Their Brazo de Mercedes will blow you away.
Filipino cuisine might not be the first that springs to mind when it comes to Bangkok’s food scene—you could probably count on your fingers the number of places that specialize in cuisine. But amongst the best is Viva Filipinas, a Filipino kitchen, serving unpretentious, homestyle dishes that will fix any lingering doubts on the cuisine.
This place eschews the style over substance so prevalent in Bangkok. The food here doesn’t look that photogenic—some like a plate of indecipherable murky cream. But, when you stab your fork into the plate, each morsel effuses explosive flavors
Take, for example, pastel de lengua (B280), a plate of beef tongues with a thick, creamy white sauce generously poured over the top. The beef tongues were succulent yet firm, almost melt-in-your-mouth but still with a satisfying chewiness that’s perfect to pair up with a bowl of rice.
Another dish that warrants a return visit is the humba estofado (B240). Although it bears some resemblance to the local Thai pineapple pork curry, the similarities end there. A luscious caramel-colored sauce coats generous chunks of pork belly hiding slices of banana and pineapple. As any estofado should be, it’s sweet, but the caramelized fatty portions of pork and fruit slices strike a balance without being overly cloying.
Not every dish, however, hits the high notes. The kilawin na tuna (B380), a Filipino take on ceviche featuring raw tuna cubes “cooked” in vinegar and mixed with ginger, chili, calamansi, and red onion. The flavors lean heavily on the sour side—even for ceviche—but they still highlight the quality of the ingredients.
The true showstoppers is the array of desserts. The Brazo de Mercedes, a traditional meringue roll, has a cloud-like texture filled with a delightfully sweet custard. Meanwhile, the baked rice cake bibingka (B140) should evoke memories of khanom tuay foo (Thai steamed muffin) in a version that offers the edge of savoriness thanks to the slices of salty preserved eggs and cheese. Still, you can sprinkle more coconut and brown sugar to your taste.