Review: Ron Zacapa Tasting Dinner at Chaophraya Edinburgh
almost 2 years AGOAdministrator
RON ZACAPA TASTING DINNER AT CHAOPHRAYA
Whenever there is a discussion with friends about stand out dining experiences in Edinburgh, it is a guarantee that Chaophraya will merit a mention. It’s not just the stunning location with views overlooking George Street and the Forth, but the food is consistently fabulous! As soon as you step into the lift you are sucked into the Chaophraya world and for a short while you can immerse yourself in a little bit of Thailand. Earlier this year Chaophraya Edinburgh launched the first ever Ron Zacapa bar in Scotland, offering cocktail lovers a wide and exciting drinks menu in luxurious surroundings.
Stephen Martin, Reserves Brand Ambassador for Diageo, said: “We have worked with Chaophraya to bring some Guatemalan spirit to the Edinburgh bar scene. We wanted to showcase Ron Zacapa from the heights of one of the city’s most iconic venues.”
Stephen Martin, Reserves Brand Ambassador for Diageo
Recently we were invited along to enjoy an evening of the finest Thai cuisine washed down with the finest Guatemalan Rum hosted by Stephen himself. What lay ahead was one of the best evenings of 2015 which all kicked off with a selection of classic Thai starters with a twist.
One large single plate was decorated with ‘Ron Zacapa 23 Pork Spare Ribs,’ grilled pork spare ribs marinated with fresh Thai herbs and homemade Ron Zacapa 23 sauce, served with grilled pineapple and pink peppercorns. ‘Chicken Satay,’ a classic dish of chicken bamboo skewers, carefully grilled over charcoal, served with homemade peanut sauce. ‘Steamed Dumplings,’ prawn, crab meat and chicken mixed with water chestnuts, spring onion and coriander root, steamed in a wonton wrapper and topped with fried garlic and a sweet soy sauce and ‘Prawn & Chicken Toast,’ finely diced prawn and chicken blended with Thai herbs served on fried bread. ‘Deep Fried Marinated Pork,’ pork marinated with honey and Thai herbs, deep fried and garnished with sesame seeds.
Deep Fried Marinated Pork
Ron Zacapa 23 Pork Spare Ribs
Prawn & Chicken Toast
It was everything we all love about Thais food! Sweet, sticky, wonderful flavours, textures, smells. The spare ribs were ridiculously yummy and all in all I would challenge you to find a more “wow” start to a meal! As we licked our fingers clean, Stephen stood up to welcome us and introduce us to our first proper drink of the night, ‘Islands in The Stream’. “A fruity yet complex twist on the Hemingway Daiquiri. Zacapa 23, lime, fresh grapefruit segments, cherry Heering, sugar. Served tall over crushed ice, garnished with cherry, pink grapefruit and dehydrated orange wheel.” A lovely bitter sweet cocktail which mirrored everything about what Thai food is about.
As we enjoyed our first cocktail of the evening we were brought our main dishes. ‘Four Seasons Duck Curry,’ four-seasonal fruits of grape, pineapple, strawberry and tomato cooked in a flavourful curry sauce with roasted duck and sweet basil. ‘Crispy Pork Belly with Thai Basil,’ street-style pan fried crispy pork belly tossed with fresh chillies, garlic, green beans and hot basil leaves. ‘Beef in Black Pepper Sauce,’ sliced beef stir fried with onions, peppers, spring onions and black pepper sauce served on a sizzling plate and ‘King Prawns with Ginger,’ king prawns sautéed with straw mushrooms, fresh ginger, peppers, onions, spring onions, chilli and soya beans.
Beef in Black Pepper Sauce
Four Seasons Duck Curry
Crispy Pork Belly with Thai Basil
King Prawns with Ginger
The first thing to point out here is that this was an insane amount of food, however a bit of indulgence is never a bad thing especially when the focus of this indulgence is so tasty! One of the things that always amazes me about Thai food is the incredible flavours. What Asian food in general does better than most, is use a very complex blend of herbs and spices and make it sing, the result being a 70’s disco in your mouth! It is an exceptionally clever style of cooking and the chefs at Chaophraya do it so well. The duck curry was sweet and fruity but still managed to showcase the duck as the star of the plate. The pork was crispy and salty but the kick from the chilli and the sweetness from the garlic blended so well together. The king prawns were meaty and cooked to perfection, again bursting with flavour from the ginger and spring onions. I didn’t manage much of the beef as I was ready to explode but the meat was so tender and the sauce was rich and peppery, everything you would wish for in a black bean sauce!
By now, we were extremely full but things did not end there. When offered a ‘Smoked Pina Colada’ to go with a finale of ‘Fresh Fruit Fondue to share served with Ron Zacapa Chocolate Sauce,’ then who in their right mind is going to decline. Yes this was a very simple way to finish but that was just what was needed. The Pina Colada is in everybody’s top 3 cocktails and there’s something very sexy about dipping strawberries into melted rum chocolate!
Yet again Chaophraya hosted a fantastic evening. It seems every time we go there we leave happy and full. The staff are always excellent, the food is always delicious and the experience is always one we talk about for weeks. I know I will be back there again soon but in the meantime if you haven’t been, I suggest you remedy that!
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