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When Street Goes High Street: Nara Thai Cuisine in Manila


Milka, Mikee, and Sheila Romero


There is no doubt that Thai cuisine has gone global; and back in 2004, Yuki Srikanchana, one of the founders of Nara Thai Cuisine, brilliantly thought up of the concept of uplifting Thai street food so that age-old family recipes could utilize the freshest of quality ingredients and be transformed into a fine-dining family experience. Nara Thai Cuisine then sprouted branches around Bangkok; and eventually expanded globally to Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Myanmar, Mumbai, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and now, Manila. Brought here by the formidable mother-daughter tandem of Sheila and Milka Romero; Nara Thai Cuisine is found on the 2nd floor of MegaFashion Mall.


The Prawn Tom Yum


Nara’s Crispy Prawn Pan Cake


The Specially branded Nara Coconut


If one peruses the Menu, you'll find a plethora of dishes that you would have found in most traditional Thai restaurants. Exceptions would be the Deep Fried Crispy Prawn Pancakes, the Prawn Carpaccio in Fish Sauce Marinade, and the variations of Crab dishes. It's the fact that on a frequent flyer basis, ingredients are regularly flown in that Nara offers something unique - and that would be authentic Thai dishes prepared with the highest of standards, and with no substitution, but only genuine Thai ingredients. It's a standard that Yuki and her partner have insisted on as Nara has spread its wings beyond Thailand. This is a celebration of Thai food and culture that is founded on an equity that has seen Nara consistently mentioned in most of the discriminating publications as the place to head to when looking for the best in authentic Thai cuisine.


The Srikanchana family, with Nara Co-founder Yuki


On the night that Nara was formally launched; Yuki and her family flew to Manila, and the most charming and friendly in the party, was daughter Apinara. The restaurants were named after her; and she was proud to mention how her two sisters were also involved in the family business—one handles design, while the other helps on the business end. Monchet Olives was so taken with her warmth that he gifted her with one of his fans; and she was delighted to copy Monchet in his suave flicking of the fan to open it.


Apinara Srikanchana with her fan from Monchet


Sheila Romero with Lovi Poe


The Kramer family at Nara


In truth, Thai restaurants abound in our fair city; but here finally is one that carries a name genuinely recognized in Bangkok and in other cities around the region, as representative of the very best Thailand has to offer in the culinary arts. With such a pedigree, we can only welcome Nara, and be grateful to Sheila and Milka.