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Parties: Chaophraya comes to Liverpool

The £2.2m Thai restaurant and Palm Sugar lounge throw their glammy doors open with a bash

Published on June 9th 2009.


Parties: Chaophraya comes to Liverpool

CH...CHAO...Chaophraya.

Hard to pronounce at first? Don't be put off. For there is nothing difficult to swallow about Liverpool's newest restaurant and bar complex, Chaophraya, a name which is about to roll off the lips of all those who want a different something from their Liverpool night out.

And as of now.

Now when we say different, we don't mean odd. For there is nothing peculiar, or particularly “exclusive” about the acclaimed Thai restaurant which, up till now, has been a good a reason as any to hop it up the East Lancs to eat glorious food at its truly excellent Manchester operation.

Rather, the £2.2m restaurant and its adjacent Palm Sugar Lounge, which overlook Chavasse Park, really are raising the “bar” yet another notch in eating-and-drinking-a-la-Liverpool experiences.

And if nothing else, that is something to be welcomed.

Chaophraya, in Liverpool One, is quite breathtaking to look at, with its sunken Bangkok-style private dining areas, floor to ceiling plate glass windows, high ceilings and handsome, understated décor. Even a river courses through it.

One glance and you are reminded of all the other venues you have been to, hereabouts, which have tried this look on the cheap. But this 200-cover restaurant is so not-tacky. In fact on the face of it, this venue could grace any big city.

On the other hand, it could easily be mistaken for the Blue Planet Aquarium with a fish tank that runs through the upstairs dining room and into the toilets, hopefully this will not come to add a whole new meaning to the term “taking a leak”.

We'll be in to review it sometime in the next month. We are still arguing over who gets to go, but wish Ben, Anh and the team, who are all new to Liverpool, โชคดีค่.

Meantime, it was the opening party last Friday where cocktails were there to be quaffed and oysters were there to be queued for.

They were all there. So were we.

Chao for now.

Chaophraya,
Kenyon Steps,
Liverpool One.
0151 707 6323

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26 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

ThairackJune 9th 2009.

Disney version of Thai food.Not edible, no depth of flavor and completely lacking in authentic Thai ingredients.You dont smother everything in fish sauce and call it Thai food - just disgusting.Thai food is about simplicity not about stainless steel surfaces and bijou mirrors.

Thai RackJune 9th 2009.

£2.2 million spent and they still haven't enough glasses to go around! There is a couple of scruffy blokes there having to drink out of their bottles!

Oz RamJune 9th 2009.

It looks like some of the builders have wandered in among the invited guests. We can go to Heathcote's if we want our dinner ruined by boorish louts at the other tables.

Mr SheenJune 9th 2009.

Who mentioned A-list celebs anywhere?

Mike HomfrayJune 9th 2009.

Are you only allowed to go if you are one of the trendy, beautiful people?

DigJune 9th 2009.

That isn't Herbert, that's the ghost of my nan. The resemblance is striking.

cathy tateJune 9th 2009.

I have been to their Manchester restaurant and from what I have seen the Liverpool one looks great loads of money has been spent , but unless the food is up to scratch its all for show - if you have been to the Sabai in North John Street you will know what authentic Thai cooking tastes like,!!!!!

JK RollingJune 9th 2009.

Just thstop it, will yer.

star_spotterJune 9th 2009.

There's celebrities all right! The top row features Anita Dobson and her PA, and to the right, ballroom dancer and television presenter Anton Du Beke and his lovely wife.

Liverpool wagJune 9th 2009.

Herbert looks a bit like Marty Hopkirk in that white jacket. "Only you can see me Geoff, only you..."

GordoJune 9th 2009.

Well, if the food is as good as Manchester and Leeds, this place is in danger of becoming a top five destination restaurant, the place itself is gobsmacking. Now, Angie, I have promised the delightful Hilary and her pals first dibs with me on the revue. As long as they send me those photos...

King Bhumibol AdulyadejJune 9th 2009.

No, the pictures above show that it's full of all manner of ragamuffins. I see no trendy or beautiful!

SparkleJune 9th 2009.

Well know idea who the 'A List' celebs are...but the lighting in that place looks FANTASTIC!!!

danJune 9th 2009.

Weeping Tiger and Pad Thai rules!

DigJune 9th 2009.

