Saturday, 24 March 2012

Chaophraya - Chaobaby Thai Restaurant

Chaophraya, Thai restaurant, Thai Manchester
Sorry for disappearing for a while. We were hit by the virus and although the rest of the family has recovered, it was finally my turn. I was so fed up seeing the doctors for them that I refused to see one for myself. So until now I'm still not sure whether I'm having a stomach bug or I'm food poisoned. Lets just hope that the growling will stop soon on its own.

Anyway. Back to catching up with all the things I wanted to tell you. Lets start with Mothers' Day. Ever since we came to the UK, we haven't really celebrated Mothers' Day. In Asia, we celebrate Mothers' Day on the second Sunday in May, so we haven't got used to celebrating it in March. But when May came, we don't feel like celebrating it either because no one else were!

This year however, we decided to go out for dinner. We decided to go to one of our favourite Thai restaurant Chaobaby (Chaophraya's Trafford Centre branch). As a bonus, we found out that they have dropped the price for their dinner buffet (usually £17.95 now £12.95 per person).

Chaophraya, Thai restaurant, Thai Manchester
Green and red curry with plain boiled rice; satay chicken with peanut satay sauce
Unfortunately, both me and hubby were quite disappointed. They have dropped the price yes, but also the amount of dishes and the quality of food.

Not only were there less choices, they have slowed down with the refilling as well, leaving plenty of dishes almost empty (few pieces of ingredients floating in big puddles of sauces). Their best Mixed Plain and Brown Rice weren't there anymore, which is replaced with egg fried rice. I stood there wondering whether I have popped into a Chinese buffet place instead. I missed their Sweetcorn Fritters but they have been replaced by Samosas.

The quality of food has dropped slightly as well. Both me and hubby thought that their green curry tasted exactly the same as the one we cooked at home using Thai Taste green curry paste. Don't get me wrong, it's very tasty, but it was even better before.

Chaophraya, Thai restaurant, Thai Manchester
Fresh pancakes with Pandan Custard, Durian (we think it is) Agar-Agar
and some sort of cooked banana
However, their peanut satay sauce, pancakes with Pandan Custard and according to hubby, their cooked on the spot noodles soup were still yummy. Loved their jelly (agar-agar?) as well.

Staff wise, it has gone from purely Thai to a mix of Thai, Chinese and locals. I'm not sure whether this has got to do with equal opportunity, but somehow it made me wonder whether they've changed the chef as well, and how authentic the dishes are now.

I know I'm a bit harsh, it's not like I am a food critic. But we expected more from one of the best Thai restaurant in Manchester, especially on a Sunday, which is a Mothers' Day as well. To drop the price to suit most diners, they have sacrificed quite a bit. Just hope that they haven't sacrificed their reputation as well.