Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Kingdom Thai Cuisine

Tucked in a corner and seemingly out of place in a dodgy neighborhood, Kingdom is a surprising new find in Angeles City near Clark. Located at the Ground Floor of the Marlim Mansions (Marlim Road corner MacArthur Highway), Kingdom is the much talked about Thai restaurant of Chef Sau Del Roasario of M Cafe and Chelsea fame.


Of course, the first thing that you will notice is the beautiful interior of the place. The restaurant has a gorgeous design. It has the same sophistication of M Cafe.



I am a fan of Thai food and I have tasted some of the best in Thailand from the traditional Blue Elephant and the busy My Kitchen. So, after reading that Sau established Luna in Shanghai (which I already visited, but didn't know it was established by a Filipino), I had my expectations set very high.


When I got the menu, I immediately asked if they served Thai Iced Tea. They said yes, but I was persistent in knowing if it was the real thing. When the waiter showed me the pack, I was contented. It was the Number One Brand of tea, the one I use to horde in Thailand, when I see it in the grocery there.


We started our meal with a refreshing Papaya Salad. The dish was crunchy and the mix of sweetness and spiciness was balanced. My friends enjoyed it, but of course, I was in high expectations, so I thought it was just good. I've tasted a better papaya salad by the street in Koh Chang.


Of course, we had to order the staple Pad Thai. This was a bit of a disappointment, because it was quite bland, not much flavor and the ingredients weren't all that fresh.


Our main courses were the Stir Prawns and the Green Chicken Curry. We opted for getting basic stuff, to really gauge the quality of food. The prawns were delicious with garlic and butter oozing, but they were nothing special.


The Green Chicken Curry was better, but the taste grew on me slowly. It was overly spicy, but I liked it that way.


The major disappointment was the Kingdom Fried Rice, supposedly a specialty, but it turned out to be a waste of money as it was expensive. It was just like salted fish fried rice, and the rice itself was not long grain, but was just the ordinary local kind. My rice at home is even better in grade.



The experience was not at par with my high expectations, and I thought it was just me. But my friends also gave a "nothing special" verdict. Yes, it was satisfying, as the serving were huge, but I expected way more. We ended our meals with the Chelsea dessert favorite, Cookie Dough Cheesecake, which was substandard again to the real Chelsea cheesecake which I have listed as one of the top 5 cheesecakes in the country. The Pandan Sansirval was better, but had a weird "before" taste.


Over-all, I wouldn't call Kingdom one of the best. People's Palace and Silk are way better. We arrived at 9:30PM on a Sunday, so there weren't much customers, making the kitchen move slowly and the food uninspired. But nevertheless, a good restaurant serves great food any time of the day. The ambience is an oasis perfect for friends and family to unwind, making it a place to visit when in Angeles or Clark.

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