Edinburgh has a number of good Thai restaurants. High on my restaraurant wish list for visiting for some time has been Chaophraya. High above Castle Street and with stunning views across the city and to the Castle, this delightful place offers high quality Thai food and divine service.
I should be honest and say that Chaophraa is not a gluten free restaurant, but it is a restaurant where you should be able to eat gluten free both safely and deliciously. With a fabulous welcome, we were presented with our menus and an ipad alongside, for checking allergens. This was a slightly confusing way of checking against the menu and I was struggling with it, but as the staff are so attentive, it is much better just to ask.
Disappointingly, there was only one starter I could have that was gluten free. Other starters which should have been ok (sticky ribs, fishcakes, satay) were said to contain soy sauce. If you are a gluten-eater, the sharing platters and choices look amazing – though not for me or others with restrictions. My recommendation to Chaophraya, therefore, would be for some gluten free soy sauce to be brought in so that the choice is wider and non-gluten eaters do not have to feel like fussy diners.
Having said that, my chicken and coconut soup was totally delicious. With lemongrass, garlic and chilli, it was zingy without being too hot and was beautifully presented. Its overall whiteness means it did not photograph well, so apologies for no picture!
The main courses had much more choice in terms of gluten free and I could have had stir fries or curries. I chose a chicken and cashew stir fry with that lovely Thai rice which comes so beautifully sticky. The chicken was tender and moist and the sauce around it just the right side of spicy – this was beautifully cooked and presented food. My gluten-eating friend chose a really tasty thai green curry, which I could also have had. Sadly, something went off with the service at this point and our main courses took about an hour. However, the staff are so gorgeous that they kept apologising and even brought us some fizz to bide the time, but it was surprising in a restaurant where service is clearly so important.
Chaophraya is a lovely place and the experience of eating there is terrific – they have a good wine list, beautiful teas and a nice atmosphere. It needs only sort its timings and GF starter choices to be outstanding.
My previous review of Thai food in Edinburgh at the Passorn Thai in Tollcross was another experience of gorgeous service and I think, on balance, it has a more GF focus. However, I love this Thai food, so I am heading towards a round-up feature – watch this space!