Posted by: nastypen | April 30, 2007

Al Fresco, Dahling….

I wanted to meet Blas because he is down as of late. So, maybe I could cheer him up. We decided to meet at Power Plant mall, that lavish piece of monument to high-end consumerism made ironic by the sharp smell of the summer stinking Pasig River. Blas was looking chirpy and I am glad. He said I should try this Thai restaurant.

I was trying to figure out which Thai restaurant was this and complained that it better be cheap because I just bled my finances for two round trip tickets for Cebu. He said it was cheaper. But it was not inside the Power Plant Mall.

It was a ten-minute walk outside the mall and right beside the Ateneo de Manila University’s School of Law. Now, I went to the mall to have a climate-controlled environment. Yet I was made to walk outside the humid Makati night. I didn’t know what place was this.

I saw it and it was a dinky place in which the diners literally eat outside. I shrilled, “NO AIRCON??!?!!? Blas, I will die!!!!! Let’s go back to the mall and eat cheap junk at McDonald’s at least they hve aircon there!!!!” Blas shot me a look and said “The food is worth it, trust me.”


The place is called Som’s and it is in this street (I’m sorry I forgot the name) perpendicular to Kalayaan Ave. It is near this place where bored socialites learn to dance the flamenco (in the illusion that taking part of this Spanish dance will make them more affluent because they are in touch with their Spanish roots, never mind that flamenco is a dance by the lowly gypsies castigated by Spain’s polite society in its heyday) and near the Makati Cat and Dog Hospital. If you are near the Ateneo Law School it is just a couple of minutes away.

Now, at first glance, the place looks like a carinderia (street canteen) with its plastic charis reserved for wakes and rolls of plastic covering the tables until you notice the cars parked near the place. There were people lining up. Blas said I should find a seat and I was peekin if there was space indoors. Blas pointed the other way. We were to sit outside under a canopy. I wasn’t at all pleased at the prospect of dining outside.

under the canopy

But I was lucky enough to sit at the far end where there is a cool breeze. It was dining al fresco, people. That’s like a five-dollar description for eating at the sidewalk. Luckily the location is not known for congested traffic. It was a nice night to eat out. I wasn’t sweating like a whore in a church.

The prices of the food was so atrocious! It was VERY affordable. It is WAY cheaper than those Thai restaurants in the mall. The owner married a Thai chef and this is their business. By the looks of it, it already has a loyal customer base.

We picked the Pad Thai. Blas suggested we split that. It was that big a serving. and it costs 95 pesos. This is me with my “Can it be true?” look:


95 pesos and the food tasted damn good. It is pretty filling. I am not a big fan of tofu but there I was fighting Blas for the last bits of Tofu. The meal with bits of nuts, shrimps, noodles and vegetables is, thankfully, not swimming in a tiny vat of grease.

Blas is a health nut and a vegetarian and if he approves of the food, that means it has to be good for the body and no toxins. Blas wants to outlive the Biblical Noah. So, for him to eat out is a series of major considerations: no meat, avoid frying and lots of veggies. He assured me that we are eating healthy. I didn’t care, I just want to have my burps of satisfaction for the night.

And I did.

At the end of the night, I was burping like a happy Roman in an orgiastic feast.

We got the shrimp paste which consisted of four big pieces of shrimps buried underneath these small mouunds of, well, shrimp paste. Normall, I detest hot and spicy food, but I slurped with gusto the Tom Yang soup. This was the part I started to sweat because of the spice, but I cleaned off my bowl and plate. I love the Thai Iced tea, too. It did not have one of those from the sachets taste in most restaurant iced teas. It had some taste of tamarinds.

tom yang

This is the Tom Yang soup. It just looks small in the picture but this one is good for two. Blas was here recently with two more friends. They couldn’t finish their orders. Well, I don’t likhaving left-overs, so…..

The only bad thing about the place is that they lack tables. People actually turn into vultures and swoop down newly-vacated tables. So, what others do is just order take out and eat somewhere else. I can understand why they flock to this place. The price is a steal for good quality food.

The total damage? We split the bill. We paid 230 pesos each. That’s cheaper than a cellphone card. Cheaper than a big mug of coffee and a couple of cookies from Starbucks. Cheaper than an appointment at the salon. Cheaper than … you get the idea.

And people scoff that Manila has no cheap and nice places to eat….Bitch, please! You just have to know where to look.



  1. Glad you liked the place and the food. There are really many good places to eat around the metro, one just has to be patient in looking for them…. Here’s to more gastronomic escapades in the future!!!

  2. mmm… looks good! kain tayo diyan pagdalaw ko sa manila~!

  3. i like thai food! and now that i am FREE, bossless, and unemployed.. we’re looking for an adventure. maybe this one will be one of them : ) thanks for posting! im one of those who doesnt know how to get cheap food in makati area actually, jollibee and mcdo lang alam ko ahahaha : ) miss u!

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