Minggu, 11 September 2016

A voyage of discovery at Chaophraya...

Thai and Tacos are not usually two words you can expect to find together, but my visit to Thai restaurant Chaophraya in Manchester recently for the unveiling of a new menu, was all about expecting the unexpected.
After a warm welcome, we were whisked past statues and a twinkling light feature, to a candlelit table where we nibbled Thai prawn crackers with sweet chilli sauce as we consulted the menu. The evening was a chance to sample the brand new menu, filled with tempting Thai and fusion dishes.

We learned all about the ethos behind the menu, which takes you on a journey through both classic and contemporary dishes, Chaophraya takes its name from the main waterway in Thailand and there are some classic Thai dishes to choose from as well as plenty of inventive dishes.

A rubies and diamonds cocktail started the evening on a refreshing note, with pama pomegranate liqueur, cranberry juice and Pinot Grigio garnished with pomegranate seeds. The range of appetitsers all sounded good, such as Thai fish cakes, soft shell crab and squid tempura and chicken spring rolls. We shared a range of starters, Thai tacos, chicken satay and sweetcorn cakes.

Each of these delivered bold and interesting flavours, the chicken satay was tender and the sweetcorn cakes were surprisingly hearty.

The stand out dish was the Thai chicken tacos, which wowed with so much incredible flavour despite their diminutive size. Delicate coconut milk, lemongrass and a touch of chilli gave the red curried chicken an irresistible quality, served on a soft petal of doughy rice flour taco.

For mains, we again shared several dishes as recommended, to experience diverse flavours. Spicy fried rice with chicken and basil, topped with a perfectly cooked fried egg was a satisfying dish served in a street food style with plenty of garlic running through it.

Chicken pad Thai (the national dish of Thailand) was sensational, with heaps of stir fried rice noodles in tamarind sauce with chicken, spring onions, carrots, eggs, tofu and beansprouts. We drizzled this with fresh lime juice and the garnish of ground peanut dust and tangy pickled vegetables gave this dish further depth of flavour.

We continued our journey through the menu with Thai green chicken curry, which had a mix of exotic layers and an appealing sweetness brought in by the fluffy coconut rice we chose to accompany this.

A showstopping Shiraz ‘The Black Craft’ from the Barossa valley in Australia was a good wine pairing for the meal, the spicy richness of this red sat well with the food and there was a great wine selection on offer with plenty of red, white and sparkling to  choose from.

It was time for dessert and a melting chocolate bombe filled with Thai whiskey ice cream, honey and toasted sesame popcorn drew gasps as the chocolate sphere melted beneath rivers of hot caramel sauce poured over it. The taste was just as impressive as the spectacle, Thai whiskey added a boozy indulgence against the chocolate and the popcorn and meringue gave the dish added texture.

A panna cotta of young coconut set cream was a light contrast to the chocolate dessert, with bright flavours of berry compote and a lime and lemongrass sorbet working well with the creamy panna cotta.

We settled back to appreciate the amazing range of flavours we had experienced as I sipped a Mexican Pudding dessert cocktail of Ron Zacapa, Frangelico, cream, Agave, espresso and chocolate.

This was more of a sensory experience than simply a meal and I loved the authenticity of the dishes, which communicated the essence of Thailand in terms of understated exoticism. We had a lovely evening at Chaophraya, characterised by warm, friendly service and excellent food with exquisite flavours.

19 Chapel Walks, 
M2 1HN

0161 832 8342

What do you all think, have you dined at Chaophraya and which of these dishes would you like to try? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post.

Until next time,


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