I went to Chaophraya the other night. I was so drunk by the end of the night when I ordered a cab they thought I said 'Chaya'. Next time I'll just go to Chaya.

RitaJune 9th 2009.

Been twice, fantastic. Venue great food great staff great prices realistic. Going back soon.

AnonymousJune 9th 2009.

Where do I start? This place is truly shocking. Although the food is reputedly okay, it’s the attitude that really grates. I went there for my 35th birthday, July 2009 and the door policy was an absolute disgrace. To access the restaurant, we entered (or attempted to) through the bar entrance to “Palm Sugar”, evidently a euphemism for masturbation judging by the majority of the clientele.Everyone in my group was in smart attire, ladies in dresses, gentlemen in shirts, shoes etc - it was only our second drink of the evening too, so nobody had drunk too much.On our way in, we were stopped by doormen and segregated one by one – like that was going to make for a good evening – going to a restaurant bar with a group of friends and spending it with a random selection of them, the other half scraping at the windows, hungry and thirsty, begging for the scraps from our table.The social roulette descended into farce, with the bouncers’ attempts to explain their decisions on fashion bases, quite clearly not having a clue what they were talking about. I unfortunately, was one of the have-nots, which was quite disconcerting as one friend swanned in wearing the cheapest brown clogs I’ve ever seen, while my handmade South Americans earned the thumbs down – hilarious.Fashion Apartheid continued with another friend’s shoes earning the accolade “not shiny enough”, whilst another’s ban was rescinded after the ironic claim that “these clothes cost me a minimum of one hundred pounds” was taken seriously by the, by now laughable, bouncers.Palm sugar has, however, cleverly planned for these eventualities, with a row of apologetic barmaids all geared up to serve you outside the bar – apparently your money is good enough, even if your clothes aren’t. We reluctantly ordered drinks as our barmaid explained that she would do her best to get us in, when “it quietens down a bit”, i.e. when there are less people around to witness how terribly dressed you are.We cancelled our drinks order when it was pointed out that we would regrettably, not be able to access the toilets, which as far as I am concerned is illegal for establishments with five or more tables – but hey, Palm Sugar makes up its own rules.I remonstrated a little further with the simmering, angry fashion expert on the door but to no avail – they failed to pass on the message about scrubbing our order and when the waitress finally arrived with our drinks (about £17 for three of them) she whinged about having to pay for them herself – eventually guilt-tripping another table into paying for them instead, stopping short of turning on the waterworks.So all in all, a dreadfully run, overpriced, sickeningly pretentious bar restaurant. I mean – would you let a Neanderthal bouncer who spends his days slobbing around on the couch in trackies by labelled by Heinz pick your clothes for you? No? Well don’t start now. Palm Sugar leaves a bitter taste in the mouth – don’t bother.

PhuketJune 9th 2009.

There's a man there wearing a buttonhole on the wrong side and without a tie! Liverpool needs somewhere upmarket, not more of the same!

MinskyJune 9th 2009.

Nah, Herbert's in there.

Phil LipsJune 9th 2009.

Dig, last time I went to Chaya the staff outnumbered the customers (us) and my lady companion suffered a painful insect bite. Before it was banned the tobacco smoke at least kept the insects at bay.

Mr MagicJune 9th 2009.

Does anyone know who did the lighting??

Novelty actJune 9th 2009.

Not good. Especially for an operation new to the city.

Sylvester the CatJune 9th 2009.

I was tstill thsuffering after eating too much of the thsuccotash two dayths later.

Kok AutJune 9th 2009.

I had bullet-like seafood at the Sabai, unfortunately. It will be interesting to see what a Thai restaurant with a reputation can do.

NickJune 9th 2009.

Went for lunch last Friday. It was just about sunny so we asked if we could sit outside on the first floor balcony. This is one of the best tables in Liverpool - overlooking Chavasse Park, down to the Albert Dock, would no doubt be perfect around 6pm in the summer.Oh, and I've not even mentioned the food - spot on. We ordered from the lunch menu, one drink each (me Singah, her vino) and it came in under 20 quid. Service perfect.Total bargain and we'll be back very soon.

Freddie Parrot face DaviesJune 9th 2009.

I went to that Thschaophraya and every time I asthked for thsago pudding all I got was thsemolina. made me thsick up to here.

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