CHAOPHRAYA, NEWCASTLE

The city's latest Asian hotspot is a sleek and swanky place, serving up fun and flavoursome food with Thai twists at every turn

 

 

Hang out

A cool new addition to intu Eldon Square’s new and colourful range of restaurants. The shopping centre’s new dining quarter takes you on a culinary trip around the world and Chaophraya puts Thailand firmly on the map with a perfectly-sized menu, brimming with Asian-influenced small plates, platters and sophisticated mains. We were given a sneaky peek a few days before its official launch this Saturday (December 10) and dining among us were all kinds of folk; businessmen in sharp suits, dressed up ladies clinking champagne glasses and friends kicking-back with cocktails and tasty sharing bowls.

Decked out

It feels upscale – and it’s a lot bigger than you’d think. Lots of gleaming gold, mahogany tables, crisp white napkins, gorgeous lantern-style lighting and a sleek bar serving all kinds of Thai-inspired cocktails and bubbly. Nothing feels/looks cheap or gimmicky. And the panoramic views across Grey’s Monument, Grey Street and beyond are second-to-none. You can even see individual seats at St James’ Park. Nab a spot near the floor-to-ceiling windows and get that high-in-the-sky feeling.

Sip

Cocktails, fizz, beer, ales… all the usual tipples. The bar is gorgeous; small and tucked away in a quieter corner of the restaurant, but still really inviting and buzzy, ran by a team of well-dressed bartenders mixing and muddling all kinds of drinks.

Food matters

Small starters and sharing plates to kick off your meal (that’s how they do it in Thai culture), followed by a mix of traditional and innovative mains – from chicken pad thai and good old green curry to steamed seabass, spicy beef and duck tamarind. If you’re being good, there’s a good amount of lighter options too, including grilled tuna superfood salad and juicy king prawns with ginger. Desserts are really fun; there’s a ‘white chocolate box’, a hot, melty chocolate bomb, a meringue creation, Thailand’s answer to sticky toffee pudding and some really nice ice cream/sorbet options as well.

We ate

We started with the vegetarian sharing platter; a medium-sized plate of crispy veggie spring rolls, Thai veggie tacos, giant onion rings, tempura broccoli and courgette and a couple of traditional sweetcorn cakes. These really stood out; small patties of smushed fried corn, blended with red curry paste and a kick of lime. Great when dunked into the homemade sweet chilli sauce.
For mains, we opted for steamed seabass fillets, bathed in a fresh and zingy lemongrass, lime and coriander root dressing. The fish was cooked perfectly; light, flaky and bright white (just look out for a few bones). It came with a crunchy salad of yellow soy beans, sugar snap peas and chilli and mint. A real treat for the tastebuds – it made our nose run, but in a good way. Really invigorating. Our dining chum went for tofu pad thai – a neat stir-fry dish of soft Thai noodles in a tamarind sauce, joined by soft tofu, spring onions, carrots, sweet turnip and bean sprouts, topped with sweet pickled vegetables. A real winner – and portion-size was spot on.
We shared the mango meringue roll for dessert; a light and fluffy cloud, rolled and served with juicy Thai mangoes, a dusting of roasted almonds and lightly caramelised strawberries. We added a couple of scoops of peach and prosecco sorbet to the mix to finish things off – our new favourite.


chaophraya.co.uk

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