On Thursday 29th July, I had the pleasure of attending a dinner at the stunning Thai restaurant Chaophraya, as part of The Golden Chopsticks Awards, who are touring the country on a mission to celebrate Oriental cuisine across the UK.
Chaophraya is located in the heart of Glasgow city centre, on the bustling Buchanan Street. The moment you reach the entrance to the grand 1909 Townhouse building – once the Royal Academy of Music and Drama – you know you are about to step into something extraordinary.
Remarkably, Chaophraya is the largest Thai restaurant in Europe – but what is more impressive is how its vast space has been used. With high ceilings and four immaculately decorated floors, the opulent interiors hold an array of private and beautiful dining areas, each of them with a unique feel to suit special occasions.
The impressive surroundings are matched with an extensive, modern Thai menu that caters for everyone. From creative sharing platters to traditional ingredients, fragrant curries, and authentic Thai dishes, you get the feeling that anything brought to the table will be the right choice.
This time, dinner took place at Chaophraya’s largest private dining room, the Thai Ballroom, which is exquisitely decorated for a real Thai feel.
Our Thai dining experience started with a candle lighting ceremony, to honour Thai traditions and to set the mood for an intimate and special evening. We were about to experience one of their tasting menus, aptly called ‘Togetherness’.
The Prosecco started to flow, as did the engaging conversations and the most attentive service. I felt privileged to be in such a stunning dining area, in the presence of other influential bloggers and lovely personalities to share the experience with.
We were then presented with a generous Chaophraya Platter with a selection of classic starters: Thai chicken tacos, chicken satay, tempura prawns, spicy duck salad, and crispy chicken spring rolls. A feast to the eyes and the palate, full or flavours and textures, this was the perfect way to start the meal!
A banquet of main dishes followed, for everyone to enjoy: lamb Massaman, prawn Pad Thai, chicken with cashews, beef in black pepper sauce, with egg fried rice and stir-fried seasonal vegetables as accompanying side dishes.
The main dishes were all full of fresh and wonderful flavours. Highlights for me were: the deliciously marinated chicken with cashews, the prawn Pad Thai with its perfect balance of sweet and spicy notes, and the lamb Massaman with that creamy and luxurious sauce that is truly characteristic of a fragrant Thai curry.
We ended on a sweet note with a couple of superb desserts: a rich clementine tart perfectly complemented with vanilla ice cream, and a delightful chocolate fondant.
With such a rich and varied tasting menu, we really got an amazing grasp of the flavours from the beating heart of Thailand. The food and the drinks were aplenty, and the service was excellent. You know you are truly enjoying a feast when you feel like you cannot eat anymore, and yet you don’t want the meal to end!
Towards the end of the night, we were pleased to share a minute of chat with the Chef, who had the courtesy to come and greet us. His awe-inspiring stories of his experience with Thai food and the creation of Chaophraya’s menus were a joy to hear, and really added a layer of charm to this memorable evening.
I was at awe with the food at Chaophraya and the entire dining experience. I enjoyed every minute in the stunning Thai Ballroom, with the most welcoming atmosphere, the great flavours of Thai food and the best company to enjoy them with!
The evening gave me a sense of admiration for Thai temples, culture and cuisine, and I feel really inspired to travel there. Step aside, COVID, I need to go this wonderful Southeast Asian country!