Khao Pad (Formerly U.P. Thai Canteen)

A lot of U.P. Foodies were thrilled to see the former U.P. Thai Canteen open in Ortigas Home Depot early this year. Most people thought that Mommy Thai (as the owner was fondly called by U.P. students) closed the resto for good in 2006 after moving twice outside of the campus. I finally had the chance to try it in its current home near Starbucks in Ortigas Home Depot.

They have a simple line pricing menu — all the small dishes (good for one person) are P70, while the large dishes (good for 2-3 persons) are priced at P140.


Khao Pad really resembles a canteen where you can order your favorite Thai dishes (check out the menu on the wall). Ivan Henares suggests ordering U.P.’s Famous Mixed Dish of Beef, Chicken, Squid, Vegetable and Egg.


Turo-Turo style dishes are also available if you don’t want to wait.

You won’t miss it with its sign “Formerly U.P. Thai Canteen” on the outside. Avoid eating here during peak hours like 12nn (lunch time) or 7pm (dinner time). You have to wait for your food for almost 30 minutes.



The second floor is quite spacious, air-conditioned, and has a TV (usually showing popular masa TV shows). It also has poor acoustics — it would be quite noisy when all of the people talk and laugh at the same time.

Pad Thai (P140).

The pad thai was pale and had a weird sweet and sour taste.

Fried Bagoong Rice (P140).

Since the menu’s line-priced, the bagoong rice was relatively expensive and it was just OK.

Chicken Pandan (P140).

I liked the chicken with the hints of smoky taste and pandan leaves. This is a classic Filipino favorite popularized by Sukhothai.


Tom Yum (P140).

I noticed the soup came in last. (Apologies were given — they said the kitchen was very busy that day.) It tasted like Shrimp Sinigang, and I was not able to finish it.

I should have ordered U.P.’s Famous Mixed Dish as recommended by Ivan…


What is it with cheap Thai food that Filipinos love? And no matter how Filipinized the taste is, why do we still patronize it?



Khao Pad (Formerly U.P. Thai Canteen)
Serving authentic Thai Food since 1988
Unit 180 Auto Depot, Ortigas Home Depot,
Julia Vargas Avenue, Pasig City
Telephone: +632 706-3528
Open from 10AM to 10PM, Monday to Saturday

Around the corner from Starbucks Home Depot…

Live An Awesome Life,


Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2009. 
mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627) 

19 thoughts on “Khao Pad (Formerly U.P. Thai Canteen)

  1. had a bad experience with this resto. We contracted this resto especially Mommy Thai to cook on a Sunday (since they were close) for a special occasion. I was forewarned by their staff that Mommy Thai initially commits but would later change her mind. She actually did it and rather get mad, I just left and went to Som’s. This is just a warning and I hope the owner knows about this. It happened last year November

  2. based on your assessment, it doesn’t seem worth going to this place. Aside from Som’s, there’s this really good thai restaurant in MOA (along bay area) named Chiang Mai that we used to go to, specifically for their fried rice with chicken. Their other dishes were good too but we noticed that there were very few people eating in that resto and it eventually closed. Our current favorite Thai resto is Thai at Silk. So far tasted a lot of their dishes and it’s good although a bit pricey.

  3. i’m a bit offended with your last statement about “falling” for places like this, because you made it sound like Khao Pad is a gyp. one could easily say the same thing about chariya, which i’m sure others would take exception to. even som’s has its hits and misses, like the spring rolls (which i actually like a lot) & siomai that pretty much taste the same.
    back to the food, i ate in her 2 former locations and could probably have had the mixed dish everyday. it was cheap and it was hearty, but it doesn’t resemble any sort of thai dish, so don’t expect to be transported to bangkok when you try it. it’s spicy and soupy though, so it’s good with a lot of rice.

  4. You’re right… it might be a harsh word to use… since it was my first
    time to taste Mommy Thai, I was a bit disappointed with the claim “serving
    authentic thai food since 1988…”

  5. i don’t know, but what do you expect from something that was made for students anyway? it was almost like turo-turo when it was still in UP and I saw it as lutong bahay with a twist and nothing more. 😀

  6. Hi Anton!
    I love Thai food but was very disappointed with the Tom Yum at this place. I found it a bit too sweet for my liking which is really sad because I used to love the food that they served in UP. Anyway, I hope the food gets better soon though.

  7. What I can say is that the cuisine is quite far from Thai food but I still love Mommy’s food. Yeah, the mixed dish is the best. I was sad to find out in one of my trips home that UP Thai Canteen closed but now, thanks to Anton, I am very happy to know that Mommy reopened her shop.
    I guess many people would find it interesting that 5 years ago when UP Thai was still in Balara, a rice dish of chicken, veggies or beef only costed Php 25. The mixed dish was at Php30. Very cheap indeed but it was more of a hovel than a restaurant back then. As I have mentioned earlier, Mommy’s food is far from Thai food but her meals are hearty and makes you feel at home. For authentic Thai food, go to Thailand. 🙂

  8. The bulk of the talk here is about the “deteriorating” quality, or in the very same sense, the Filipinization of the cooking in Mommy’s place. I must say that I’ve noticed the same thing in most places (Thai in a Box, Som’s, Krua Thai, etc). The problem has multiple causes, such as the staff not knowing what the authentic dish tastes like, the ingredients not being readily available, or even the owner taking shortcuts. I’ve noticed the difference because I have spent some time living in Thailand.
    The point is, it’s most likely going to be a hit or miss affair if you’re only willing to spend the kind of money that U.P. students spend and Mommy Thai charges. You’ve got to enjoy what’s good and never-ever-order-again what’s not. Don’t make a big issue of it. Pinoyexexpat was spot on: you want authentic Thai? Get on a plane!

  9. Ask any thai here and they yould dismiss Soms as cr@p. You shouldve tried Khao pad’s beef curry, but mommy thai’s cooking is inconsistent – one day she’s spot on, the next it’s just mediocre

  10. it seems that only the hardcore UP peeps are appreciating mommy. we have no problem with that, we can have the resto all to ourselves!
    this place cannot be compared to soms. it’s totally different. too bad if you get too turned off just by one review. mommythai’s mixed toppings (with the spicy vinegar) is the best! i’ve never eaten anything like it in other thai restos. the wait is worth it, mommy cooks all the dishes herself so give the old woman a break!
    but then again, to each his own. i know all the UP sukis reading this are salivating just at the thought of mixed toppings. SARAP!!!

  11. I didn’t mean to be condescending in my last sentence. It just sums up what I think of Thai food in the Philippines. Having traveled to Thailand several times, I believe no restaurant in the Philippines can serve authentic Thai food. Well, there was one before somewhere in downtown Manila that was really good but I haven’t been there for 5 years so I don’t know if the quality is still the same. Authentic Thai food will not get on well with most Filipinos’ taste buds. I guess Anton, being a Bicolano, can handle the different play of Thai flavors, especially the spiciness. So his disappointment with UP Thai Canteen is understandable (especially since it claims it serves authentic Thai cuisine).
    Aside from the chilis, I think one of the flavors that many Filipinos do not like is that of the lemon grass, which is used in almost all Thai dishes.

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