I’m back! It’s been forever, but life has been a whirlwind the last few months. I don’t really know where the time has gone.
I thought I’d ease myself back in with a post about Chaophraya, the Thai restaurant. I was there for dinner at the end of March for a friends birthday and it definitely had its ups and downs.
I’ve been to the Chaophraya in Glasgow for food and the one in Edinburgh for cocktails, and both are stunning and I’ve had an amazing experience. So, I was looking forward to going to the Aberdeen one.
I’ll be honest though, I hadn’t heard good things.
On arrival, the staff were very attentive. We’d decided to go there for dinner for the private dining area, but were disappointed to find that they’d thrown tables together in an area near the bar… in a restaraunt that was basically empty.
Initially, we had such an attentive waiter. He checked everyone’s preorder was right, and was quick the take our drink order. That’s where it all went downhill. The drinks took forever to come and we didn’t receive our starters until well over an hour after we arrived… although we were told they were ready when we arrived.
I ordered the chicken satay (£7.95), and it genuinely was delicious. The portion size was really good and the satay sauce was incredible.
We then waited a good while to have our plates collected and we weren’t offered more drinks. A few people went up to the bar to order them instead of having to wait.
Our mains then took another hour to arrive.
This time, I’d opted for the chicken pad thai (£10.95). Again, the taste was great and the portion size was good, I’d even go as far to say that there was possibly too much food. When the food eventually arrived, it wasn’t particularly hot, which led me to believe that it had been sitting for a while – which confused me as to why it took so long to arrive.
This time, they were back to collect plates before everyone had even finished eating. Plates collected, more drinks were ordered at the bar by some. One of our party had recently had braces on, so was eating really slowly but they then left her main (she was at the bathroom when they collected plates) and the waiters vanished.
We couldn’t find anyone to have her plate collected, and some people were due to get desserts. At this point, we’d be there for two and a half hours. Eventually, someone went to the bar to request that the desserts were cancelled and that we had the bill brought over. We were late for another booking.
Our waiter miraculously appeared, very quickly, but couldn’t have been less apologetic and instead seemed confused – like we hadn’t been left sitting for nearly an hour with no new drinks, desserts and one of the mains left.
At the beginning of the meal they’d made a point of saying that they were making note of everyone’s drinks beside their food order and that we’d be billed seperately – there was 19 of us – and when the bill arrived it was one bill (over £600), that was fine, but we then needed a bit of time to work out what we were doing. They vanished again.
At this point, the person who’s birthday it was has called the next booking we had to let them know that we were running late, twice. We’d been in the restaurant for over 3 hours and only had two courses. When the waiter eventually came back, one of the girls mentioned that the service had been horrific and that it only seemed to be getting worse. When she suggested that we should have got a discount, the waiter suddenly remembered everyone was meant to get different bills. He vanished, even after saying we didn’t want seperate bills.
He reappeared after we spoke to the bar staff again and said that he’d misunderstood and had been calculating everyone’s bill… but that he had a revised bill with £60 discounted.
At this point, we needed out as quickly as possible, so paid and left. The whole experience ruined the quality of the food and I 100% would not recommend that anyone go.
I’d understand if we hadn’t pre-ordered our meals – from a reduced menu – and the restaurant had actually been busy, but the whole situation was just ridiculous. When we’d booked, we were given a very strict two-hour time slot and they were very specific about it… two hours certainly wasn’t enough time, as we arrived at 8:30 and didn’t leave until 11:30.
On the topic of pre-ordering our meals, something that seemed a little strange – given that there was 19 of us – was that although we had to choose a reduced menu, there was no set price. Which is completely fine, but it seems strange to me because the bill is always going to be more difficult to organise. Not a make or break though, just an observation.
I wouldn’t let my experience in my local Chaophraya put me off going to any of the others, particularly Glasgow and Edinburgh, but I won’t be returning to the Aberdeen restaurant again.
Initially, I tried to be understanding that there was a lot of us, but there was probably 3 or 4 other tables of two in and the comment’s I’ve heard from people before and after eating there have been about poor experience, slow service etc., which is a shame, because the chefs are great.
So, if you’re thinking about eating at Chaophraya in Aberdeen, I would suggesting heading to some of the far better Thai restaurants up the street.