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Friday, 23 December 2016

BKK Express: On The Go, Authentic Thai Food In PH


Just recently, we took a Thai food indulgence in the newly opened Uptown Mall in Bonifacio Global City, at a newly opened food shop in the Philippines, BKK Express. This was another good opportunity to meet fellow bloggers and talk about Thai cuisine 2 days before I flew to Thailand.

Fellow bloggers busy taking photos

About BKK Express

BKK Express is the latest addition to the growing family of Cabalen Group of Restaurants. The busy food counter situated in the sophisticated Food Hall of BGC Uptown Mall offers flavorful and authentic Bangkok style serving to people who frequent the area. Inspired by Bangkok's array of food on the go, BKK Express guarantees quick but quality eats with spices and most ingredients imported from Thailand for an unadulterated Thai dish.

Apart from gastronomic guaranty, BKK Express also assures a cost-effective menu for its patrons. Unlike its sister company Soi, the dining cost in BKK Express is more relaxed, just like its dining ambiance. The food serving is already massive, I can share a plateful of Pad Thai with another friend. That is Php 95.00 for my share (aka less than 2 USD). Imagine what I can devour with Php500!

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BKK Express Menu

I have this impression that Thai food is relatively more expensive in Manila. Restaurants ranked in Zomato would testify. And my Thai food spree in Thailand affirms that yeah it is more costly here. I guess that is generally the case when you are introducing a foreign product? But as long as it is not overpriced, it is fine.

Other people like my mom have the impression that Thai food are all spicy. BKK Express menu proves otherwise.

BKK Express menu consists of 9 selections:

(1) Specials
BKK Express specials include Beef Massaman; Fish Fillet & Tofu in Black Pepper Sauce; Thai Fried Chicken Wings; Pork Belly in 5 Spice Hard Boiled Egg.

My favorite is the Pork Belly in 5 Spice with Hard Boiled Egg. If you like pork belly in your Ramen bowl - the kind that seem to melt in your mouth,  you would surely love this one.

Pork belly in 5 spice with hard boiled egg

(2) Rice Toppings
I like fried rice especially Japanese Cha-han. I am also fond of fermented shrimp so I was delighted that the Rice Toppings Menu had Bagoong Rice (Fried rice with fermented shrimp paste or in tagalog "Bagoong"). Other rice toppings are: Chicken Curry Rice; Salted Fish Fried Rice; Pad Kee Mao; Thai Omelet with Minced Pork; Crab meat Fried Rice; Sausage Fried Rice.

Rice toppings range from Php 170-Php 190 per plate. It is also good for sharing.

(3) Thai Soup Noodles
For Thai Soup Noodles you can choose from: Thai Rice Noodles with Meatballs; Fresh Egg Noodles with Shrimp Wanton; Fresh Egg Noodles with Shrimp Wanton & Roasted Pork; Fish Tom Yam with Thin Rice Noodles.

My favorite was the Fresh Egg Noodle with Roasted Pork for Php 160.00. I could finish the serving maybe because the hot soup was comforting (the air conditioning was a bit too cold for me) and the roasted pork was really tasty.

(4) Salad
If I have all day to eat everything in the menu, I would binge on the salad. Because it is salad! Sorry I am a salad monster! BKK Express' Yaam Mango is best for me...

The biased salad monster would tell you to try all others: Sausage Salad; Spicy Tuna Lab; Fruit Som Tam.

(5) Appetizers
I am not a full believer of "appetizers". I mean there are other entrĂ©es that would whet your appetite on and on and on... And if you are like me, even sauces could stimulate your desire to eat. Also, dishes in this group are not "small". They can be a full entree (to me) just like BKK Express' Thai Fried Rolls. But I must say, I'd gladly eat this set before a BKK Express Special while waiting for a friend who's running late! You can also opt for Tofu & Egg in Laws or Crispy Shrimp Wanton if you prefer seafood.

Grilled Thai Isan Sausage

(6) Pad Thai
For the record Pad Thai in Thailand can make your soul cry the best tears. IT. IS. JUST. SO. GOOD! A plateful is bursting in flavor that is a balance of sweet, sour, spicy, umami, nutty and shrimp taste! The fried noodle is not too soft and not too sticky. I don't know if it's appropriate to say the noodle is cooked to al dente here? But it's cooked to the correct firmness. By the way I am talking about Pad Thai in a simple street diner that costs 60 BAHT (aka PHP 84).

