I think Newcastle has been a bit of late bloomer when it comes to Thai food. To be honest, the whole of the North East has been a bit behind the times when it comes to food innovation and culture. That was until Newcastle City Centre become home to a thriving foodie scene establishing over the last few years. We’d especially been missing out on a decent Thai Restaurant, that was until our prayers were answered and Chaophraya came to town.
Thai cuisine is a simple yet a very clever combination of Eastern and Western influences. Sour, sweet, salty, bitter and spicy flavours tangle together to make dishes come alive. Thai food varies depending upon the area or region of Thailand the dish originates from. These regions include the north, northeast, south and central.
I had the pleasure of visiting Chaophraya when it first opened last year, you may remember my review here. I was kindly invited down by the team to review their latest set menu! As a reminder, Chaophraya is a restaurant inspired by the magical country of Thailand, bringing together classic Thai and distinct signature dishes, accompanied by a fantastic range of cocktails, wines and beers.
The rooftop restaurant situated in Newcastle intu’s Eldon Square’s Grey’s Quarter potentially marks the largest investment in the city’s restaurant scene, with its owners splashing out £1.5m on the venue and you can’t half tell. The minute you step into the venue, you’re graced with an oriental atmosphere. I bragged in my previous review about how stunning the interior is, second time around it doesn’t get any less magnificent. It’s contemporary, luxurious, glamorous and bright. The main restaurant overlooks Grey’s Monument, which is perfect for watching the world go by and people spotting. They do exclusively boast an outside terrace which is currently a sun trap in this gorgeous weather we’ve been having!
Myself and my Mam choose a table inside, with the best view within the whole restaurant. The staff at Chaophraya are so friendly and helpful, taking the time to offer recommendations and explain specific dishes for us! Whilst browsing the extensive menu, I choose the Watermelon Punch mocktail (£9) to wash down and my Mam went for glass of Rose (£13).
After much deliberation we decided to go for the Set Chaophraya Traditional Menu (£32 per person) which includes the following:
A selection of Chaophraya’s classic starters of Thai chicken tacos, Thai fish cakes, chicken spring rolls, red curry battered prawns and crispy duck salad. Served with a selection of Thai sauces.
Lime and Lemongrass Sorbet or Miang Kham Nasturtuim.
Chicken Green Curry, Beef Black Pepper Sauce and Belly Pork with Spices served with steamed jasmine rice.
First impressions, it’s a fantastic set menu. I was attracted to it by the sheer range of dishes. We choose the lime and lemon sorbet, for the intermediate course, as much as the miang kham nasturtuim sounded pleasurable we stuck to what we know. It’s a traditional Thai snack by the way!
After a short wait, our starter platter arrived. I’m not sure I really need to say much about this, I feel my images say it all. Delicious. Extraordinary. Beautiful. The food was placed out in a great fashion, and our waiter explained what was what. Each piece of the platter was ultra tasty, my favourites included the Thai chicken tacos which were divine and the red curry battered prawns.
The platter looked a lot but it was just the right amount, I was raring for the mains selection! The intermediate course, the lime and lemon sorbet was tarty yet so refreshing. I’m a big fan of sorbet, I’d have it as a dessert if I could and over ice cream! I thought it was a really nice touch in the set menu and really did cleanse one’s palette.
And then it was time for our mains. Again, I loved the fact that there was a range of dishes to try. I’m usually not very daring with Thai food at all and tend to always order Pad Thai but this set menu enabled me to try new things. The Chicken Green Curry was full of tangy flavours, the coconut milk complimented the courgettes. The Belly Pork was done to absolute perfection, I would have never have thought that cinnamon went that well with pork! My favourite out of the three has to be the Beef Black Pepper Sauce which is basically Stir-fried with black pepper sauce, garlic, onions and pepper, it was like a taste explosion in my mouth! The beef was melt in the mouth good. I was literally stealing it all from my Mam, she wasn’t pleased!
We couldn’t face dessert after we’d indulged in clearing every plate in front of us! Overall the food really was 5*, and I’d 100% recommend this restaurant to anyone. The atmosphere, the staff, the food, totally brilliant. We had a fantastic evening and already can’t wait to go back.