BOTTOMLESS brunches ToM has steered clear of – until now. Perhaps put off by the vivid account of Sunday afternoon excess encountered by the MEN’s Dianne Bourne.
Thankfully the debut of Chaophraya’s set fee, fixed time eat and drink all you want experiment was a sedater affair. We were out well before the end of the 90 minute window allowed at the Chapel Walks Thai restaurant. Still we felt we’d got value while showing restraint, for our £25 a head; perhaps if we’d succumbed to the £10 bottomless prosecco option and hammered the unaccountably popular Italian fizz our own brunch might have hit rock bottom.
The Chaophraya BB, already a success at their Leeds branch, is available each Sunday between 11am and 3pm. Whether it qualifies as a true brunch is a matter of debate with the near absence of dishes on the breakfast end of the spectrum. There are few Thai equivalents of Benedicts, French toast, waffles, bacon and smashed avocado.
Token sweet treats here are Thai honey yoghurt with toppings of grilled pineapple, mango coconut or granola (main picture) or coconut pandan pancakes, while a Thai omelette with chilli and optional minced pork feels brekkie like, too.
After that it’s very much recognisable dishes from the main menu – chicken pad thai, green and yellow curries, massaman chicken curries and the like with an abundance of filling rice. All pleasant but underpowered on the spice/chilli front front, the pad thai excessively sweet too. Pick of the brunch bunch mains definitely the pork belly aromatic Thai basil and garlic. Not quite as crisp as advertised but stickily comforting stuff.
In our dainty assault on bottomless brunch we favoured the crisp veggie spring rolls with a pickle undertow and our rice flour tacos filled with citrussy, coconutty chicken.
Tacos may seem an intruder on the Thai scene. As the brunch menu here evolves it may require a little more similar daring in the fusion department and all-in drinks options beyond prosecco. Pho over in the Corn Exchange do a mighty Vietnamese Bloody Mary with sriracha. Our brunch hunch is a Thai variant would work well here.
Chaophraya, 19 Chapel Walks, Manchester, M2 1HN. 0161 832 8342. https://chaophraya.co.uk