Benjarong Experience // Authentic Thai Degustation by Thai Chef Ja @Dusit_Manila


BEST OF AUTHENTIC THAI CUISINE IN MANILA (Certified by Thai SELECT):
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• mango tree manila // The Best of Thai Cuisine in BGC!
• NARA THAI // Bangkok’s Best Thai Restaurant in Manila!
 Benjarong Experience // Authentic Thai Degustation by Thai Chef Ja @Dusit_Manila 
 AzuThai // The Best Thai Restaurant in Makati!
Greyhound Cafe // Best of Modern Thai with a Twist in Manila!
• Thai BBQ Manila // Best of Authentic Thai BBQ Specialties!


Benjarong in Dusit Thani Manila is the best Royal Thai-inspired restaurant serving authentic Thai cuisine by Chef Watcharaphon Yongbanthom, also known as Chef Ja. This 2022, they launched their signature Benjarong Experience where Chef Ja takes you through an authentic and beautifully plated Thai Cuisine adventure that makes you feel like royalty and tells you the story of the ingredients and the place where the dish is originally from. They received their Thai SELECT certification as a seal of authenticity and hospitality from the Royal Thai Embassy last January 2021.

Here are some tips when you try the Benjarong Experience.


About the Benjarong Experience

Make sure to reserve the elegant private rooms with a long table and spacious breathing space on your next milestone celebration with family and friends.

Benjarong Experience
Let your senses go on a culinary adventure with the elegance of Thai dishes delicately crafted by Chef Watcharaphon Yongbanthom
Ground Level, Dusit Thani Manila, Ayala Centre, Makati City, Metro Manila
📞: +632 7238-8888
📩: dtmnmarcom@dusit.com
Facebook: Dusit Thani Manila
Instagram: @chefja_city @benjarong_manila @dusitthani.manila
Visit http://www.dusit.com/dusitthani/manila

Benjarong Experience:
A Curated Tasting Menu Vol. II
8-Course Menu: ₱3,950++ / person
8-Course Menu with Wine Pairing: ₱5,250++ / person
5-Course Lunch Menu: ₱3,250++ / person

Related Blog Post: Epicurean Thai: Chef Ja of Benjarong x Chef Noom of Chim by Siam Wisdom x Gran Monte Wine Dinner

About Thai SELECT

The Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, the Royal Thai Government launched the “Thai SELECT” program to certify and promote authentic Thai cuisine around the world.

It is a seal of approval granted to Thai restaurants (both overseas and local Thai restaurants that serve authentic Thai food) and processed Thai food products. 

The objective is to give recognition to quality Thai restaurants and processed Thai food products as well as to encourage Thai restaurateurs and food producers to raise their quality while maintaining authenticity. 

Benjarong Menu: Appetizers: Crispy, Popiah | Ping | Soup | Salad | Wok: Noodles, Rice | Vegetables | Stir-Fry | Curry/ Boat Noodles | Family | Egg | Sweets

They also have an a la carte menu for those who prefer to enjoy whole servings.

Beverages Menu: Cocktails 1 | Cocktails 2 | Non-Alcoholic Beverages | Beer | Spirits | Spirits: American Whisky, Scotch Whiskey: | Japanese Whisky | Rum, Cachaca/ Tequila | Cognac, Armagnac

It’s lovely to hang out at the bar at night where they have a full line of beverages and drinks.

Benjarong Experience 2.0 Menu: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Allot at least 3 hours for the experience and 30+ minutes waiting time for people to arrive.

Note: The 8-course menu is only served during dinner time.


The 8-Course Benjarong Experience

WELCOME DRINK

The meal starts with a lemon welcome drink topped with butterfly pea flowers to invoke the royal purple color and spiked with a hint of gin to open your palate.

Amuse Bouche Course #1: PLA SAMUN PRAI (Fish with Herbs and Spices)

This is fresh salmon with tom yum spicy mayo wrapped in rice wrapper tube (like lumpia) garnished with edible butterfly pea flowers, fried tom yum spices, and basil flowers on a bed of betel leaf (nga nga).

You can taste the salmon with creamy mayo and tom yum flavor. It has a good garlic chili kick with bitter notes that refresh the palate. Beautifully presented on a signature container with shallot, kaffir lime, galangal, and chili on the side.

Appetizer Course #2: SAI OUA (Northern Sausages)

A combination of 4 dishes:
· Nom Price Boom made of green finger chili, garlic and red onion
· Northern Thai Sausage made of pork with turmeric and lemongrass
· Khao Jee which is sticky rice with coconut milk and salt
· Kan Moo which is crispy pork skin

You can eat the chicharron first and dip it in the green chili sauce. The sausages pair well with the sticky rice. It seemed like a small serving size, but it was very filling because it was packed with flavor and it was just the right size for an appetizer.

