Thai cuisine restaurant in Brussels

Northern Thai Cusine

Northern Thai Cusine

The cuisine of northern Thailand
How can we talk about culture in Chiang Mai without talking about its cuisine?

The cuisine of northern Thailand, especially in Chiang Mai, is rather sweet because it is the result of centuries of traditional culinary know-how combined with Burmese, Chinese and Indian influences. With a perfect blend of aromatic toppings and a few spicy condiments, Chiang Mai's cuisine, also known as lanna cuisine, is particularly succulent. A beautiful assortment of authentic recipes to discover and taste without moderation!

The particularities of northern Thai cuisine
As everyone knows, Thailand's recipes have a reputation for being spicy. Regular customers will not find any disadvantages, but for the less sensitive taste buds, a Som Tam spiced up with a sauce too strong can harm its tasting if you are not used to it.

Fortunately, not all of Thailand necessarily follows this rule. The North of the country offers a relatively sweet and tasty cuisine by reducing the amount of spice in order to make the taste of the recipe more pronounced. This particularity of northern cuisine would not be possible without the Burmese and Laotians in particular who, over the centuries, have come to influence the culinary field of Chiang Mai and many other regions.

This is all the more obvious if we refer to the way curry is prepared, as well as the omnipresence of sticky rice in almost all recipes. Chinese influence is also very present in the cuisine of northern Thailand, with most of Chiang Mai's most prestigious restaurants serving dishes accompanied by several types of sauces of Chinese origin.

Many cooking schools in Chiang Mai also offer training days in Lanna cooking. The prices are more than affordable: it would be a shame not to take advantage of them if you come on holiday.

Northern cuisine is characterized by the traditional Lana style, which is widespread in the Chiang Mai region. Contrary to what the dishes may suggest, northern cuisine is generally easy to prepare compared to the cuisine of other parts of Thailand. Originally, Lana Thai cuisine was mainly intended for weddings and other important events. Nowadays, it is democratized and everyone can enjoy the delicious lanna recipes anywhere and anytime.

The main ingredients are pork and vegetables, which are part of a variation of authentic recipes characterized by tastes with bitter tendencies, both powerful and complex.

Although traditional straw baskets remain highly prized as containers when serving food, today they are mainly placed on small porcelain plates, while guests sit on floor mats around a wooden table.

Discover the true Thai flavours prepared by talented chefs who respect tradition. The best Thai restaurant Manola Brussels invites you to discover and share real Thai food.  

Manola Restaurant - Thai cuisine restaurant in Brussels
Thai cuisine restaurant in Brussels

Manola Brussels Thai Restaurant: health first!

Manola Brussels Thai Restaurant: health first!

What if you decide to eat Thai for a change? This would be an opportunity to discover, or rediscover, the virtues of a thousand-year-old cuisine... What are the benefits of Thai cuisine? Our dietician Alexandra Murcier took advantage of her trip to Thailand to discover the culinary habits of this country and reveal the 5 health secrets of this gourmet and healthy cuisine. To your chopsticks, ready?! Go away! Go away!

The 5 benefits of Thai food

1) Thai cuisine is rich in fruits and vegetables

Thai cuisine honours fruits and vegetables. Mixed dishes, salads and soups combine exotic vegetables and fruits, helping us to replenish our diet with vitamins, antioxidants and fibre.

2) It honours spices

Thai cuisine uses a lot of spices and condiments that are excellent for health. Here are some examples of the most essential spices and condiments in Thai cuisine:

First of all, galanga, a spice renowned for its pronounced taste (even more pronounced than ginger;

There are also a lot of aromatic herbs in Thai dishes:

coriander, which has the advantage of being rich in antioxidants and vitamin K and, like ginger, it facilitates digestion.

Thai basil (more pronounced than ours in terms of taste);

lemongrass, with digestive properties, an excellent detoxifier, and soothing.

Onion, etc.

Peppers are the main ingredient of curry paste, which is very common in Thai cuisine. They are very rich in antioxidants (capsaicin with anti-cancer properties and alphatocopherol, which is a form of vitamin E with anti-aging properties). Pepper is also a source of vitamin C.

3) It is perfectly well balanced

A typical Thai meal has the advantage of being balanced. Most dishes are made up of a source of starchy foods (rice or noodles), vegetables and a source of protein. Many exotic fruits allow to finish the meal with a sweet and vitaminized flavor: dragon fruit, mango, pineapple, carambola....

4) It is light and satiating

Soups and broths are very common in Asia and have the advantage of being satiating with few calories. They contribute to good hydration, providing vitamins and minerals. If you are watching your weight, don't hesitate, a Thai soup will make a great dinner!

5) It allows us to discover exotic fruits that are a source of many benefits

Thai cuisine uses a lot of exotic fruits that are known to contain a lot of treasures. Examples :

Mango is rich in fibre, antioxidants and carotenoids that protect the skin from the sun's rays:

The fruit of the dragon (the pitaya of its real name), in addition to being pretty and original, is an excellent source of vitamin A, essential for vision. It also contains vitamin C, antioxidants and its edible seeds contain monounsaturated fatty acids and omega 3.

Finally, carambola is energetic thanks to its high content of vitamin C, it also provides vitamin B5 and magnesium.

So, what are you waiting for to eat Thai?

