Thursday, 22 September 2016

Dinner at Chaophraya, Glasgow

I've been to Chaophraya a few times and really love it, so I was very excited to get an invite to the launch of their new menu. The press release that came along with the invite really had me super excited. It stated that "Chaophraya have transformed it's dining experience, with the introduction of a revolutionary new menu, heightened service levels and a full change to its logo and signage. Chaophraya's new menu is set to deliver a sophisticated edge to Thai dining, by offering a mix of eclectic and contemporary dishes inspired by tastes from across the Thai regions". 

If you have never been to Chaophraya in Glasgow it is a must visit. From the moment you walk in the door it is just sheer luxury, you get a lovely warm welcome from the staff and the decor in the restaurant is just out of this world. It has to be the nicest looking restaurant in Glasgow. 


So we walked into Chaophraya and were greeted with the warmest of welcomes that I have come to expect. We were shown to our table - a lovely booth on the raised area and given our menu's. Our drinks order was taken. And we got to sit back and pour over the new menu. 

So the new menu is a mix of old favourites and new dishes. Straight away my eye was drawn to my favourite, the Massaman Lamb curry but I was adamant that I was going to try a new dish. There are loads to choose from, and the menu is still very extensive so you will need to spend some time looking over it. 

After talking through the menu with our waitress Gina, I decided to go for the Thai Chicken Tacos and the Chicken with Plum Sauce. My friend Wendy went for the Vegetable Tempura and the Green Vegetable Curry. We wont talk dessert until later...

My starter was so pretty, I nearly didnt want to eat it but boy am I glad I did. It was so tasty, really really flavoursome, the tacos were lovely and soft too. Wendy loved her tempura, she said it was so tasty and that it was a huge portion.

My main dish again was so pretty and my initial reaction was that it was a huge portion. I had thought that the plum sauce might be a little heavy but it was surprisingly a really light dish. The texture and flavour were great. I just went for jasmine rice with it and that was delicious but I was completely jealous of Wendys coconut rice – how pretty does this look??

Both of Wendys dishes were beautifully presented – her curry came in a cast iron pot and her rice ... what can I say about her rice, it just made me green with envy. Wendy really enjoyed her curry. Again this was another very decent portion.
So on to the desserts – I will start this by saying I really enjoyed my dessert and so did Wendy. However the dessert I had was my second choice, I had looked for the Chocolate Bombe (as I had seen it advertised on Facebook and it looked awesome) but unfortunately a supplier let them down on the day and there was no chocolate bombe when they had a room full of bloggers (I kinda felt sorry for them). Anyway in the end I went for the Mango Meringue Roll and Wendy went for the Coconut Panna Cotta. Both our dishes were delicious. I think we were both very full at this stage but we did manage to squeeze the dessert in (all of the dessert). Food rating 4/5.

Service was exceptional here, from the moment I walked in until I was walking out the front door. I have grown to expect this kind of service here and it wasnt just laid on because there were a lot of bloggers there. Gina, our waitress was great, really helpful and able to answer any questions we put to her. A special mention must go to Grant, who got an awful hard time from me over the chocolate bombe. I got to chat to John on the way out (and again I showed him the tears in my eyes from not being able to get the bombe). Service rating 4.5/5.

This place is stunning, I love it, it is so pretty. There is a lovely tranquil feeling here, even when the restaurant is full it always feels nice and peaceful. There is such a softness about the staff, I really dont know how to put it in words but they just fit in with the surrounds. Obviously the restaurant was full so there was plenty of chat about the place. Atmosphere rating 4.5/5.

As I was invited to sample Chaophraya’s dishes I did not pay for my meal so I'm not going to rate the price aspect of it. However from looking at the menu I would say that everything is very reasonably priced, certainly for the quality and quantity of food. 

Last Words
So at this stage I guess you know that I like this place - the restaurant is so elegant and sophisticated, however it doesn't have the the price tag normally associated with those features. This place has it all great food, service and atmosphere. It is somewhere that you should definitely try out. Total rating: 17.5 out of 20 (I converted 13 out of 15 into a figure out of 20 (and rounded it) so it is in line with all my other reviews).  

