Chaophraya Thai restaurant on Birmingham’s Spiceal Street is one of those eateries that I have always wanted to try, but have never quite got around too. But this changed last Thursday when I was invited to sample the Father’s Day menu, and get to make a traditional spring roll from scratch.
The Chaophraya restaurant is a stunning place, with a sleek, modern interior and a fabulous sun terrace which was perfect for what was an almost tropical night. The restaurant has two floors, one of which had been reserved for our table, and had cooking stations set up, initially for a cocktail making session where we were given instructions on how to make a strawberry mojito. This proved to be great fun, and the completed cocktail was indeed delicious and refreshing.
The Father’s Day special menu is great value, with two courses priced at £14.95 per person. We were treated to samples of two of the starters, the Chicken Satay and the Chicken Tom-Kha. The satay was delicious, soft grilled chicken with a tasty peanut sauce. I love satay skewers and this was a great example – something I would definitely order. The Chicken Tom-Kha was a coconut based soup with lemongrass, chilli, lime leaves and straw mushrooms. I loved the creamy taste of the soup, especially as the lemongrass wasn’t overpowering. I hate mushrooms, so wouldn’t choose this, but the soup itself was delightful.
The third starter option is the Spring Roll, and this was where things turned very interesting, as we got to make our own, with instructions from the Chaophraya chef. It is surprising just how much work, and how many ingredients go into the making of a spring roll, but I have to say that although not perfect, I was really pleased with my finished product, which, incidentally, was totally yummy.
It was then back to our table to sample the main dishes. These were Panang Beef Curry, with the softest beef and just a slight kick of chilli, Massaman Lamb Curry – not for me as I’m not a fan of lamb, but the sauce was almost like a delicious gravy, and with potato and lamb in the mix this is the nearest you will get to a Thai Sunday roast. The Thai green curry is an absolute classic, and this was that perfect blend of cream and heat that Thai curries are famous for. The Tofu and Pineapple Curry is a great, interesting vegetarian option, great for sweet and sour fans, tangy and appetizing.
My own personal favourite of the main courses was the sublime Thai red prawn curry. With meaty prawns that had been cooked to perfection, and a sauce that was not too sweet or creamy, this is a dish with just the right amount of bite, definitely one I would order again and again.
The whole menu is well thought out and has dishes that work really well and definitely satisfy. A special menu must be given to the amazing Espresso Martini which was gloriously decadent. If you are still deciding where to take dad this Father’s Day, check out Chaophraya.