Salad Course #3: YUM SAM O (Pomelo Salad)

The pomelo salad is served on a crisp rice wrapper cup mixed with chili, coriander, roasted coconuts, shrimps, cashew nuts with a surprise of peanuts inside the basket container then finished with pomelo sherbet on lime skin on a bed of coconut and cashew nut.

This is so playful—with fresh pomelo flavor with herbs and spices and different textures from the crisp rice wrapper, fried coconut, peanuts, and cashew. Loved the pomelo sherbet—for refreshing the palate for the next course.

Soup Course #4: KHAO GRIEP (Dumpling) · PU MA PRAO ON (Crab Young Coconut)

The soup course is Tom Yum broth served in a half open young coconut with coconut water only where the crab is cooked and added with tom yum spice, lemongrass, chili, coriander, and coconut milk. No sugar added. The dumpling is handmade one by one with shrimp and crab filling and colored blue by the butter fly pea flower.

You’ll love the tom yum soup which is balanced, but you can feel it in your throat. You can scrape the young coconut meat to enjoy it with coconut bites. You can enjoy the dumpling with flavors of the sea in 2 bites. The plating is beautiful with a play of blue plates, coconut husk, and blue dumpling in a soup.

Meat Course #5: PANAENG SEE KRONG KAE (Red Curry with Lamb Chops)

Lamb Chop in red curry sauce leaning on a roll of rice noodles with curry sauce, basil oil, and coconut milk splashed artistically like a painting.

The lamb is cooked medium (not well done) for the tenderness of the meat to be enjoyed. You can taste the creaminess, the coconut milk and the curry spices in the reduced curry sauce. The noodles were irresistible with the red curry sauce. Mix them with cashew nuts. Sarap!

Rice Course #6: KHAO PHAD TOM YUM (Tom Yum Fried Rice)

The Tom Yum flavored fried rice is served with a half-open Tiger Prawn with chili paste and is not too spicy. You can squeeze the lime for added sourness and add chili to spice it up.

You won’t be able to get enough of the tom yum rice. Mix it with a bit of the shrimp, chili, and peanuts to enjoy it. Add the lime for the flavor to pop and for a refreshing finish. Sulit!

Pre-Dessert Course #7: KA NOM TOM (Coconut Dumpling)

This is a traditional Thai dessert of coconut dumpling made with coconut mixed with palm sugar. The outside is made with glutinous coconut flour mixed with pandan juice covered with grated coconut. Topped and finished with edible gold for rich and wealthy blessings.

It’s like coconut mochi—chewy, not too sweet and with different coconut textures.

Dessert Course #8: I – TIM DURIAN THED (Sour Sop Ice Cream)

The finale dessert is Guyabano ice cream wrapped in coconut jelly in blue color garnished with roasted coconut served on a bed of popcorn caramelized with palm sugar, edible butterfly pea flowers, mango, and mint leaf.

Ice cream mochi with popcorn and blue finish from the ternate blue pea flowers. I loved the play on the different textures of the popcorn, with balanced sweetness and a touch of mango for refreshing fruity sweetness. What a finish.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall, Chef Ja received a unanimous applause and congratulations because each of the dishes was creatively plated, able to deliver authentic Thai flavors, and gave an emotional journey through the different textures and ingredients. The journey started with the carefully sketched tasting menu introducing the different ingredients with a remarks section for your flavor notes.

I love how cohesive the entire 8-course tasting menu is, building upon one dish after another. There is a balance of flavors throughout, not too sweet, not too spicy, just enough sourness, and the right saltiness. The courses are dominated by coconut flavors throughout, tom yum spice and the butterfly pea flower/blue color. The Benjarong Experience is worth it. Add wine pairing to get another tasting dimension with the different courses.

Congratulations to Chef Ja, the Benjarong team and Dusit Thani Manila for this awesome dining experience featuring authentic Thai flavors, artistry, and royal hospitality in Manila!

Benjarong Experience
Let your senses go on a culinary adventure with the elegance of Thai dishes delicately crafted by Chef Watcharaphon Yongbanthom
Ground Level, Dusit Thani Manila, Ayala Centre, Makati City, Metro Manila
📞: +632 7238-8888
📩: dtmnmarcom@dusit.com
Facebook: Dusit Thani Manila
Instagram: @chefja_city @benjarong_manila @dusitthani.manila
Visit http://www.dusit.com/dusitthani/manila

Benjarong Experience:
A Curated Tasting Menu Vol. II
8-Course Menu: ₱3,950++ / person
8-Course Menu with Wine Pairing: ₱5,250++ / person
5-Course Lunch Menu: ₱3,250++ / person

Related Blog Post: Epicurean Thai: Chef Ja of Benjarong x Chef Noom of Chim by Siam Wisdom x Gran Monte Wine Dinner

Live an Awesome Life with Christ,

Founder & Digital Creator, Our Awesome Planet

Disclosure: Our Awesome Planet is an official media partner of Thai SELECT Philippines. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.

P.S. Waiting for the other guests was made enjoyable by these tom yum flavored popcorn!

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