One of the constants during our recent three week trip to Thailand was absolutely fantastic street food enjoyed at the many night markets we visited, paired with bottles of cold Chang Beer. Whether we were eating a huge bowl of noodle soup, a fragrant curry with rice, a pile of battered and deep fried seafood, a cook-yourself hot pot of meat and vegetables, or classic pad thai noodles in an omelette wrap, Chang’s golden lager was the beverage of choice, readily available across the country.
Launched in 1995, Chang is now available in nearly fifty countries around the world. Combining soft water extracted from deep-water wells in Thailand, and the best of international barley, yeast and hops, Chang is a crisp, full-flavoured, easy-drinking lager with a gentle fruit and hop aroma.
I’m already longing for a return visit but Thailand is a long way away and flights are expensive.
The good news is that residents of London can sign up for Chang Sensory Trails, launching in London on the 12th May. Inspired by the Thai philosophy of Lamiat that is at the core of the Chang brand, this year’s multi-sensory event is all about establishing kinship with others through mutual respect and a common appreciation of perfection – in this case, the ttperfection of food, art and music.
Chang Sensory Trails brings together the best of Thai food (paired with Chang beer, of course), with Thai music and art. Chang have invited the head chefs of eight Thai restaurants in the capital to share the best of their menus at the event, with each head chef also creating a limited edition dish that pairs perfectly with a cold bottle of Chang beer.
The eight participating restaurants and their chefs’ special dishes for Sensory Trails
- 101 Thai kitchen – Pad Grapow Chicken (stir-fried chicken with chillies, garlic and basil, served with steamed rice and fried egg)
- Bang Bang Soho – Thai-style Slow-cooked Beef Rendang (an Indonesian classic with a Thai twist! Creamy and aromatic beef with our original blend of fresh herbs and spices)
- Lao Cafe – Papaya Salad Thai-Lao style (the famous Laotian salad. Spicy & zingy with a customisable level of spice)
- Nipa – Phad Thai Koong (fried rice noodles with beansprouts, spring onions, egg and prawns)
- Patara – Chicken Massaman (coconut milk-braised chicken in a mild homemade curry of warm spices with peanuts, onions, potatoes and crispy onion to finish)
- Rosa’s – Tom Yum Noodles (zingy & spicy rice noodles in Tom Yum-flavoured garnishes)
- Tawana – Moo Yang Jim Jael (Thai-style grilled pork loin, marinated with Thai herbs and served with ground roasted rice)
- Thai Tho – Green Chicken Curry (authentic Thai green curry with chicken, chilli, bamboo shoot and sweet basil)
I popped into Rosa’s this week to preview their Tom Yum Noodle dish ahead of the event, together with a selection from their regular menu. I also interviewed Chef Saiphin about her dish.
How would you describe your Tom Yum Noodle dish, especially to someone who may not be familiar with Tom Yum flavours?
Chef Saiphin: “Tom Yum Noodles is a combination of rice noodles with lime juice, chilli powder, fish sauce and a bit of sugar to create a well-balanced flavour. The dish is commonly served with minced pork or fishballs in two ways, with soup or without, then garnished with coriander and sometimes crushed roasted peanuts. We will be serving the dry noodles version at the Chang Sensory Trails event. Many Thais often use the condiment tray to customise their own noodles – that’s part of the fun when eating noodles!
Tom Yum literally means ‘to boil’ and ‘to mix’ so this dish is a combination of two cooking methods. We cook the noodles and the meat, then mix them all with the garnishes to make a zingy and spicy dish that truly represents the flavours of Thailand.”
What characteristics of the dish do you think make it such a great match for Chang Beer and why does Chang Beer work so well with Thai food?
Chef Saiphin: “The Tom Yum Noodles is a spicy and sour dish which needs a light and refreshing beer like Chang to cleanse the palate and calm the spices! An iced cold Chang is such a great beer to go with Thai food because of its subtle taste that complements rather than overpowers the complex flavours of food. Not to mention, the green glass bottle is pretty iconic and looks great next to the vibrant Thai dishes!”
I’m so looking forward to attending Sensory Trails next week, and enjoying the atmosphere of celebration and excellence.
Visit Chang’s Sensory Trails Event Page on Facebook to register and find event details for London’s event. Happening on the 12th May, it starts at noon and runs to 10 pm, at Last Days of Shoreditch. Entry is free, and you’ll need cash rather than card to pay for food and drink.
Chang Sensory Trails is being staged across the world, and will be heading to Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh soon. Find out about events near you via Chang Beer’s social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or search for hashtags #ChangSensoryTrails and #ChangBeer.
This post has been commissioned and sponsored by Chang Beer.