Slap bang in the middle of Spiceal Street and right next to the infamous Bullring, Chaophraya is an upmarket Thai gem in the heart of the city.
The place isn’t hard to miss, its huge glass windows spill light out onto a rather majestic entrance which boasts impressive flaming heaters and exterior tables. Inside, Chaophraya is literally full of light, in the most welcoming way possible. The layered ceiling glows with subtle orange lighting that flows throughout that place. It’s actually quite spectacular. Scattered throughout the venue are weird and wonderful wooden Thai statues, adding that extra bit of tradition to this very modern restaurant. We were lucky enough to be seated upstairs next to the ginormous window, thus dined with a rather pleasant view, another little treat Chaophraya has to offer.
The Food and Drink
The menu is full of tempting authentic Thai numbers, and the staff - who were the most welcoming people I have ever met - are more than happy to recommend you dishes if you are unsure of what might tickle your taste buds. Opting for the Massaman tofu with a well recommended side of Jasmine rice, thi dish may well have been one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. And for those who don’t trust me because I eat tofu, my dining partner had the Massaman lamb and agrees – she literally wiped her plate clean. With both dishes costing less than £10 each, this fashionable eatery won’t leave a giant hole in your pocket.
We also indulged in some authentic Thai cocktails, choosing a Chaophraya River; a blend of Thai whisky, Peach Schnapps and Blue Curacao with some zesty orange and passion fruit juices (it was the bluest thing I have ever seen, but also extremely tasty). And, a Sangplungpra-a-tid. If you aren’t feeling brave even to attempt that name – which I wasn’t, it is also known as simply, Sunshine. Sunshine was a fantastically fruity treat with a mix of Tanqueray gin, strawberry and orange liqueurs plus plenty of pineapple, mango and lemon. But if you are looking for a tamer tipple, Chaophraya also have a superb selection of wines, draft beers, liqueurs, classic cocktails; the list goes on.
Despite being a week night, the restaurant was filled with couples, after work cocktails and family dinners out – as in you or I on a family dinner with our parents, not screaming kids and crayons. The place has a really relaxed atmosphere, with gentle music playing and ambient lighting creating a modern, sophisticated venue that still has that all importantly friendly vibe. Plus with staff so polite and helpful, it was easy to sit back and just enjoy the place.
Chaophraya’s amazing food, more-ish cocktails and fabulous interiors make it a real treat of a place to visit. But what really makes the place stand out is its staff, who not only provide excellent service, but genuinely want to ensure you have enjoyed every moment of your evening. Chaophraya is a definitely one to add the list of places you have got to try in Birmingham.