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Nipa Thai Restaurant and the Chang Sensory Trails:
An old favourite of mine and one of London’s hidden treasures, Nipa Thai is a stunning traditional Thai restaurant on the first floor of the Lancaster London hotel. With two AA rosettes for their food, views out over Hyde Park and classical Thai decor, it’s a wonderful place to indulge a love for Thai food and to immerse yourself in Thai heritage.
I went along last week to learn more about why Nipa Thai Restaurant was taking part in the Chang Sensory Trails this year, a multi-sensory experience in partnership with eight Thai chefs. Free to enter, I’m really looking forward to going – there will be lots of entertainment – music, interactive art, great food and of course, great Chang Beer. And, if you are lucky enough to be picked as a VIP guest you’ll get to enjoy all 8 signature recipes made by the Chefs at the exclusive Chef’s Table Dining Room. It’s all free of charge, but you need to enter the competition on the Chang Beer Facebook page to be in with a chance of being selected as a VIP guest for the Chef’s Table experience! Apart from Sanguan Parr from Nipa Thai, who will be serving Phad Thai Koong, there will be chefs from Tawana, Patara, Rosa’s Thai Cafe, Lao Cafe, Thai Tho, Bang Bang Soho and 101 Thai Kitchen. A veritable feast – each chef making their own signature dish.
Having the chance to preview the food was, of course, a great indulgence.
We started with a selection of chef’s special Thai starters to share. Ruam Mitr included chicken satay with a peanut sauce and cucumber relish, crisp fried prawn dumplings served with a homemade plum sauce, deep fried spring rolls filled with glass noodles, cabbage and crab meat and Tod Mun Pla, traditional Thai fishcakes, all accompanied by a sweet chilli sauce mixed with toasted peanut together with some special steamed rice dumplings filled with chicken and shallots,
It’s hard to pick a favourite, but I could happily have feasted all day on the little money-purse styled crisp fried prawn dumplings with their flaky shell stuffed full of a fragrant prawn mix. And, I’m always impressed by good Tod Mun Pla – when I’ve tried to make my own they have always ended up a little chewy.
Most of the ingredients at Nipa Thai are flown in twice a week from Asia, so you’ll find the dishes are garnished with special herbs and the seafood is excellent quality. I loved my Phad Kra Prao Koong – a stir-fried dish of prawns with chillies and basil leaves.
My companion picked the delicate and stunning Nor Mia Fa Rang Phad Hoy Shell – stir-fried fresh scallops with asparagus. I have to confess to a moment of jealousy when I saw the plate of plump and perfectly cooked scallops.
All washed down with well-balanced refreshing Chang beer, it was the perfect Thai feast.
A side dish of stir-fried mixed vegetables and some rice left us both almost ‘beyond’ dessert. And, I couldn’t quite manage to finish my Ice Tim Kluay Tod, deep fried banana topped with honey with a deliciously fragrant vanilla ice cream.
My companion’s Ka Nom Mali cheesecake looked beautiful and was probably a more sensible and lighter option with jasmine cheesecake accompanied by an elderflower sorbet.
We loved our dinner at Nipa Thai restaurant and now I am really looking forward to next week’s sensory experience. It is lead by Chang beer and showcases the Thai beer, steeped in heritage, tradition, and uses a distinctively Thai brewing method. The experience revolves around LaMiat, a gentle, sensitive Thai ethos that focusses on detail and continuous refinement in the pursuit of perfection. We are promised an immersive experience where we can learn more about the making of Chang beer. Even the water used to make Chang beer is deep-well, with the perfect mineral composition for brewing lager and so pure that it is also bottled and sold in Thailand.
If you’d like to join the event you can find more about timing through Chang Beer social media.
Official hashtags: #ChangSensoryTrails and #ChangBeer
The event will be held at Last Days of Shoreditch, 288 Old Street, London EC1V 9LA on Saturday 12th May between12 pm and 10 pm
Royal Lancaster London
Disclosure: I was a guest of Nipa Thai and this post is written in collaboration with Chang Beer UK.