When I was on vacation in the US and I’d miss Filipino food, Thai, to me, was always the next best alternative. I was in New York craving pad thai more than once my last days there and the Thai joints I happened into would never disappoint. Despite the closer proximity to Thailand, getting a tasty padthai dish in Manila isn’t as easy so I was on the hunt. My cousin recommended a relatively unknown restaurant close to Kalayaan in Makati called Dek-A so I went and checked it out.
Finding it wasn’t too difficult. I cut through Rockwell, hit Kalayaan, made a right on Fermina St and saw it on the 3rd block. The back-lit white sign was hard to miss.
This branch is just their second and it’s pretty new. They basically renovated an old house and turned it into a restaurant.
I flipped through the menu pretty quickly already knowing what I wanted. Food was reasonably priced, the restaurant was absolutely empty which only meant that the kitchen was ours. I was excited. We got these two mugs of Thai Iced Tea (Php 60) which I found to be really close to the ones I’d drink on the street in Bangkok. I liked that I could really taste the condensed milk in it but that it felt smooth and not overpoweringly sweet. If these came in pitchers, I’d order that.
Our food came all at once and that was something to be happy about.
I thought this’d be hard to get wrong so I ordered the Pad Bai Gra Prao (Php 220) which is basically ground chicken bits fried with basil and some chili. What I got though was different from what I had in mind. I’ve always enjoyed this dish dry but whatever, I suppose this is another way its prepared. I thought their version if it was just overpoweringly salty I couldn’t really taste much else. I found the serving to be generous but if it just tastes like salt it’s pretty useless right. So much for basil and chili, definitely a wasted order.
Now for the big event, the reason I sought this restaurant out in the first place. Dek-A’s Pad Thai (Php 180) seemed promising at first but really, it’s just okay. It’s a big enough serving to share with a friend, there were just enough noodles but it seriously lacked in protein. Basically, the two shrimp sized prawns you see in the photo are the only ones in the whole serving. Flavors were a good combination of nutty, sweet and mildly spicy. The noodles were perfect, texture wasn’t sticky but having no meat in there, no egg, no chicken bits, shrimp bits, whatever, it was really just lacking.
Gang Kiaw Wan (Php 220) is their Green Chicken Curry dish, chicken bits and eggplant swimming in a green coconutty base. I tried the sauce first and the flavors in it were just perfect. It was full-bodied, milky and sweet with a gentle spicy after taste that only leaves you wanting to more.
What I didn’t like about this dish though was that it didn’t feel like chicken curry. An accurate name for this would’ve been Green Eggplant Curry with Chicken bits. Again, we have a protein problem. Not. Enough.
Pandan Iced Tea (Php 25). It is what it is and everything it’s supposed to be. Refreshing and light, send me a pitcher.
Presenting this unhappy gangsta, who I had the pleasure of sharing a mediocre meal with.
The verdict? These guys have good drinks. I honestly don’t think I’d ever go back. Food sounds cheap and all but at the end, it was Php 769 which to be honest wasn’t really all that worth it. I think I would love to eat their green curry though but on my own terms. I’d probably buy two servings for take out and put my own chicken in the mix just to make it better.
If you guys have eaten there or are curious to give it a shot, let me know what you think.
Dek-A Authentic Thai Food
5955 Fermina St.
corner Enriquez St.
Poblacion, Makati City
Open from 5-11PM