We had another consistently delicious lunch at People’s Palace in the Greenbelt Mall a couple of weeks ago… and it amazes me that I have never published a post about People’s Palace (the same is true for some other family favorites). Perhaps because we don’t want to have any more difficulty getting a table at said favorite restaurants, or it’s just a bit embarrassing to take out a camera and take photos of dishes I have already ordered repeatedly over the past several years. But the thing about People’s Palace is that we find it is one of the most consistent restaurants in terms of food quality and service, and consistency is worth its weight in gold in the local restaurant scene. I have said before I find their food a little pricey, but you know what? You get what you pay for…
On our recent meal. we had a pomelo and prawn salad that was brilliantly executed. There have been times in the past that there would be the slightest of quibble over dry pomelo segments, or smaller portions, but this time around, it was perfect. The pomelo was juicy and plentiful, the prawns succulent and perfectly cooked, and previously de-veined and slightly butterflied (partially a trick to bulk up the look of the salad). There was the most minimal of dressing and lots of fresh herbs, including a beautifully and finely julienned kaffir or makrut lime leaf. I could eat this entire bowl by myself. It was so good, I vowed to try and replicate it at home. :)
The green mango salad was delicious, though a tad on the sweet side, but then again, Thai food is superb precisely because of the way one is meant to balance a meal through the different flavor hits in each dish. Salty, sour, sweet and spicy flavors awaken the palate and shock your senses into extreme happiness. I love it when a Thai native who loves food orders a meal because they are best at balancing the flavors and pacing of the dishes… Filipinos tend to like sweeter dishes, and I feel some of the dishes at People’s Palace are designed to meet that preference, but they still maintain a strong bond to the origins of the dishes…
The fried rice paper spring rolls were great as always. The fresh spring rolls were bland in comparison, but perfect for a vegetarian seeking a meatless dish. As is the case in some Thai dishes, the sauces save the day, and People’s Palace sauces are quite nice, thank you.
Red duck curry was well made, not overly fatty and terrific over steamed rice, of which I had several servings. We almost always order this when eating Thai food at a restaurant.
A green chicken curry was also well done. Drinks such as lime juice and lemongrass with ginger were surprisingly refreshing and a hit with the other diners at our table (I stuck to my Diet Coke). With drinks, a few glasses of wine, the dinner came out to roughly PHP1,000 per person. Yes, it’s a bit more than the typical meal out, even for Makati, but I would happily trade two mediocre meals at PHP500 for a consistently good meal at People’s Palace. The food is consistently well prepared with a myriad of authentic ingredients, presented nicely, by efficient waitstaff, tastes delicious and the dining room is well appointed. The final touches? Always a generous fresh floral arrangement at the bar and very well maintained and air-conditioned washrooms.
Yes, People’s Palace is definitely up there in the Marketman Family list of favorite restaurants in Manila that we actually frequent. Other places we return to often are Mamou, Cibo, Lusso, Milky Way, Ukkokai Ramen Ron, and out of town (we wish we got to more often) Antonio’s. The new Peking Garden at Greenbelt we have been to several times, but their location on the 4th or 5th floor is so hidden, we tend to forget about it when thinking of a place to eat. Mrs. MM liked a recent lunch at Abe. We ate twice at Elbert’s Steak House and The Teen enjoys his steak sandwiches at the Rockwell Mall. For volume and relative good value, we (family and crew) enjoy over-ordering at The Kanin Club at Paseo de Santa Rosa and at LZM in Cavite. Otherwise, we eat at home most of the time. :)