truly made me want to kneel before the chef and wipe his shoe with my tongue is Tamarind’s Crispy Pata in Red Curry Sauce.

Crispy Pata in Red Curry Sauce, P568
As if Crispy Pata wasn’t delightful enough, Tamarind decides to throw in an exciting twist by pairing it with a curry sauce. Forget about soy sauce and vinegar! Indulge in this crispy, spicy, and creamy dish and your notion of Crispy Pata would change forever!

The Beef with Basil was another instant favorite: strips of sweet-and-salty beef fused with the basil’s minty flavor and the bell pepper’s mild kick. No exaggeration here, I wanted to throw cusswords at everyone while I ate.

Beef with Basil, P294
If you like sweet-and-spicy combinations, you have to try the Squid with Garlic, Cilantro, and Pepper. I hate sweet viands actually, but somehow Tamarind managed to make me love this one. Every bite sent me wondering if there was a catch to my fortunate circumstance of having discovered this kind of awesome food. Would I be hit by a speeding bus in exchange of all of these?

Squid with Garlic, Cilantro, and Pepper, P288
Another seafood dish we had was the Fried Pompano with Green Mango Salad—fresh pompano served with shredded green mango, chili sauce, and sweet tamarind sauce. I loved the flavorful fish meat, subtle but not bland, no need for the sauce actually. Good thing Tamarind ran out of Plapla that day (and also because I told the waiter I don’t eat firecrackers, LOL!)

Fried Pompano with Green Mango Salad, P430
The Vegetarian Spring Rolls and the Pork Sate were both average. I found the sate sauce too sweet—I would’ve preferred the peanut taste to dominate. Plus I found the serving to be too small, compared to the other dishes, whose portions were generous.

Vegetarian Spring Rolls,  P156
Pork Sate, P213
As if our tummies weren’t on the verge of eruption, we hailed the server and ordered the Chicken Pad Thai. We figured we had to see all elements of a Thai meal for us to be truly satisfied. Either that, or we just wanted to die of intestinal perforation. Not a fan of noodles, but I found Tamarind’s Pad Thai to be good, tasted like that of Black Canyon.

Chicken Pad Thai, P238
Accompanying me in devouring everything was Tamarind’s Bagoong Rice. What, you think I could survive without rice?

Bagoong Rice, P180
I truly wanted to get some dessert after, but the food I just consumed was dangerously close to bursting out of two openings of my body (if you’re eating right now, sorry). This huge meal reminds me of a Binondo lunch we had two years ago, with the same team mates, in Wai Ying. We ordered 5 mains, three family-size fried rice servings, and 3 sets of each type of dim sum (there were around 8 dim sum variants). There were about ten of us. We’re patay-gutom like that!
Cleanse your palate with these drinks: Thai Iced Milk Tea (P98) and Watermelon Shake (P101)  
I love it when I’m full, when I could barely move or walk, when I feel like I have just gained 5 pounds, when I can almost be launched into outer space, but most especially, when the food I just ate satisfied not only my stomach but also my taste buds. I’m sure my teammates felt the same way!

I can’t wait ‘til January!


Level 5, Sky Park, SM Aura Premier, Taguig City
(02) 556-1156

Did you enjoy your Tamarind visit? Other Thai restaurants you can recommend? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

pepe samson

About Pepe Samson

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  1. wow! I love everything especially the curry...nomnom! Keep posting!

    The Exaggerated Zeal

    1. If there's Jatujak in Cebu, you can get the same food at lower prices. :)


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