Chaophraya is a flamboyant Thai restaurant located at the corner of Castle Street in the center of Edinburgh. It occupies an enviable position near the end of Princes Street and boasts some of the most spectacular views of the city.
Chaophraya in Edinburgh is the latest venture of Thai chef and entrepreneur Kim Kaewkraikhot. It rises from the ashes of Tony Sing's Oloroso restaurant, taking full advantage of the spectacular rooftop location with its incomparable views of Edinburgh Castle.
Not to be outdone by its illustrious predecessor, Chaophraya is a study in extravagance and a delight for the senses.
View of Edinburgh Castle from Chaophraya — Photo courtesy of Chaophraya Edinburgh
The interior of the restaurant is divided into a series of dining areas, each with its own style. In one corner Thai, artifacts and palm fronds nestle beside deep red leather tub chairs, while another spot twins bright white leather booths with almost Art Deco-style bling.
Dimly lit and atmospheric throughout, the restaurant nonetheless manages to assemble an almost bewildering array of lighting styles.
Lining outer wall and bathed in the light of the floor-to-ceiling windows, yet another area offers more brasserie-style dining, pairing dark wood with crisp white linen and burnished lighting. The roof terrace is relativity plainly attired. The star of the show here is undeniably the spectacular view.
The food is every bit as theatrical as the decor. A large menu encompasses all of the traditional favorites but adds some intriguing Thai Scottish fusion pieces, such as black pudding with mango, chili and palm sugar. Each dish is presented with flair and panache.
The lunch and "early bird" menu focuses on light starters and some of the classic main dishes. It's diminutive in size, but packs in plenty of flavor. It's an excellent choice if you're pressed for time or looking to sample their wares without stretching your budget too far.
The a la carte menu is more extensive and features a few more expensive dishes, but there's also plenty to delight diners on a more restricted budget.
For a more opulent experience, it's hard to beat the Chaophraya set menu (the most expensive of a number of set menu options), which assembles a dazzling array of their specialty dishes, including the triumphant and not-to-be-missed Weeping Tiger Sirloin.
The desserts are all as they should be: sweet, indulgent and delicious. Whether you opt for something new in the form of Thai pancakes or sticky mango rice, or for a less exotic cheesecake or sticky toffee pudding, you will not be disappointed.
The Palm Sugar Bar has earned quite a reputation for its specialty Thai cocktails, such as the wonderful Chaophraya Wild Tea, but it also stocks a wide range of wines, spirits and beers.
There are a number of good Thai restaurants in Edinburgh, and competition in the city center is ferocious. However, Chaophraya has found favor with locals and tourists alike. It looks likely to be a feature of the Edinburgh skyline for some time.