Seated in a glass box overlooking Edinburgh Castle, we were in just part of Chaophraya’s new extensive premises in Castle Street.
Perusing the large menu, we started with cocktails – a strawberry Bellini (£8.50) and a Made in Thailand (£7.50) fruity cocktail with a punch of ginger beer. Despite being served with a flourish and tasting great, it became clear on watching plates being paraded that food is its winning formula.
Slightly overwhelmed, we finally decided on the shared Maenum Yom set menu (£35.50 per person). The starters came on a large platter, beautifully presented – crispy chicken and prawn toast; juicy pork spare ribs; bite-sized steamed dumplings with a lovely hint of lemongrass; tender chicken satay with a thick nutty sauce; and deep fried marinated pork which didn’t have an obviously discernible flavour but was tender and tasty when dipped into the chilli sauce.
Next came an enormous main course, so big it took three people to manage all the dishes. With fluffy egg fried rice, we had four options – the remarkably tender beef in black pepper came with the usual crisp peppers and onions; a king prawn curry with ginger was flavoursome and well-cooked if a tad underwhelming; the four seasons duck curry flavoured with an assortment of fruit was delicious. The final dish of crispy pork belly with Thai basil was good. We perhaps expected too much but it lacked a kick of something to make it stand out.
Accompanying our mains, we chose a Pinot Grigio (£6.50 for 250ml) and Merlot (£6.25 for 250ml) from an expansive wine list.
A mini chocolate fondue with fresh fruit and a meringue was the perfect dessert. Although we would have been happy with portions of half the size, the food was obviously of good quality and was full of flavour on the whole. With the friendliest staff we have ever met, views that would gratify any hardened citizen and reasonably priced food, it is well worth a visit.