If you need further convincing that the takeout lifestyle is here to stay, you only need to look at how food businesses are outdoing themselves in meal presentation.
Thai food concept Made in Bangkok, for example, has some of the snazziest packaging we’ve seen from takeouts of late. Their containers sport all the bright colors we associate with Thai eateries, printed with helpful info and reheating guides about each dish. The food sits on a sheet of banana leaf—a lovely, comforting touch—before it’s placed on a nice lightweight oval vessel made out of sugar cane pulp. “Sustainable, compostable and biodegradable,” says Maxine Marcelino of The Raspberry Group, the company behind the venture, which also came up with last year's Ginza Gyu and Mama Cha.
But packaging is only a small part of what’s really impressive about Made in Bangkok. Of the three dishes they opened operations with, each one is distinct and each one is a winner. If you miss eating in Bangkok’s streets, these meals won’t exactly take you there but it will make you miss the scents and flavors of that exuberant city a little less.
The Wagyu Thai Steak Box (P890) was the first thing we opened. The pan-seared Australian meat was great sans reheating but it’s the sweet Thai steak rice that took it home for us. It’s a great any-hour meal.
The Thai Crispy Chicken Curry (P490) you can eat with or without the curry (which comes in a separate bowl) and be totally satisfied—especially if you follow reheating instructions. The boneless chicken had the perfect crispiness after being tossed in the air fryer for five minutes, and the meat was not dry. We skipped the bed of fragrant coconut rice but enjoyed the crunchy Shimeji mushroom salad on the side.
Finally, there’s the very Instagrammable Tom Yum Puff-Noods (P850) which was a complete audio-video-taste experience, beginning with the pouring of hot, thick Tom yum sauce with whole jumbo prawns on puffed crispy noodles. This created a kind of continuous crackling sound as liquid penetrated starch. The sauce was fantastic, as was, by the way, the curry for the above crispy chicken. It’s the flavorful sauces that really make Made in Bangkok’s essentially basic but really thoughtfully prepared meal foundations—noodles, chicken, wagyu beef—sing.
Behind these dishes is seasoned chef Francis “Fran” Lim who merged traditional Thai cooking with contemporary Asian culinary techniques to come up with his three-meal menu (more dishes will be added as they go along). We imagine he also culled from his stints in two of the most respected Thai establishments in Manila: Dusit Thani and the more casual People’s Palace.
So if you’re thinking where to order Thai anytime soon, we recommend you try Made in Bangkok. And don’t forget to order the Mango Sticky Rice Drink (P165). Yes, hold your tuk-tuks, we know Chef Fran did not invent it but we still can’t get over the fact they made everyone’s favorite Thai dessert into something you can sip with a straw.
To order, visit their website: www.madeinbangkok.ph