An authentic Thai joint hidden in the streets of Malate
Get your Thai fix from a neighborhood resto in the side streets of Manila
They say second time’s the charm, and it proves true for Jun Puno, owner of Doon, a little Thai restaurant hidden in the side streets of Malate.
“It wasn’t supposed to be a Thai restaurant, but when we started serving Thai cuisine, people liked it. Customers preferred it to the lutong bahay we initially served,” he says.
Doon isn’t Puno’s first Thai restaurant. In 2014, he had to close a four-year-old Thai joint he had established in a residential village in Parañaque. There, he had a cook who was half Thai. With a little help from the internet and his former cook, Puno had mastered the fragrant, tangy flavors of Thai cuisine. These distinct flavors are now the heart of Doon.
Puno takes his dishes’ authenticity seriously; all sauces and pastes used in Doon are made from scratch, from fish sauce to tamarind paste. Even the milk tea is made from brewed tea leaves straight from Thailand. “You cannot make Thai food without Thai sauce made from scratch. You cannot prepare Thai food without Thai ingredients.”
And by growing his own produce, among them kaffir lime and galangal, Puno is able to offer herb-heavy Thai dishes at student-friendly prices—apt, too, since Doon is a just a few blocks away from Taft Avenue’s bustling university zone.
They have the favorites, tom yum, pad thai, and sweet sticky rice. They also offer fusion rice meals with a choice of barbecued chicken or pork ribs.
After all, at the end of the day, Doon doesn’t discriminate and stays true to what it aims to be: your no-fuss neighborhood Thai resto with “good food and good intentions.”
“That’s why the slogan of Doon is ‘A Plate of Faith.’”
Clockwise from right: Sticky rice with mango; Red curry, butter garlic shrimp, sweet and spicy chicken with basil, pad seuw; Doon’s open kitchen