Friday, October 01, 2004


Went out with a friend lately and had pad thai.

Actually, we were trying to take on the offer (nay, challenge) of a new restaurant in a Manila mall that says that it serves Manila's best pad thai version. So on we went. I am terribly disappointed to report that the version would not only put the original to shame, it would also shame the restaurant itself. Yep! Needless to say (but i am still saying it), the challenge fell flat and i am reduced to quoting a Titanic passenger (if he survived, i am in no position to answer) who commented that any ship who claims to be unsinkable is "flying in the face of God". Ditto for the pad thai. It flew straight to the garbage can.

I decided to go back to my comfort resto in an older section of this city which offers noodles from ten (10) Asian countries. The Philippines' Pancit Molo was our only representative in the menu though i would have loved to see the Visayan pancit called bam-i. The pad thai here is not only cheaper, it also is ten times better than The Great Pretender. You can actually try closing your eyes while eating if only to totally experience the many flavors, both subtle and assailing, of this Siam pancit.

On our second visit however, we decided to forgo of the pad thai for other asian noodles less we be branded as being too loving of anything Thai (not that we haven't transported half of Chatuchak Market into our homes yet).

Call it death by pad thai so we're giving it a break. For now.

Next on the list: which resto serves the best tom yam? No, we're obviously not fans of anything Thai, nah-uh.


Trivia: Bangkok in Thai is กรุงเทพฯ, กรุงเทพมหานคร, or Krung Thep.

The full ceremonial name of Krung Thep is

Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit,

which means

"The city of angels, the great city, the residence of the Emerald Buddha, the impregnable city (unlike Ayutthaya) of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukarn."

It holds the world record for the longest town name. Local schoolchildren are taught the full name, although few can explain its meaning because many of the words are archaic. Right.

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