Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Thursday, March 15, 2018

What's the food like at Chaophraya?

soft shell crab and prawn tempura, Chaophraya, Newcastle upon Tyne, Review, Mandy Charlton, Photographer, writer, blogger

A couple of weeks ago when the Beast from the East hit the first time (yes, I know, it's heading for us again this weekend) I was going on a date to Chaophraya, at the last minute Abigail decided she wanted to come along instead and so we had a mama/daughter Sunday lunch date.  She's since declared that she's never coming with me again to review restaurants as she hates the fact that I photograph everything before she's allowed to eat it, Abigail, if you're reading this, that's kind of the point!

Chaophraya is the high end brand to Thaikhun's street food brand, it's Thai done well in luxurious surroundings, it's not opulent and it's not The Ivy, it is after all a chain restaurant but it's situated right at the top of Eldon Square and even has an outdoor terrace with views of Grey's Monument, it's also glass on both sides so you can sit and watch the world below you as you dine from above.

I should state now that Abigail is a vegetarian so she decided that she would try three courses from the lunch menu and I would go with the a la carte with some particularly meaty choices.

The menu is actually pretty big with so much choice but as soon as I spotted the prawn and soft shell crab tempura I knew that was the one for me, Abigail started with sweetcorn fritters knowing she'd had the same kind of thing when we'd visited Thaikhun and they really are the same, they're just a little bigger.

The Tempura however was huge, I could have shared it as a starter and when I next go I'll remember not to order it unless I'm sharing as by the time I got to the main I struggled to get even half way through the delicious lamb Massoman curry.  Abigail had no problem at all with all three courses choosing the Pad Thai for mains and then sticky toffee pudding for dessert, I enviously looked on but couldn't manage even one mouthful.  

I'll be honest, the food was absolutely delicious and we paired it with some non-alcoholic cocktails which were so tasty, the only thing that bothered me was the fact that the dessert bowl was chipped in a couple of places, I know it's a minor niggle but it's not what I would expect from a high end brand.

Now the food even on the a la carte menu isn't particularly expensive and if you had a 3 course meal for two with non-alcoholic cocktails you would easily come home with change from £100, adding in cocktails at just under £10 each though and you'd need to find slightly deeper pockets if you're particularly partial to several rounds of drinks.

The staff at Chaophraya are so attentive and each time they passed the table they asked if there was anything else they could get us or did we want more food, more drinks and that's lovely but maybe they were a little too attentive, sometimes you just want to be left to enjoy conversation although it could be that they weren't particularly busy due to the heavy snow that had fallen in Newcastle in the proceeding week.

I'd definitely go for another meal at Chaophraya but next time I'll make sure it's a real date because that's the kind of place it is, it's cosy and it's intimate and you could spend the whole night there, and I think it will be especially lovely on a light summer evening if you can get a table on the terrace.

Chaophraya does get extremely busy at weekends, I know because I've tried to book a table with no chance at the last minute to book ahead and prepare to be wowed by the authentic Thai cuisine.

Abigail and I were gifted the meal and drinks in exchange for an honest review!

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