Perhaps one of the best, if not the best Thai restaurant in Metro Manila is still Benjarong at Dusit Thani Hotel. It's the type of restaurant that is as authentic as it can get and anyone who has been to Thailand would know exactly what that is.
I consider eating at Benjarong as a way of rewarding oneself. Or maybe you just really want good Thai food.
I've had different versions of the Crispy Fried Catfish with Mango Salad here in Manila but nothing beats Benjarong's. You can never have too much of that combination of salty, crunchy and sweet with the right amount of tart. Though a good dish to start with, I make it a point to not finish it immediately as I keep going back to that wonderful mix of taste that is never boring even when the main course has arrived.
For more healthy goodness (I use the term very lightly here), I like ordering the Stir Fried Chinese Broccoli Leaves with Crispy Pork. Another crunchy delight that just tastes so good with white rice and to keep the fat in check, there's the good old greens. I usually cut off the fat part when I eat pork but for this dish, I am willing to make an exception.
Want more meat? Try the Beef Fillet Masaman Curry. I love curry in every form and this one, with its melt-in-the-mouth-meat, is truly a must try.
The Grilled Beef with Sweet Sour Chili Sauce, I feel is actually more Filipino-tasting but heck, I enjoy it still.
I can't remember eating anything I don't like at Benjarong. The service is always top notch and the staff seem to be quite knowledgeable with the dishes. If you ask them what they could suggest, they never seem to miss the spot. The price may be quite steep but if you dine here maybe once every one or two months, you'd never need to look for any other place to satisfy your Thai food craving.