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A fresh take on Thai classics at Chang Thai

Chang Thai immerses patrons in a unique and unforgettable Thai journey

<p>Chang Thai left a lasting impression with its food, attentive service and authentic ambiance.&nbsp;</p>

Chang Thai left a lasting impression with its food, attentive service and authentic ambiance. 

Chang Thai offers a glimpse of Thailand —  it is a place where memories are made and flavors are explored. My friends and I had lunch at Chang Thai during a weekend outing. With recipes blending tradition and innovation, Chang Thai is a perfect gathering spot for friends eager to explore authentic cuisine in a welcoming atmosphere. 

Located at 1232 Emmet St., Chang Thai operates from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends. The restaurant offers an array of services, including dine-in, take-out, delivery, catering and private parties.

After a short shuttle ride from Grounds to the Barracks Road Shopping Center, my friends and I took a ten-minute walk to Chang Thai. We were greeted by warm smiles from the staff and enticing aromas wafting from the open kitchen. The dining area was adorned with traditional Thai-style cottage decor, which enhanced the authentic experience.

True to its motto — “Make good memories with Chang Thai" — the restaurant made a lasting impression on our taste buds. Every dish showcased the chefs' careful attention to detail and passion for Thai cuisine.

About ten minutes after placing our order, we began our meal with the Fried Calamari appetizer — a generous serving of 12 pieces for $9.99. The squid was tender, coated in a thin layer of flour and perfectly fried to achieve a non-greasy crispness. Combined with a signature Thai sweet and spicy sauce, the dish’s classical Thai flavor transported us to the bustling streets of Thailand's food markets.

The Tom Kha Soup came next, a classic Thai soup priced at $7.99. The first sips tasted unusual, as we initially felt that the typically sweet coconut milk had turned unexpectedly sour and salty. However, after a few more sips, we were captivated by the complex flavors, discovering a refreshing twist to the traditional recipe.

In between the sips of soup, we delved into the Papaya Salad, another highlight. Priced at $9.99, the salad was a symphony of textures and flavors, combining shreds of julienne green papaya with a medley of veggies. Drops of fermented fish sauce added depth to the fresh dish.

The first of the entrees, the Pineapple Fried Rice, priced at $15.99, was my personal favorite. As a fan of tropical fruit, the combination of succulent pineapple chunks and fried rice satisfied my cravings. The addition of basil and curry sauce — essential Thai flavors — harmonized with the pineapple's juicy sweetness, making every mouthful enlightening.

Not everything was perfect in our dining experience. The Red Curry, though reasonably priced at $14.99, did not meet our expectations. The Thai red curry failed to form a viscous sauce, lacking its usual characteristics. The chicken, our chosen protein, subsequently failed to absorb the red curry, leaving the dish bland. 

Our lunch concluded with the Crispy Whole Flounder, a seasonal offering at $18.99. A large serving size with a fulfilling taste, this last dish was worth the price. The fish itself was a visual and gastronomic spectacle. Crispy skin and tender flesh created vibrant layers of flavor and were complemented by a tangy chili and garlic sauce.

Chang Thai left a lasting impression with its food, attentive service and authentic ambiance. While we could not finish all the dishes we ordered, our servers graciously provided us with several to-go boxes. We brought the leftovers home, eager to revisit the flavors for dinner. 

With generous serving sizes and reasonable prices, especially when shared, Chang Thai stands out as a convivial gathering spot for food lovers. It is a must-visit for anyone seeking to indulge in the intricate flavors that define Thai cuisine. As we stepped out, it was clear that Chang Thai was a place where we would eagerly come again.

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