Graduate Dining: Chaophraya
If the idea of a meat-and-two-veg style meal after your graduation doesn’t appeal, then this gourmet Thai restaurant might be right up your street. Leeds Student‘s Victoria Gray has tried it out for you…
Located in an elegant building next to the train station, Chaophraya has a very sleek, yet still authentically Thai feel to it. The restaurant takes its name from Chaophraya river which runs through the heart of Thailand, and this inspiration is followed through by the wall decorations and ornaments that adorn the restaurant’s main room.
The food too is faithful to its Thai roots, and so varied that it can suit any palate. With an affordable lunch menu and an evening time a la carte, there is such a range of choice ranging between well-known Thai dishes such as Pad Thai or Thai Green Curry, and more uncommon yet equally delicious Massaman Lamb Curry that it’s almost difficult to choose.
The food is faithful to its Thai roots, and so varied that it can suit any palate
Choosing a set menu, which range between £28.50 and £40.50 per person, for a minimum of two people, we were offered a fantastic sample of what is on offer – the thing to remember with Thai food is that it is always more fun to share, and all three set menus feature five appetisers and four main courses, along with rice, this is very easy. We chose the £28.50 menu on the basis that we would be able to manage it between two people, and ended up trying nine of the restaurants’ best dishes.
Our starters consist of what one would expect of a Thai restaurant, and we sampled chicken spring rolls, tempura prawns, chicken satay, prawn toast and Thai chicken pieces – deep fried chicken wings. Although just as greasy as your local takeaway, the standard of these appetisers was startling, and dipping them into their accompanying sauces was the perfect way to start the meal and get us warmed up for the main courses.
Presentation is key at Chaophraya, and it was with this in mind that we tucked into our main dishes: Thai green curry, stir fried beef in oysters sauce, tofu pad Thai and duck sautéed with Thai roasted chilli, accompanied by jasmine rice. The table was filled with beautiful dishes, and it was difficult to know where to start, but once you begin mixing the flavours of the different dishes together, it is difficult to decide when you are finished.
The table was filled with beautiful dishes, and it was difficult to know where to start
All four dishes however were infused with flavour, the meats (and tofu) delicately fried with sauces that clearly had been prepared from scratch. The beef particularly was a treat for the tongue with tender meat mixed with vegetables in a succulent oyster sauce. What was most delightful was to sample dishes together, and conversation over what mixes with what can be never ending. While the size of our set menu between two people left little room for dessert, a good range of Thai style desserts and more westernised ones appears to be a fantastic conclusion to any Chaophraya meal.
Chaophraya is just the right combination of sophisticated and authentic to provide a fantastic setting for any triumphant graduation, and what’s more they are offering a free glass of Prosecco to everybody in a graduation party. For any more information visit their Facebook page facebook.com/chaophrayathai or Twitter @chaophrayathai