For my birthday, I went to Chao Phraya, a Thai restaurant in the Mile-End. Em recommended it as I wanted to finish celebrating in a lounge nearby. Not only is it quite a fancy restaurant, but it is also rather impressive on how big it actually is in comparison to the impression it leaves from the outside. As it is strongly recommended, I had made reservations so when we arrived; the hostess brought us to the back that seemed like another section (smaller and discreet). Very well thought for our little group, where we could converse without having to yell at another. In my background, there was a beautiful wine cellar protected with a glass window. I felt like a VIP, extra points especially on the day of my birthday. I just wish I was offered the enormous bottle of Moët & Chambon as a gift.
Enough rambling, let’s get down to the real business. First of all, the menu is so diverse, that nobody can say they won’t find anything to their liking. Except if the person in question doesn’t like Thai food at all.
I wanted to try a new drink so I ordered a Manhattan cocktail, made with Canadian whiskey and sweet vermouth. Certainly not my favorite drink, whiskey is too strong, but I managed to finish it.
I opted for the Kampou Swan, which consists of four deep fried crab claws wrapped with crab meat with shrimp, celery and onions inside. It is also served with some plum sauce. It might sound weird and not very tempting, but I assure you that it was the most creative appetizer I’ve seen and eaten. The plate is well presented with the claws looking adorable and the radish cut in the shape of a flower. Very crunchy and soft at the same time, the plum sauce was sweet and accompanied it perfectly. My only disappointment is not being able to eat all of the meat. It was stuck in between the claws and a spoon didn’t help, maybe a fork would have been better. Unless you have a big appetite, I don’t recommend this appetizer for just a person. I had to give one as they are more filling than they appear. Though if you have a little appetite, you could order it as your main meal.
Am and Em both had Tofu Choo Chee, a deep fried tofu in a spicy curry sauce with coconut milk and basil leaves. I had a taste and dear heavens, it was so delightful. Seriously, some meals without meat are more delicious than those with and this tofu is the perfect example. Not only are there big pieces of tofu that I love, sprinkled with coconut milk, the curry sauce is extremely spicy creating a heavenly taste. When I return to Chao Phraya, I’ll definitely order the Tofu Choo Chee as a main dish. Funny random fact: Am’s tofu was mounted while Em’s wasn’t, we don’t know why though.
Dom had Rad-Nah Pak: crispy noodles topped with mixed vegetables.
Lou had Kang Paa Gai, a spicy thai country style curry with chicken, vegetables and sweet basil leaves.
Cam had Pad Sew-Ew, rice noodles sautéed with the choice of either chicken, beef or shrimp. She chose shrimps and it also comes with brocoli and egg.
Ru had Pad Khee Mao, also rice noodles sautéed and she chose it with chicken that comes with fresh chili, sweet basil leaves and egg.
For dessert, I had fried bananas with French vanilla ice cream with beans. Em and Lou shared one. My plate obviously had some sparkling candles!!! The hotness of the bananas with the coldness of the ice cream created the most exquisite taste one could not even believe it. Ru who had a piece, literally squealed (orgasm?) to the surprise of the others who asked if she was fine. She replied that it was simply so divine, that she couldn’t describe it in words. Yes, we all laughed and I couldn’t agree more with her, these are the best fried bananas that I’ve ever tasted.