Luxury Thai restaurant chain Chaophraya which has seven UK wide branches including one in Leeds, have transformed their dining experience with the introduction of a new revolutionary menu and re-brand. Fusing culinary imagination with fine cuisine, Chaophraya's new menu delivers a sophisticated edge to Thai dining, offering an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary dishes from across Thailand, with particular influence from Chiang Mai, the Maeklong River, Kanchanaburi and the Chaophraya itself which runs through central Bangkok.
Last week I was invited to sample the new menu for myself and discover Chaophrayas new culinary treats. Thai food is by far one of my favourite cuisines, my diet at home tends to be more Asian influenced than European as I love the flavours and I feel that Asian spices, especially Thai spices really help to add depth and excitement to often dull uninspired vegetarian dishes without being too overpowering. Chaophraya's new menu consists of a range of meat based and vegetarian dishes, still paying homage to traditional Thai favourites such as Thai red curries and Pad Thai's, as well as being innovative with new and exciting dishes. The menu also has a range of new cocktails and desserts.
While I was tempted to try something a little bit different for starter, I decided to opt for vegetarian spring rolls as they are my favourite and as I have had them before on the old menu, I was keen to discover whether they would be any different. One thing I immediately noticed when they arrived was that more thought had been put into the presentation this time - it was more sophisticated. The spring rolls themselves tasted as brilliantly as before - light flaky pastry with very little grease and a mouth-wateringly good sweet chili sauce.
For main course I decided to go with a new addition to the Chaophraya menu, the red vegetable curry with vegetarian duck. Vegetarian duck can be a little hit or miss at times, it's either succulent and juicy or like chewing a hard rubber - it's usually one extreme or the other, with no in between phase. Because of this I was little apprehensive about my main course arriving, however having dined at Chaophraya countless of times, I knew I could trust them to deliver a great meal. The red curry arrived at my table served in a beautiful black serving dish with a portion of jasmine rice on the side, yet again paying close attention to the level of detail in their presentation, in keeping with their new fine dining expectations. The dish itself was full of flavour with a gentle heat coming from the spices and the vegetarian duck was so moist that it flaked in my mouth and left me wanting more. It was a light, yet filling dish and left me incredibly satisfied yet with room for dessert if I wanted it. I will definitely be ordering this again.
After eating two really full courses, I decided to try the mango sorbet for dessert. The sorbet arrived in a simple glass bowl- which to be honest left me feeling a little bit let down after the presentation of the first two courses, but overall it did taste great (juicy and fresh) and that is all that really matters.
If you're looking for an upmarket Thai restaurant which offers luxury at affordable prices, I would really recommend trying Chaophraya for yourselves. I have been to three of their restaurants and have never been disappointed and their menu is better than ever before. Dishes are priced from £6.50 for starters, £10.50 for mains and £7.50 for desserts.
Have you been to any of the Chaophraya restaurants before?