Eldon Square, the heart of Newcastle has seen its fair share of new restaurants lately and the dedicated food hall has welcomes the jewel in the crown. Sitting in prime position with views spanning most of Newcastle city Center Chaophraya is most certainly a welcome addition to the North East.
My love of Asian food is second to none and if I was told I could only eat one type of food for the rest of my life, well, pass me the spring rolls and pad Thai!
You would be forgiven for not being able to find Chaophraya at first glance as it is tucked away towards the end of Eldon Square, it wasn’t until leaving that we realised you could enter via the lift too which opens up into a sprawling entrance filled with decorative elephants, Buddhas and reception desk. Having read a couple of reviews that were slightly critical of delays, attendance etc we were anticipating something completely different to the visit we received.
We were shown to our table which was smack bang in the middle of the floor to ceiling windows over looking the monument, sheer perfection. The light was starting to dim and I can only imaging how beautiful this would be on a summer night or even at Christmas with the twinkling lights, I love to people watch so this was the ideal position for our date night! Most of the tables were full which was lovely to see as obviously word has spread about how beautiful it is!
Having ordered a glass of wine and coke (Stuart was driving) which arrived swiftly along with prawn crackers and sweet chilli dipping sauce we set about deciding what to order. I knew full well as soon as I saw there was softshell crab and prawn tempura what I would be choosing and hubby went with the chicken satay, both starters arrived within approx 10 minutes which I think is great for a very busy restaurant. The seafood was amazing and although a little puzzled at the tempura asparagus and onion rings they were delicious too so no complaints here.
Stuart said the chicken was beautifully tender and kept questioning how they made it – I can see he is going to put me on a mission to make them at home!
When the choice for main had to be made I swayed from my usual pad Thai (I know, I even shocked myself!) and opted for the lamb teriyaki with a side dish of coconut rice – simply amazing! The lamb was served with a selection of 3 sauces and seasonal vegetables, the meat fell off the bone and I have to admit to going caveman and picking up the bones to finish every last morsel!
Stuart chose the pad Thai (well one of us had to really didn’t we!) and said it was the best he had ever tried, it looked lovely and I did resist pinching a fork full while he wasn’t looking!
Although full we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try dessert, Stuart chose the chocolate bomb which was one of those desserts you pour hot sauce over and the outer shell melts. Very impressive to watch and apparently beautiful tasting too, with Thai whiskey ice-cream, honey and toasted sesame popcorn center topped with hot caramel sauce.
I opted for the chocolate box which, having chosen white chocolate only to be told they were sold out, turned out to be a dark chocolate treat! Oh my goodness, I received a dark chocolate mousse with raspberry coulis on butter shortbread served with a mini macaroon and passion fruit syrup – the whole plate was a feast for the eyes!
Our server for the night was Gregory who was so attentive, made sure our drinks were topped up, asked us if we were happy with our courses and was there but not overwhelmingly so all night. We were both very impressed and most certainly will be back soon!
Disclaimer: We were kindly gifted our meal and drinks for the purposes of this review. All views and opinions are my own and genuine.