A Thai food experience inspired by chef memories, is starting its 2017 world tour in London
A culinary adventure, curated by renowned chef couple Chef ‘Bo’ Songvisava and Chef Dylan Jones, is taking place at Old Spitalfields Market on the 29th April
I love South East Asia… the people, the diving, the cultures and of course, the food. Thailand is a wonderful country with a major food heritage and the first country I ever visited outside of Italy back in the late 70s. I have so many memories of that trip, it will stay with me forever and I believe it kick started my wanderlust!
Saturday 29th April in London sees the launch of the 2017 sensory trails sponsored by Thai beer Chang with a full day of events at Old Spitalfields Market including of course, plenty of amazing flavours from the country.
I was really lucky to be invited to the launch event held a few days prior at the Good Housekeeping Institute in London for a small number of bloggers and journalists. Acclaimed chefs husband and wife Bo and Dylan of restaurant Bo.Lan in Bangkok (currently at N.19 in the World’s Best Asian Restaurants) cooked a feast of epic proportions for us, showcasing some of the authentic food they cook back in Thailand, and explaining each dish, giving real context to each mouthful we took. The entire menu was also ideal to enjoy with the ice cold, plenty of Chang beers we were served.
After service simplicity
We started with a series of snacks, which, they explained, are usually prepared quickly at the end of a service, sometimes with whatever they can find in the fridge. We loved a small bite of thai rice with toasted and pounded coconut sugar and a pinch of salt, followed by a beautifully ‘hairy’ rambutan (in season now) and then an egg partly boiled with chilli and salt, finally followed by a spicy marinated salted Spanish mackerel. Overall a great opening to our lunch!
A flavourfully Siamese journey
What followed such an opening act was incredible. Four stunning mains, using traditional thai flavours but using locally sourced, British ingredients. One of Bo.Lan’s fundamental is to use 0km ingredients and support local farmers and fishermen. They have done the same here in London, and Dylan told us how appreciative he was of the British beef and langoustine he used. We tried Grilled aubergine with langoustine, which was so light and full of beautiful aromas; we loved the dry Beef Shank Curry, melt in the mouth meat wrapped in betel leaves; we also loved the deep, rich flavours of the Fisherman soup, which is traditionally made with catch straight from the boats, with fresh lemongrass and shallots, this soup is made with the entire fish and seafood cooked in oil with garlic and onions and is a little similar to the famous tom yam. Finally, a really delicious Stir Fry chicken with squid and lettuce and homemade sriracha sauce completed the savoury courses (all served with thai rice of course!).
Sweetess in the Summertime
At this point, both chefs went outside holding a tray with what looked like granola, what looked like a root, and a lighter. Indeed, they basically smoked the dessert, which was Crunchy Rice cake, smoked in a jasmine candle. Attracting the attention of passers by, this was a fun but also pretty interesting way of infusing the smoky aroma on the crunchy, really moorish sweet ending, which was also full of peanuts and sesame seeds. To go with the dessert, were served an ice cold, refreshing Jasmine infused syrup with fresh season fruits (rambutan, mangosteen, green mango).
With this, the lunch was over. The food tasted really transported us to sunny Thailand… ! For those of us in London, to know more about the country’s food and tradition and feel a bit like a tourist, the appointment is at Old Spitalfields Market tomorrow, 29 April, from 12pm.
More info on the Press Release
I was a guest of Chang beer at the event, and was not asked to write this post; opinions are my own.