Discover the true Thai flavours prepared by talented chefs who respect tradition. The best Thai restaurant Manola Brussels invites you to discover and share real Thai food.  

Manola Restaurant - Thai cuisine restaurant in Brussels
Thai cuisine restaurant in Brussels

Manola: from Thailand to Brussels

Manola: from Thailand to Brussels

Since the boom in tourism in Thailand in the 1980s, Thai cuisine has become one of the leading schools in the world of culinary arts. It is one of the 5 most popular types of food in the world, the others being Indian, Chinese, French and Italian. When you visit Thailand, although it is possible to taste Western dishes, why bother? You are in the home of one of the best cooking schools in the world. Relax and enjoy it.

History and Origins

Spicy Thai cuisine comes from the people who emigrated from the southern provinces of China to modern Thailand centuries ago. Historically, Thai cuisine has had many Sichuan influences, although over the centuries, many other influences have affected Thai cuisine. In the more distant past, a Buddhist monk brought an Indian touch, and the Muslim states of the south influenced the cuisine in southern Thailand. Much later, Thai cuisine was influenced by European cuisine after contact with Portuguese missionaries and Dutch traders. During this period, there were even Japanese influences. Today, Thai cuisine is its own, with a unique blend of 5 flavours: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and spicy.

Regional differences

Thailand is a large country with a diversified geography and which, over the years, has led to the emergence of regional differences in its cooking style. There are currently 4 distinct cooking styles in Thailand.
Thai cuisine

Cooking in northern Thailand is generally milder than in the rest of the country, sticky rice is preferred, it is traditionally kneaded into small balls with the fingers. Neighbouring Burma has a strong influence on popular dishes such as Kaeng Hang Le, a pork curry with ginger, turmeric and tamarind.

Food in the northeast is influenced by Laos; Generally speaking, the food is very spicy and sticky sticky rice is the staple food for northeast dishes. Although meat dishes are abundant, meat was traditionally scarce in villages and the main source of protein was shrimp and freshwater fish. These were often fermented to increase their shelf life.

Central office
The central region offers a cuisine halfway between north and south, although jasmine flavoured rice is preferred to the sticky type. What makes the cuisine of the central region so special is that it houses a royal cuisine. This type of cuisine, which originated in the royal palace, involves much more elaborate meals, combined with complex techniques. It's more of an art form than just a regular cuisine.

From the south

The cuisine of southern Thailand is the most popular outside Thailand, as it is the country's main tourist region. In the southern cuisine, coconut milk is much more used in many dishes. Coconut replaces ghee for frying and dishes contain a lot of seafood. Southern aperitifs use a lot of cashew nuts from local plantations and coconut meat as standard condiment.

Discover the true Thai flavours prepared by talented chefs who respect tradition. The best Thai restaurant Manola Brussels invites you to discover and share real Thai food.  

Manola Restaurant - Thai cuisine restaurant in Brussels
Thai cuisine restaurant in Brussels

The origin of Thai food

The origin of Thai food


Thai people are direct descendants of the Chinese of present-day Yunnan, and there are many similarities between Thai and Chinese cuisine.

There are also similarities with Indian cuisine, particularly in the use of curry (spice mixes), often spiced, which were used daily during the Khmer occupation, even after the transition from the Hindu religion to the Buddhist religion as an official religion.

Since the country's opening to foreign trade, the use of certain products, particularly Portuguese, has been normalized, as has the introduction of Muslim-influenced dishes, since it should not be forgotten that the whole of southern Thailand has historical roots with the Muslim peoples of Malaysia and Indonesia.

Apart from the ingredients, the use of a fork and a spoon (against chopsticks in most of its neighbours) once again shows the particularity of Thai cuisine. This cultural exception would come from the time of the rapprochement between the Kingdom of Siam and the France of Louis XIV.

Currently, Thai cuisine is therefore a true blend of flavours and textures, which makes it unique and has made it an international reference. And the best part is that you can enjoy it everywhere, from the countless street food stands everywhere and in every market in Thailand, to the most modern and luxurious restaurants in the country.

Manola Restaurant - Thai cuisine restaurant in Brussels
Thai cuisine restaurant in Brussels

Our Story

Our Story

Manola, behind this name are actually three different brands.
The three restaurants are within walking distance of each other in the heart of the Freedom district.
Since November 2013, Manola 1, located rue de la Croix de Fer, has been opening its doors at noon to offer you a delicious, varied and unlimited buffet for the sum of 14€/person.

In 2015, proud of their success, the bosses decided to open a second restaurant, Manola 2, located on Madou Square, which offers you a counter where you can take a "lunchbox" for only 10€/person.

Upstairs is also a room where you can enjoy your lunch in a space sheltered from the hustle and bustle of the neighborhood.
Finally, in 2017, to complete the family, the Manola 3 was born. Open for lunch and dinner, you can enjoy a refined and varied cuisine in a beautiful house located on rue de l'enseignement, not far from the Cirque Royal.

Manola offers you three concepts, three different styles and all with the same concern for quality and respect for authenticity. Chef ANEK KHAMPHIROM will help you rediscover Thai cuisine and its flavours of yesteryear thanks to his creativity and talent.

Discover the true Thai flavours prepared by talented chefs who respect tradition. The best Thai restaurant Manola Brussels invites you to discover and share real Thai food.

Manola Restaurant - Thai cuisine restaurant in Brussels