Monday, March 7, 2022

Go Thai and Southeast Asian at Crying Tiger Street Kitchen in Recess Food Alley

A culinary region with unique and vibrant notes from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur, the rich and diverse flavors of Southeast Asia come alive at Crying Tiger Street Kitchen in Recess Food Alley... 

From Thai Som Tam and Pad Thai to Malaysian Chicken Curry and Indonesian Mee Goreng, Crying Tiger Street Kitchen weaves a colorful tapestry of flavors taking your palate on a culinary journey of the region with their wide and extensive array of sumptuous and authentic dishes. And no, you don't need to fly out to experience these flavors, just head off the beaten path to Little Baguio at Recess Food Alley.  

After rediscovering the OG of San Francisco Mission District style inspired Mexican cuisine in Mexicali at Recess Food Alley (see my post here at Off The Beaten Track at Mexicali in Recess Food Alley), we're off to another culinary expedition with vibrant Southeast Asian flavors at Crying Tiger Street Kitchen also located in the same casual neighborhood food hub. The diversity of cuisines at Recess Food Alley alone makes it a dining destination in itself.

Located right beside Mexicali at Recess Food Alley, there's a whole lot going on at Crying Tiger Street Kitchen. In fact, one may be surprised at the number of dishes churned out from this stall, just like Mexicali's similar sized kitchen with its wide array of San Francisco's Mission District inspired Mexican specialties. And that's just the start of a continuous chain of delightful surprises from Crying Tiger Street Kitchen...

...beginning with the first dish served that day, a refreshing Thai style salad. The freshness and quality of ingredients often define any Southeast Asian dish, and Crying Tiger Street Kitchen uses only the finest for their dishes.

The first order of business is the starter, and the Som Tam (P 190) is the perfect dish to open up the palate with its refreshingly sweet and sour notes. A traditional Thai green papaya salad, the textural play from the medley of vegetables including carrots, tomatoes and chili peppers with the nutty crunch of peanuts combine for fresh and clean flavors.  

The addition of salted egg adds a layer of richness to the salad. Like most Thai dishes, one experiences salty, sweet, sour and spicy flavors draping the palate with each bite without overwhelming the other. It's that delicate balance of flavors that reins in all the distinct notes in a seamless blend. 

The Pad Thai Woon Sen (P 250) or stir-fried glass noodles wrapped in egg is another traditional Thai dish masterfully executed by Crying Tiger Street Kitchen down to the delicate egg wrap.

Gently peel open the egg wrap and you'll find the soft, chewy and flavorful glass noodles blended with a load of other ingredients like shrimps and vegetables. Savory, sweet, salty and tart with just a whisper of heat, Crying Tiger Street Kitchen recreates that complex weave of flavors with its take on an iconic Thai dish.

From further down south is Indonesia's famous Mee Goreng (P 250) or spicy seafood noodles. A ubiquitous street food staple, the dish is a fast and filling meal.  

The sharp notes of the dark sauce drapes the noodles delivering bold and punchy flavors mellowed by the briny sweetness of the seafood and vegetables. The play on contrasting flavors that characterizes Southeast Asian cuisine are faithfully recreated at Crying Tiger Street Kitchen.  

The Pad Pak Ruam Mit (P 290) or Thai stir-fried mixed vegetables is one of many vegetarian options at Crying Tiger Street Food Kitchen (see full menu below). That fresh and delectable crunch and snap from the vegetables will have going back for seconds. The deceptively simple dish with garden fresh vegetables is also the perfect side to your sumptuous Southeast Asian experience.

Can there be anything more comforting than a breakfast all day type of dish? The Moo Tod or Thai fried pork served with rice and egg is a feast on a plate.

The subtle sweetness and savory richness of the fried pork are tempered by the sharp notes of the sauce and smoothened by the egg on rice. A complete meal any time of day, and you'll find it here at Crying Tiger Street Kitchen in Recess Food Alley.

