The Flower Boy Is Bringing Authentic Thai Flavors To The Grid At Rockwell
Generally speaking, there is a lack of Thai food here in Manila—good and authentic Thai food, that is. And that became the jump-off point for Flower Boy, the brand-new stall at The Grid at Power Plant Mall, which will be serving authentic Thai cuisine to anyone who craves or wants to dive in to the bright and colorful world of aromatic cuisine.
That’s the problem that the guys at Flower Boy is trying to answer. “We want to create accessible great Thai food at very reasonable prices,” says Dwight Co, managing partner at Lowbrow Casual Restaurants, an independent restaurant food group behind Wrong Ramen, Fowl Bread, Bad Bird, and Flower Boy.
Flower Boy is located at Stall #2 at The Grid
Digging in to Thai cuisine isn’t as easy as it sounds, because it takes a bit of time to cozy up to the cuisine’s flavor palette. “Thai food, they’re really rich and bright. That’s what I really like. The flavors are bright. They don’t make you feel greasy, but they’re also not tame. They’re very flavorful,” says Dwight. “If you’re not used to Thai food, a lot of people get surprised na ‘Oh wow, this has very strong flavor and not really what I’m used to.’ So there’s an adjustment, a learning curve. It’s something na once you try it the first time, ‘Ok this is a bit weird.’ Try it two or three times, you go, ‘Ok this is starting to get better.’ Then when you’re back many times, then it becomes really, really good.”
To remedy this normal aversion of Filipinos to aromatics, Flower Boy has created a great way of slowly easing people in to the cuisine. Flower Boy’s specialty and biggest hit right now is their Pork Chop, which isn’t essentially something you’ll see or eat in Bangkok, but something that’s packed with Thai flavors to familiarize you with the cuisine’s palette. There’s lemongrass in the brine, there’s lime in the porkchop, there’s a green chili sauce to complement the meat, and Som Tam (green papaya salad).
Flower Boy's signature Pork Chop
“The Pork Chop is kind of our gateway dish. It’s our compromise dish. You can start here then slowly try to advance to more solid Thai flavors like Thai curry, red curry, green curry, lemongrass, ginger, cilantro, all of these earthy flavors. Apart from the pork chop, everything else is straight up Thai.” says Dwight.
This is why in the last minute, they changed the name of their stall to Flower Boy, just literally a week before opening. Dwight says they were primarily opening with the name Tankchop XL, but changed it because they didn’t want to be “the porkchop place.” They wanted to be the authentic Thai place that everyone will be visiting to get that authentic Bangkok experience—no shortcuts.
Congratulations to the team behind @eatflowerboy, a new concept by @eatlowbrow! Really proud of you guys! This is probably the smallest number of team members we started a new concept with, but one of the strongest too! Keep it up guys! Opening day tomorrow! @thegridfoodmarketph ?????? #eatflowerboy #thai #friedrice #padthai #noodles #newconcept #eatlowbrow #thegridfoodmarket #porkchop
“The reason why a lot of the Thai food in Manila isn’t very good is because there’s a lot of shortcuts,” Dwight says. “For example, pad thai, the classic Bangkok noodle. Most people don’t work hard for the sauce. Meaning, you just go to the grocery, buy sauce, put it in the noodles, and then you’re done. So you don’t get deep aromatic flavors in that. For us, we really take the effort to cook the sauce. We cook it for three hours. We don’t do shortcuts when it comes to our food. We really take the time to develop the flavors and cook them for a really long time. We don’t really get creative, we just really want to make great food. So Thai food, we want to make it fundamentally correct first.”
Palm Sugar Wings
Currently, Flower Boy’s menu is still at 20 percent, and the curries and other menu items will be rolled out slowly in the next weeks as they adjust to their new spot at The Grid. There’s already the phenomenal Pork Chop to try, the Pad Thai that punches flavor and aroma, and the Palm Sugar Wings that pairs well with the neighboring stall’s beer. But Dwight says what people should be looking forward to is their Crab Omelet, something they will be introducing soon.