THE word “chang” in Thai means elephant, and elephants symbolize happiness and good fortune much like what one gets after eating a wonderful meal. One cafe gives one just that: food that will make him feel happy and eat with an appetite like that of an elephant.
Chang Thai Cafe is the newest go-to place for any Thai food craving. Each dish is specially cooked by the owner Cecille Codoy Williams, who moved from Cebu to Thailand as early as 13 years old spending half of her life there before coming back to her hometown bringing Thai cuisine.
“I brought it to Cebu because this is my hometown. I was brought up here. I left but I like it here. I love Thailand but being home is different,” said Cecille.
This Cebuana studied culinary arts in Thailand and Bali due to her passion in cooking which she later on pursued on her own while inhaling the rich culture and spices of Thailand.
“I studied in Thailand but I wasn’t really serious about it. So, I had to start from scratch, self-study and then took a few courses,” Cecille said.
“Everywhere I go, I love to cook. I lived in Bali for almost four months and then every day was like surfing, eating and drinking. So what I did was I actually enrolled for a short course there so I know how to cook Indonesian food as well.”
Cecille admitted that it’s hard to compromise with the local Filipino palate when it comes to authentic Thai cuisine. Thai food tastes best when the spice is intense. Unfortunately, after opening her cafe, she realized that Filipinos can’t quite handle the usual kick Thai dishes offer.
“Pet nik noy” is what one should say in Thailand if he wants his food to have just a little bit of kick. But Cecille admitted that there’s really not much difference when it comes to Thai food in Thailand because mild is still really hot and that’s the way it tastes best.
“The thing about Thailand is that when you say ‘nik noy,’ which means just mild, it’s still the same. Everywhere they go they eat chili. They even have a snack which I call ‘the bomb,’ because when you take a bite it explodes in your mouth and it’s very spicy,” said Cecille.
Cecille is also offering a cooking workshop for two weeks with four three-hour lessons where students will be able to learn eight Thai dishes and enjoy them with a glass of wine after every session.
The cafe is located at Epark, Talamban, Cebu City which is along the road beside the Banilad Gymnasium. For a wonderful dining experience, it is advisable to book ahead and inform the owner through its Facebook page so the food can be prepared ahead of time.