Thai Cuisine for Royalty: Benjarong

by - Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Dusit Thani's Benjarong, or "five colors", is named after a unique Thai porcelain that is so majestic it is only used for ceremonies and only by the royalties. This is the promise that the restaurant wants to fulfill to its guests: nothing but fine dining and royal treatment. 

Khim Instrumentalist
The restaurant's classy interiors, sophisticated ambiance, staff in traditional Thai costumes, and not to mention the serenading music from a Thai Khim instrumentalist, all complete the perfect setup for the most authentic dining experience. 


Miang Pla Tuna Sa Mun Prai 
Tuna combined with fish sauce, garlic, onions, lemon grass, cilantro, all wrapped beautifully in a fresh and green betel leaf. This was a nice starter as its spiciness fueled up my appetite and prepared me for the dishes to come. 

Por Pia Pla Duk Fu
This is an appetizer with green mangoes and crispy catfish all wrapped nicely to form a spring roll. I don't know if a piece of this is supposed to be eaten as one whole bite, but that's what I did. I got to appreciate it better when I used some sauce on it because the added acidity brought its taste to a whole new level.

Peek Gai Yad Sai Geang Khieo Waan Tord (Green curry stuffed chicken)
At first glance, this may look like just any other chicken wing. But upon biting into it, I was amazed. I was amazed at how I didn't find any bones in this chicken. I was amazed at how it was possible to stuff the chicken with ground meat. I was amazed at how I easily fell in love with this not-so-spicy curry chicken dish. 

Kluy Gung (Crispy Shrimp Spring Roll)
Shrimp in a lumpia wrapper and fried to a nice and crispy golden brown color. This was one of the dishes that stunned me the most because of how I found it highly enjoyable and at the same time simple. It had a spicy sauce on the side but didn't use, because the crispy shrimp spring roll did well on its own.

Yum Sum O (Pomelo Salad)
A salad made from tossing slices of a citrus fruit with some cashews, cilantro, shrimp to create a light and refreshing dish. This may not be the salad that won my heart that night, but it's still a memorable one. 

Som Tam Tord (Crispy Papaya Salad)
I found this salad more interesting due to the recipe's play in different ingredients that I enjoyed discovering as I dig into the bowl. The papaya may not be as crispy as expected, but its subtle taste and texture surely helped balance the dish.


Guay Tiew Rue (Boat Noodles, Beef Noodle Soup)
This is Thai's version of a beef noodle soup that uses boat noodles, and had a hint of cilantro. It's amazing how I was able to connect it with other cuisines' dishes, from the Vietnamese's pho (because of the beansprouts and cilantro), the Chinese's beef noodles, and the Filipinos' pares. It's a remarkable dish that has the combined flavors of 3 other cuisines, yet still created a name of its own.


Pia Sam Road (Crispy Fish with Spicy Sweet and Sour Sauce)
Crispy fish with sweet and sour sauce and just a hint of spice. I loved how the fish wasn't soaked in sauce, making it still have the fresh taste and not soggy. This is also a dish that differed in taste the most to me, since I noticed that almost everything we ate had cilantro, and it's nice to have it part of the table just to reset your tastebuds.

Gaeng Khiao Wan Gai (Green Curry Chicken)
Massaman Nuea (Massaman Curry Beef)
Their curry does not have the intense taste of herbs and spices that other curry dishes have. Even those who despise curry will appreciate Bejarong's rendition. Both also employed the use of coconut cream, which didn't overcome the curry taste but rather complemented it. The green chicken curry had more kick than the beef, so if you're into spicy food, then I highly recommend getting the green one.

Khao Klu Ka Pi (Bagoong Rice)
I loved their bagoong rice. The quantity of shrimp paste used was just enough to brush the flavor over every rice grain. It wasn't too salty. The green mangoes also matched the rice so well that it was able to highlight its taste more.

Phad Ka Na Moo Krob (Wok Fried Chinese Broccoli with Crispy Pork Belly)
This was my least favorite dish of the night. Don't get me wrong, it was delicious. I just thought that it didn't belong with the other dishes since it was like our lechon kawali. There was also no sauce for the pork belly, making it seem dry to me.

Benjarong Dessert
Nothing is more inviting than having a dessert that has 5 colors of cute and tiny balls of fruits and ice cream. It's a perfect dinner-ender set to have you in a good mood throughout the night. 

Honey Lemon Water
Their honey lemon water was very soothing. It tastes similar to our calamansi juice, except it uses lemon, and just a little honey to retain the zing.

Spiced Thai Sangria

I had a little sip of this alcoholic drink. It's fruity at first, with the alcohol in the after-taste.

Thai food is a cuisine I rarely indulge in, but Benjarong surely set my standards high. Truly, Benjarong lives up to its name, as it serves only the finest Thai dishes designed to make you feel like royalty. 

My Scores:
Ambiance - 5/5
Service - 5/5
Taste - 4.5/5

Benjarong is located at Mezzanine Level, Dusit Thani Manila, Ayala Centre, San Lorenzo, Makati City

Date of Visit: May 10, 2017

Benjarong - Dusit Thani Manila Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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