Monday, March 29, 2010

66. Restaurant Review: Chao Phraya

Chao Phraya is a newly opened Thai restaurant in Shimokitazawa.  Walk down into a basement to find a very clean, clutter-free, and quite open dining space.  The interior is black and chocolate brown (including the ceiling) with cream & salmon colored walls decorated with photos of Thailand and Thai beer posters.  Ethnic music (not necessarily Thai) plays in the back ground.

There are black bench seats along two walls that, with the addition of 10 chairs, create 5 tables for four.  There are three more tables for four, and two tables for two in the center of the room.  Those who do not sit on the bench seats will have cushioned stools. 

The staff, all Japanese, was very friendly.  The menu is all in Japanese (mostly katakana).

In the evening its specialty is 'Thaisuki', a one-pot dish similar to Japanese 'nabe'.
During the day, however, they have some very reasonable lunch specials to choose from. 

A)  Kaogapaogai (minced chicken, onions, peppers sauteed in a thai sauce topped with a fried egg served with rice) plus salad, and mini dessert.  680 yen
B)  Kaomangai (Thai chicken with rice) plus cucumber slices, soup, and mini dessert.  680 yen
C)  Thai Ramen, served with salad and mini dessert.  680 yen
D)  Lunch of the day  680 yen
*Add a lunch drink (Oolong tea, Jasmine tea, orange juice, grapefruit juice, coke, or coffee) for 100 yen.
*A lunch beer or wine is 320 yen.

I had Lunch Set A.  The salad contained lettuce, carrots, and red onion in a tasty Thai oil-based dressing.  The main dish wasn't bad, but the portion was small (of course, lunch was only 680 yen).  Dessert was lychee jello.

Lunch is served from 11:30 - 17:00 (last order at 16:30). 
The restaurant stays open until 23:00 (last order 22:00).   

*Vegetable Thaisuki  680 yen
*Meat (scallop, shrimp, pork, chicken) & Vegetable Thaisuki 1380 yen
 Add more vegetables at 80 - 180 yen per order, 380 for wonton,...

The dinner menu also includes a number of side dishes all of which are 380, 480, or 680 yen each.
The side dishes include:  smaller portions of the lunch specials, spring rolls, fried chicken, Thai salad,...

I wouldn't mind coming back to try the 'Thaisuki'.  The price is really cheap and the meal would be incredibly healthy.  As for lunch, if you really have a taste for Thai food, go to the other side of Shimokita Station to Baan Kirao (see blog #28) which is run by Thai people and is absolutely delicious!

Chao Phraya Address:  Kitazawa 2-14-2, B1
South Exit of Shimokitazawa Station.  Located below '7 Colors' and 'News' clothing store on the main street, beside the Recofan CD shop.
Phone:  03-3424-1133