Consider this photo from our dinner at Hoy Station in Old Town Phuket:

Beat this Shrimp Pad Thai Presentation!

BUT HEY you don't have to go to Thailand to eat a good Pad Thai! That's why I am happy to write about BKK Express which serves variety of Pad Thai dishes such as: Crab Meat; Tofu; Chicken; and Singaporean Pad Thai. I just hope they would have shrimp too!

BKK Express Pad Thai Tofu for Php 190.00

The Singaporean Pad Thai is a bit different as it has thinner noodle with curry flavor. It's not bad.

Singaporean Pad Thai for Php 250

(7) Thai Grill Plates
Thai Food menu is not complete without the grill plates! These plates have Satay or seasoned, skewered and grilled meat.

Below you can see a nicely charred Chicken Satay served with complementing sauces. The chicken meat is marinated in peanut sauce and spices, then grilled to the right tenderness. The grilling is perfect that the meat is juicy and not overly charred.

For other grill plates, you can try Boneless Chicken Leg BBQ; Grilled Thai Isan Sausage which is fun to eat. I like this sausage by the way. Another option is Thai Sweet Pork BBQ if you are craving fro something sweet.



(8) Desserts
The available desserts are Sticky Rice Mango Sundae and WaterChestnuts & Toddy Palm on Ice.

Sticky Rice Mango Sundae
Waterchestnuts & Toddy Palm on Ice

I can't tell which is better. I'm strongly convinced both could satisfy your sweet tooth!

(9) Drinks
Cool down with Thai Milk Tea for Php 55. You can also try Lemon Grass Juice, Thai Iced Coffee (which is like a shot of espresso) or Pandan Iced Tea.

My Milk Tea!

BKK Express Staff

You can rely on the authenticity of BKK Express dishes because they are cooked by their Thai Chef. The servers are neat, polite and friendly (as expected). They greet customers Sawadee Kha! with a big smile. Next time I would say Khop Khun Ka (or thanks) after my meal! I hope they would maintain the hospitality.

with BKK Express Thai Chef and Area Manager

Menu Cost

As mentioned earlier, BKK Express menu is cost-effective. It is not cheap but certainly not overpriced. The price is just right especially if you consider the taste, presentation of food, and the diner itself that all come with the dish tags.

Dining Area

You see in the photo how premium the Uptown Food Hall is? Those chairs, smooth wooden long tables, lighting and other interior details exude urbanity as well as creativity and reinvents our image of a "food court".

I prefer enjoying my meal here than in a usually-chaotic-dining-hall. This area is very clean. The toilets are even better!

Ms. Jam, Marketing Manager of Cabalen Group of Restaurants

Dining Atmosphere

I guess the upscale environment of Uptown Mall contributes a lot to the refined but laid-back dining atmosphere in the Food Hall. In addition, the welcoming attitude of BKK Express staff intensifies the commendable ambiance

[video]

with fellow bloggers

Parting Words

Cabalen Group of Restaurants has been putting up many restaurant chains here and abroad such as Soi, Mangan, Ebun, Oody's and now BKK Express. Their 30 years in the industry is indeed fruitful. I cannot wait for what's in store for them in the coming year. Also I cannot wait to hear they add BKK Express branches in other shopping malls or food areas around the country. I am throwing 4 hats out of 5 for BKK Express. I am completely satisfied with my dining experience there, in fact, it made me rethink of my favorite foreign cuisine. But I am leaving one hat for improvements such as adding SHRIMP PAD THAI in their menu! A delivery service can be a cherry on top!

I am throwing 4 hats out of 5 for BKK Express. I am completely satisfied with my dining experience there... But I am leaving one hat for improvements such as adding SHRIMP PAD THAI in their menu! A delivery service can be a cherry on top! 
BKK Express is a better choice over fast food if you are in a hurry to grab something to eat. Whether it is a busy lunch break or a lazy weekend dinner, you, your health and your pocket can benefit from its menu selection. But of course I'd still recommend you dine with your friends or family. After all, dining experience is ultimately savored when food is shared with others. So if you feel like it, head to BGC Uptown Mall, visit the Food Hall on level 4 and try the on the go, authentic Thai food from BKK Express!


What do you think about this post? Do you like Thai Food? Would you want to eat an authentic Thai food from BKK Express? What is your favorite Thai Restaurant in your area? Let us hear your thoughts in the comment section below! Happy holidays!

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