Imbibe a sapid brew of good vibes and more when Chang Sensory Trails 2017 finally arrives in Singapore next weekend, marking the last stop in the global movement which kicked off in London 2 months ago.
Helmed by celebrity chef couple, Bo Songvisava and Dylan Jones, the entire experience is designed to be a golden marriage of delectable Thai cuisine, smooth brew, and the easy, unceremonious ambience that becomes increasingly important as the holidays draw to an end.
The gastronomy landscape in Singapore is no stranger to the appeal of Thai cuisine. From the ubiquitous reputation of Golden Mile’s offerings to a series of fine dining along the pier bay, there is something that concretizes it as a perennial favourite. We speak to the power tandem behind Bo.Lan, recently ranked 19th in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, to find out more about their journey, tips for those looking at Bangkok for a quick getaway, and the upcoming trail.
PS: How did everything start for the both of you? What were some of the inspirations to focus on Thai cuisine?
Dylan: I was always restless in school and not very scholastic. I enjoyed cooking and figured it was a good career option if I wanted to travel. It was how complex and nuanced the cuisine was, it was all so new and there was so much to learn that really sucked me in.
Bo: I found that food could deliver happiness and I wanted to be a vehicle for that. [Later] I realised through my dissertation that I knew nothing of Thai cuisine.
PS: Thai food has always been lauded for being cheap without compromising on quality. Was it tricky to adapt this to fine dining?
I think this is a massive misconception – no good food is cheap. Sure, it doesn’t have to be expensive but I would never say it’s cheap. Thai food is no different. Good Thai food takes time, and good Thai ingredients have a higher cost.
PS: Is it difficult to balance family and work, especially when it involves Asian values/backgrounds that traditionally prioritises family?
Yes, it is bloody difficult, but seeing how we also share some western values, so it’s about finding the time when you can. Then again, no one has ever opened and operated a restaurant with the intent of having a normal family-work balance.
PS: What would be the biggest change since being nominated for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants?
We have realised that we have to be more determined and focused on getting our message of sustainability and responsible consumerism out there because lists and acknowledgements tend to dilute or take away from that message.
PS: Up to this point, what would be your careers’ top highlights?
That we are still together is pretty amazing.
PS: What advice would you give for newcomers to the culinary industry?
Never give up. Don’t think you know it all, and stick to your guns. The moment you loosen your own morals is the moment you’ve lost.
PS: Any tips or hidden gems for people who are planning a trip to Thailand soon?
When? 7 to 8 July, 4pm onwards
The Promontory, 11 Marina Blvd, Singapore 018940
Entry is complimentary
All photos credit to Chang Beer Facebook
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