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Nara Thai Cuisine Earns A ‘Thai Select’ Seal Of Approval For Its Truly Authentic Thai Food

With over 13,000 registered Thai restaurants around the world, it may sometimes be difficult to know which ones are the best and most authentic. It’s with that issue in mind that the Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce of Thailand created the Thai Select Program. It basically confers a Seal of Approval to Thai restaurants overseas, and Thai food products, which must pass a strict standard of quality, taste, and authenticity. The Thai Select seal assures the public about the standards that the establishment or food product can boast of. And in this day of restaurants and eateries springing up like wildflower, and claiming this or that cuisine, we can be thankful for this kind of culinary safeguarding and guidance from the Thai government. 



In 2018, only four Thai restaurants in Manila possessed this Thai Select badge of honor. Last week, a fifth was added to the list—Nara Thai Cuisine at the 3rd level of Fashion Hall, SM Megamall. It came as no surprise that owners Sheila Romero and daughter Milka were happy and proud to share the good news with media guests and special friends.

When you stop to consider how many Thai restaurants there are in Metro Manila alone—at least a couple in practically every mall—and that only five brands have been conferred the Thai Select badge of approval, this is certainly a real feat for a restaurant that opened its doors only a year ago.

Yes, Nara Thai may be a franchise of a popular and well-established restaurant group from Bangkok, but standards are still standards, and it’s a testament to the exacting standards Sheila has insisted on maintaining for the Manila Nara that sees this Thai Select badge coming so early in the eatery’s life. It has made Sheila so excited that she even disclosed plans of how two other branches will be up within the year—the first new one set to open within the first half of the year at the new Ayala Mall beside City of Dreams.




Experience a feast like no other at Nara Thai ?? For reservations, call (02) 637 3860 #EatNaraThai

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On loan from the Bangkok restaurants, Chef Jessie shared a few words, extolling the virtues of working with Sheila and her group, how it has been so much fun, while still striving for perfection and consistency. Even when it comes to ingredients and spices, Sheila has always been a stickler, ready to have particular herbs and spices flown in from Bangkok rather than settling for some substitute or lower quality replacement. 

Sheila was smiling when she gushed about how supportive her family has been, singling out Milka for always reminding and nagging her to make sure things are done to an exacting standard. Sheila was extra thankful to Milka who runs her own food business, but still makes time to assist Sheila with Nara. 

A veritable feast was laid out for us on this special Thank You day. My highlights were the Goong Kabeuang (Crispy Prawn Pancakes), Massaman Nuea Nong (Beef Massaman Curry), Yum Sum O (Pomelo Salad), and Ka Nar Pla Khem (Stir Fried Kale with Thai Anchovy). The other courses such as the Tofu & Straw Mushroom in Coconut Soup, Spicy Prawn, Pineapple Rice, and Stir-Fried Crab with Yellow Curry Sauce were all good as well, but that first list were my favorites on the day.


Prawn Pancake - Goong Kabeuang

Beef Massaman Curry - Massaman Neua Nong 


Yum Som O - Pomelo Salad


With these new Nara branches something to look forward to, it was particularly fitting to have mother and daughter together, entertaining guests on this illustrious afternoon to celebrate the fact that Nara has now joined the elite group of Manila Thai restaurants that carry the Thai Select seal of distinction.


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Photos from @narathaiph