The Thai style fried chicken or Gai Tod (P 92-1 pc/P 109-1 pc with rice/P 190-2 pcs with rice/P 610-basket of 8 pcs) is a bestseller at Crying Tiger Street Kitchen. One bite and and it's easy to understand why. The light and delicate crispness and juicy texture of the chicken is just how we like our fried chicken. Add layers of flavors with the complex blend of seasonings and spices, and you'll want some extra rice. 

Hints of lemongrass follows each bite, complementing the delicate notes of the juicy chicken to tease the palate. The complexity of flavors makes this Thai spin on fried chicken different and unique from the usual option.

Available in a variety of serving options from one piece to a basket of eight pieces, the Gai Tod by Crying Tiger Street Kitchen takes you to the bustling alleys of Bangkok with just a few bites. And you'll want some rice with this dish...

The Khao Pad Gai (P 230) or Thai chicken fried rice pairs well with many of the Southeast Asian dishes at Crying Tiger Street Kitchen. Soft and fluffy rice combined with fresh herbs and chicken deliver rich flavors on its own, enjoying it with a savory dish like the Gai Tod just seals the deal for me.

Like most Asian cuisines, condiments are an essential element to any dining experience. From sweet chili sauce to fish sauce with lemon and herbs, each dip builds on the flavors of the specialty mains for a complete experience.

The intense hues of the Panang Pork Curry (P 420) or red pork curry is a visual reference to the equally intense flavors of the dish. There is a lingering heat from the fresh chili and spices to cut the richness of the pork mellowed by the creamy curry base. This is one solid curry dish.

And the best way to enjoy this dish is with a heaping bowl of rice slathered with the curry sauce. Bold and unrestrained flavors, expect a savory burst with each bite. And you'll want more. 

The flavors of KL are well represented at Crying Tiger Street Kitchen with the Malaysian Chicken Curry (P 265) served with rice and egg. Like all curries, the richness of the sauce becomes the highlight with the tender chicken playing a supporting role. Yet everything just comes together perfectly for another satisfying Southeast Asian meal in this side of the metro.

The flavors are rich yet milder with a delicate yet lingering sweetness. Easy on the palate like a comforting hug, it's one of my personal picks at Crying Tiger Street Kitchen

As mentioned earlier, Crying Tiger Street Kitchen also offers an extensive selection of vegetarian options like the Black Pepper Tofu Over Jasmine Rice (P 280). The meaty texture of the tofu draped in a rich and sharp sauce delivers all the flavors without the guilt. 

The black pepper sauce adds that soothing layer of gentle heat, balanced by another spoonful of rice. This meatless option is quite filling as well, guaranteed to satisfy any hefty appetite.

For dessert, Crying Tiger Street Kitchen offers the traditional Thai Khao Nian Mamuang (P 195) or Thai Sticky Rice with Mango for that sweet ending. Crying Tiger Street Kitchen also has the Gluay Kag (P 209) or sweet Thai banana fritters with vanilla ice cream that's perfect for summer.

Wash it all down with Crying Tiger Street Kitchen's refreshing Cha Yen or Thai Iced Tea. From Bangkok to KL and Jakarta, the impressive selection of authentic Southeast Asian dishes becomes a literal food trip of the region with each plate, each dish and each bite. Scan through the menu below and find what you're craving for...

Just like Mexicali, all the dishes at Crying Tiger Street Kitchen are available for dine-in, take-out and delivery. Simply hit the links below for inquiries and orders.

Who knew that the little kitchens of Mexicali and Crying Tiger Street Kitchen at Recess Food Hall would be one of Little Baguio's hidden secret gems? With Mario Roco San Pedro at the helm, expect to hear more from Crying Tiger Street Kitchen and Mexicali and their little kitchens that serve big and authentic flavors...  

Crying Tiger Street Kitchen is located at Recess Food Alley, 19-B General Vicente Lim Street, Little Baguio, San Juan or call 0921 856 1684 for inquiries. You can also visit their FB Pages at and for more updates.

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