Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Chaophraya Glasgow Review

I mentioned already that we went to the new Thai restaurant, Chaophraya.  It only opened last week and is apparently Europe's largest Thai restaurant.  It is situated over 4 floors of the gorgeous Townhouse building in the centre of town which was previously wasted as a horrible shop selling cheap tat.  They have obviously spent a lot of money doing it up and restoring it to its former glory and added a lot of Thai style touches with golden Buddhas and elephants.

The main entrance hallway

We started off having a couple of drinks in the bar (we'd checked on-line before going out to see if they had any tables for dinner but there was no availability) and I went straight to the cocktail menu :)  As cocktails in Glasgow go, they were pricey but very tasty!  The Palm Sugar bar was nicely decorated and quite large with a few different areas on one side of the building.

I love back-lit bars :)

We started with a Chaophraya River (delish and more refreshing than I expected) and Nik had a Mahwah Iced Tea

 Followed by the Made In Thailand (my favourite with proper Thai flavours, yum!) and a Mojito (also delish but a bit too sweet for a Mojito)

While in the bar we thought we'd ask if there was any chance of a table later on in case of any cancellations.  Nik went out to the main desk to ask and was told they would check but then they immediately started dealing with other people.  After he hung around for a while he gave up and came back through to sit down but when we heard someone else come into the bar asking for a table he went back out to ask again (we didn't want to miss out to someone else if there was a table available!) and was told to have a seat back in the bar.  Eventually another (very friendly and helpful) woman came over to ask us if we wanted to go upstairs as they had a table we could have.  We weren't actually hungry yet and were hoping for a table in about an hour, she then went to check and returned shortly to say that wouldn't be a problem and gave us a pager for when our table would be ready at around 8pm.

All the staff were well presented and friendly, only the woman on the reception desk was a bit flustered but it was very busy.  We had thought it would be a simple case of checking her computer to see if there was a table available but it seemed to be a bit more complicated than that.  We were very happy to get a table though and it was definitely worth the kerfuffle.  The food was amazing!

Lovely alstromerias on the table

Glass doors to the kitchen
(I like being able to see into the kitchen in a restaurant)
The menu was massive.  There was the a la carte, a special Scottish/Thai fusion menu and a list of set menus.  On this occasion we decided to go for the a la carte as we weren't hungry enough (we had breakfast and lunch late) for the set menu - although we'd love to try this next time as you get to taste a few dishes.  We did get the Asian appetiser platter (swapping the chicken satay for chicken & prawn toast since we're both allergic to peanuts) to start which was amazing!  It had 3 dips (although one looked suspiciously satay-like so I asked and it was swiftly removed!), the toast, a duck and pomegranate salad (not something I'd usually order but actually really liked although it was the spiciest so I only managed a tiny bit), prawn tempura which were huge prawns and delicious batter with black sesame seeds in, chicken spring rolls and marinated pork with honey and Thai herbs which was my favourite, so tasty and fragrant.

For mains, I had the Crispy Pork Belly with Thai Basil stir fry dish (a chef's signature dish) with sticky rice.  It was very tasty but the sauce was a little too hot for me so I picked out the pork and green beans and added it to the rice, rather than adding my rice to the plate.  Nik had the Spicy Fried Rice with Beef and Basil which was also very fragrant and delicious but I would never have managed to eat more than a few bites as his was even hotter than mine.  I think when we return (which we most certainly will) I will ask for my next dish to be made milder if possible (I have my eye on the lamb shank yellow curry!)  I had a glass of Chardonnay and Nik had Pinot Grigio, both were lovely but Nik's wasn't very cold.  We also had a bottle of sparkling water.

Nik's Beef fried rice with a fried egg and cooling cucumber

My Pork Belly stir fry with sticky rice, garnished with pork scratchings.

The ladies bathroom was clean and nicely decorated as per the rest of the building.

The stairs had retained their original features including the composers' names from when it was the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and had many Thai touches added with more Buddhas and elephants.

Overall, we loved it and plan to go back, it might even be an ideal venue for the ODP if it wasn't so pricey in the bar.  They have separate areas for private dining on the 3rd floor and there's even one private table on a little balcony overlooking the main restaurant area which can be booked for a special evening on a set menu with fizz.  It wasn't a cheap evening as we had indulged in the cocktails before dinner and the food is a little on the pricey side but it was very good quality, tasted authentic and the atmosphere was buzzing - it was definitely worth the cost.  Our final bill came to £86 including our 4 cocktails so was around £50 for dinner for two with wine.

Chaophraya Restaurant and Palm Sugar Bar on Urbanspoon


Lynsey said...

Looks amazing! I've been admiring it on Buchanan street for a few weeks, think I'll be paying it a visit after payday :-) x

Lisa said...

We've been to the one in Liverpool a few times it's really nice! X

B. Lisel said...

Was thinking about going there for our anniversary in a few days - it looks gorgeous but is it the type of restaurant where you could *really* dress up and not look out of place? We're thinking either Chaophraya or Gandolfi fish and I'm desperate to wear heels (for once!)

Bex said...

Hi B,

Yes you can definitely get dressed up and wear heels here! Especially on a weekend :)

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