Chaophraya, as their website boldly states, supposedly offers ‘the ultimate Thai fine dining experience.’
Housed in the building above Sam’s Chop House on Chapel Walks, the décor is certainly impressive. It would take pretty special food to live up to the surroundings – sadly I did not feel this was the case, on the strength of my lunchtime visit.
I took advantage of their set price lunchtime deal of two courses for £10.50; supplemented with a Papaya Salad.
To start I selected the Tempura Vegetables – I found the batter to be average at best. The accompanying ‘sweet & sour plum sauce’ was far more sweet than sour. If I was in the habit or rating food out of ten this dish would struggle to score more than a five. Local chain Tampopo serves a much better batter in my opinion.
For my main I opted for the Tofu Pad Thai Noodles. The dish consisted of stir-fried rice noodles with egg, carrot, spring onion, sweet turnip and bean sprouts served with ground peanuts and lemon. I found the whole thing a little stodgy and bland. Another five.
My Papaya Salad proved to be a little better - if feeling generous I’d give it a seven. The component ingredients (shredded papaya, carrot, tomato and lettuce) were fresh and crisp. A few more peanuts for added texture and a greater quantity of lime and chilli would’ve added some welcome zing and taken the edge of the over sweet palm sugar sauce. I enjoyed the sticky rice balls served on the side.
I would be interested to go back one evening with a group of people to see if my opinion changes.