Monday, 30 January 2017

Intu Eldon Square: Grey's Quarter - Chaophraya

One restaurant in Eldon Square's Grey Quarter got so much local press that I was itching to go months before it even opened! Chaophraya sits on the very top floor of Eldon Square and with its luxury interior, stunning view and beautiful menu, it can only be described as the Penthouse of Grey's Quarter.

I was invited along to VIP opening night for an evening of menu exploring and cocktail testing in what promised to be the party of the year!

Intu Eldon Square: Grey's Quarter - Chaophraya


Important business first - how on earth do you pronounce Chaophraya? After months of calling it "the Thai restaurant at the top of Eldon Square" I really need to learn how to pronounce its name to save myself a red face. Any help is gratefully received.

Making our way up the "secret staircase" (not that secret really, you'll find it next to TGI Fridays!) we made our way into the restaurant and were immediately met by a real treat for the senses. Delicious smells were drifting out of the kitchen, happy chatter was in the air and everywhere we looked were plush booths, beautiful flowers and excited faces.

The restaurant is huge with ornate water features, black granite and opulent décor - Chaophraya made quite an impression before we even got to our table.

Intu Eldon Square: Grey's Quarter - Chaophraya


Photo by Chaophraya

Our party of four were shown to a plush white leather booth in the main restaurant which made us feel extra fancy and we quickly set to work at browsing the extensive menu whilst snacking on prawn crackers.

As a nut allergy sufferer I have to be so careful when I dine in Thai restaurants but I immediately felt at ease when I noticed that the menu was marked with little "n" symbols so I could see what I was able to have. Living with a food allergy isn't fun and it was great to be able to relax.

Intu Eldon Square: Grey's Quarter - Chaophraya Menu


Photo by Chaophraya

The starter menu is extensive and, if you're eating in traditional Thai style, it's a fun idea to eat "family style" by ordering a few dishes and sharing them with your nearest and dearest - one of my favourite ways to eat!

We decided to order our own dishes on this visit and I chose the Chaophraya Ka Nom Jeeb (£7.00) - steamed pork dumplings topped with fried garlic and sweet soy sauce. Beautifully presented and equally delicious I eagerly tucked into these little treats and loved them.

Intu Eldon Square: Grey's Quarter - Chaophraya


Choosing a main course was hard work with so many dishes catching my eye. Curries, Noodles, Stir Fry, Steamed Fish - my eyes were out on stalks going through the menu.  After much mind changing I decided to order Goong Pad Khing & Het Horm (£15.00) - King Prawns sautéed with shitake mushrooms, Thai ginger, spring onion and red bell peppers. Never one to eat without a side dish I also ordered a dish of Sticky Rice (£3.50).

I have to admit I was expecting my main course to arrive with chopsticks but in Thailand meals are eaten with forks and spoons, something that I was pretty thankful for as I'm not the best at eating with chopsticks and tend to end up flinging things round the restaurant. My food was delicious and vanished in minutes, I only wish I could have tried more of the menu.



We were keen to try out some cocktails and made our way through a couple on the menu. I started with a delicious Mango Passion (£8.00) - Absolut Mango Vodka mixed with Mango, Coconut, Lime and Vanilla.  Then finished with the Rubies and Diamonds (£7.50) - Pama Pomegranate Liqueur, Cranberry Juice and Pinot Grigiot White Wine.  The cocktails were beautiful and it's great to have somewhere so fancy in Eldon Square to enjoy a drink.  I love the idea of popping up to the roof when I'm tired from shopping to enjoy one or two (providing it's pay day of course, those prices aren't cheap!)

Before taking a look at the dessert menu we were invited to join in the Thai tradition of honouring Buddha by decorating the statue at Chaophraya with gold leaf. Traditionally people place gold on the parts of the statue that they want blessed with good health so I decided to put my gold on the Achilles which has been injured for months now. Fingers crossed!

Intu Eldon Square: Grey's Quarter - Chaophraya


After such a delicious meal we all decided that desserts had to be tried and we'd somehow make the room! I decided to order the White Chocolate Box (£7.50) - white chocolate mousse with raspberry coulis on butter shortbread served with a mini macaron and passion fruit syrup. It was the most beautifully presented dessert that I have ever seen and tasted just as good as it looked.

Intu Eldon Square: Grey's Quarter - Chaophraya
I've read a few reviews since our visit that have said that the service at Chaophraya is slow with some saying they've had very long waits between courses. Luckily we didn't experience this ourselves and had a fantastic night, I realise however that this could be because we dined on "VIP" night so I'll be looking forward to returning to give the restaurant another go. I'm really hoping that any complaints have just been teething problems as we loved our visit and I'm eager to return.

With my three course meal costing a slightly eye watering £33.00 Chaophraya is definitely somewhere that I'll be saving for special occasions. As delicious as the food was I couldn't afford to be eating out like that on a regular basis and it's easily the most expensive restaurant in Grey's Quarter. A treat for birthdays and anniversaries rather than a quick bite to eat after a day of shopping.

Intu Eldon Square: Grey's Quarter - Chaophraya


Photo by Chaophraya

As we left we couldn't resist a little look at the Roof Top Terrace which has to be one of the loveliest ways to dine. Offering beautiful views overlooking Monument, I think Chaophraya is going to be a very popular addition to Newcastle.

We enjoyed complimentary food and drinks as part of the VIP launch.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for inviting me along Chloe - I had such a lovely time and think those booths are perfect for groups of friends. I re-visited for cocktails this week with Steve in the bar (recommended) and I'm going to treat my mum to lunch when we both find the time!

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  2. Ah so pleased you enjoyed, how unreal were the dumplings?!! x

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  3. The dumplings were pretty special!!

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  4. Mmm sounds lovely. I'm not a big thai food fan but enjoyed seeing your photos. maybe i need to give it another shot!

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  5. I didn't know one had opened in town, I've been to the one in Leeds and loved it!

    Cat x

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  6. This looks like a great place to try. I love Thai food, but wouldn't have thought of heading into Eldon Square for an evening meal.

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  7. Wow this place looks amazing!! And that pudding looks unreal too, good for a Thai pudding. I also call it the 'Thai place at Eldon Sq', no idea how to pronounce it! xx

    Tamz | http://www.throughneweyesx.com

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