I’m no restaurant critic (though I love writing a snarky review on Tripadvisor about a terrible experience as much as the next person), but it was pretty good. The building is incredible and my first thought as I walked in was “I wish I wasn’t carrying a Tesco carrier bag…”. There is a small army of staff on hand to get you in and upstairs to the main dining room, though it’s a pity many of them preferred to huddle together, chatting, than y’know, actually taking our order.
The food though, was pretty good and authentic, too. I feel qualified to comment on that given my time living in Bangkok. The thing that had me harking back to those days most was the smell – it smelled just like a Thai restaurant in Thailand does – which is quite a vague and abstract thing to quantify, so I won’t try. Trust me, it does.
I had my absolute favourite Thai dish, sweetcorn fritters. These were super-crispy and just right. And a rather generous portion (though at £7.95, I should jolly well think so). My main course of spiced pork belly was also really tasty, though a bit too hot for my liking. I had intended to ask for it without the fresh chillies, but was distracted when ordering as I had a bit of dust in my eye. I went off to the toilets to break out the Optrex just after ordering and realised my mistake. Then I got stuck in a toilet cubible for a few minutes due to some shonky ironmongery on the doors – I was momentarily panicked but managed to get some super-human Hulk strength to help me wrench the door open before Marceline wondered where I was.
My work colleague and fashion blogger extraordinaire, Kirsty, has written all about it having been on a jolly there earlier in the year. It’s pretty swanky but I don’t think I’d hurry back unless it was a special occasion (ie, someone else was paying).
For old time’s sake, here’s some of my photos of the real Chao Phraya:
Le sigh. I wish I was there right now!