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With the growth of chain restaurants throughout the country, neighborhood spots are now facing challenges to stay relevant. The combination of top-notch food and friendly service is essential, and the places excelling in these areas are often able to maintain a loyal fanbase of customers. Chang Thai & Asian Cuisine in Sherwood, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, is one of those restaurants.
“We love being a part of Sherwood and being able to offer our food to our neighbors and members of the community,” says Mam Kaewjuntawee of Chang Thai.
Diners can expect an expansive offering of vegetarian and meat options, with many recipes hailing from the central region of Thailand.
“Northern Thai dishes tend to be hot, salty, sour, and rarely sweet, while Northeastern Thai dishes are hot, salty, and sour. The Southern Thai dishes are spicier than other regions and Central Thailand has an international influence, which combines all the flavors from these regions. This makes the dishes complex and diverse,” says Kaewjuntawee.
While Chang Thai is popular in the Sherwood community, they also have a strong following throughout Central Arkansas. I, for one, have been known to make the 25-minute drive from my house.
“Many of our customers come from as far away as Jacksonville Air Force Base, Camp Robinson, Little Rock and even West Little Rock.”
Some of the more popular entrées include the Red, Green, and Panama curry, Pad Thai, Basil Stir Fry, Spicy Beef Thai Salad, Lard Nar (a noodle dish), Pad Woon Sen (glass noodles), and Tom Kha and Tom Yum soups. The Mieng Kham appetizer, a seasonal offering made with betel leaf and toasted coconut, ginger, lime, and cashew nuts, is a huge hit, but so too are the fried spring rolls, steamed dumplings, pan-fried dumplings, and fried tofu. Just make sure to save room for the Mango Sweet Sticky Rice for dessert.
And the cool part is that folks can choose their preferred level of spiciness for each dish.
“We have a 1-10 level of spice, with 1 being the mildest and 10 the spiciest. We recommend a medium level of spice of about 3-4 for our patrons. If a dish needs more spice, one can always add chili powder. Curries have a natural level of spice, so the lowest spice is level 1.”
I generally hover in the 2-3 range, but, admittedly, am a bit of a wimp when it comes to extreme spicy foods. I enjoy a little heat but not so much as to overwhelm the dish. The bottom line is this, spicy or not spicy, Chang Thai’s food is fantastic. If you have been, then you probably agree, and if you have not, then please check out this neighborhood gem. There is a lot to love about it.
Chang Thai & Asian Cuisine
9830 AR-107 (Sherwood)
Current Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-8 pm. (takeout only)
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