Date Visited: Thursday, 15 September 2016

Restaurant Details:
The Townhouse,
Nelson Mandela Place,
G1 2LL.

Website: click HERE

Telephone: 0141 332 0041

Finally, whilst I was invited to try out the new menu at Chaophraya and did not have to pay for my meal my review is unbiased and independent and a true reflection of my experience on the night.

Thanks a mil for reading.

Emma mai xx

* this mark beside a photo represents that it is an official photo from Chaophraya Thai - I thought this was the best way to show you the restaurant. All the food photos are my own. 

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Dinner at La Boca, Hope Street, Glasgow

I was invited along to sample La Boca on Hope Street which is conveniently located right in the centre of Glasgow. I brought along a good friend of mine Lisa, aka Little Miss Glasgow Girl (see her blog HERE). I was really looking forward to this for a number of reasons - firstly I love tapas but haven't really found a place as nice as my favourite tapas joint in Dublin (The Port House), secondly I had heard nothing but good things about this place and thirdly I was getting to have a proper catch up with Lisa and talk about our favourite thing - food. 

We were greeted by the lovely Ally and Katie when we arrived and shown to our table. Stephen (who owns La Boca) came down to have a chat with us and to tell us the hows, whats and whys of La Boca. Stephen is so passionate about this place (and rightly so) and whilst talking to him my expectations of what was ahead were growing rapidly. So what did I learn from Stephen. Well firstly this is probably the most authentic tapas restaurant outside of Spain - everything about it is Spanish. So you will only get drinks here that you would get in a Spanish tapa's restaurant, you can get the largest selection of Spanish beers here, everything is either made in the restaurant or brought over from Spain, there is always a Spanish speaker working, the chefs are Spanish, Stephen and his family lived in Spain and his Daughter, Ally who works in the restaurant is fluent in Spanish. Stephen built the place - he wanted it to be so authentic - so authentic that he put in individual toilets like you would have in Spain. 
From talking to Stephen it was apparent that the quality of food used is very important to him. Everything is made fresh daily which is music to my ears. However, it is noted that sometimes this can have a drawback - when things run out they run out or it may take some time to cook your dish - but these apparent drawbacks don't bother me - I'd much prefer good quality, fresh food over cheap, reheated stuff.

There is also an extensive wine and cocktail list here. Ally is the wine expert so she will be able to give you a helping hand when picking your wine.  

The menu is extensive and covers everything from finger food; salads; meat dishes; fish dishes; vegetable dishes and dishes from the grill. Lisa and I decided to pick one dish from each category and went for the following:- 

  1. Queso Charcohondo, cured sheeps cheese from Extremadura served with fig almond cake, quince jelly and grapes;
  2. Ensalada De La Casa, fresh spinach, avocado, tomato, red fruits and walnuts. Dressed with wholegrain mustard, honey and olive oil;
  3. Pollo Al Curry, a creamy Andalusian curry;
  4. Bacalao Con Tomate, fresh cod cooked in their own tomato sauce with onion, peppers, garlic and coriander;
  5. Tortilla Espanola, Spanish omelette made with potato, egg and onion.
  6. Berenjenas Con Miel De Cana, Aubergine fried in a light batter and drizzled with sugar cane honey.
  7. Pan Con Alioli Y Aceitunas, bread with alioli and olives - this dish was given to us to start, and 
  8. Patatas Bravas, crispy cubed potatoes served with spicy garlic and chilli alioli - we didn't actually order this dish, we were going to but decided to be more adventurous and go for the aubergine dish, however the chef wanted us to taste the garlic and chilli alioli and I'm so glad that he did because it was EPIC.
Where to start with the food? Well firstly, it was amazing, the quality of the food used was just great. The flavours of each dish were amazing. We did probably have too many dishes however, but I wanted to sample as many dishes as possible (for research purposes obviously). So my favourite dish was the Aubergine dish - it was so tasty. Sometimes I can find that aubergine dishes are just mush but the texture of this dish was great & the addition of sugar cane honey really finished it off. Another outstanding dish for me was the cured sheeps cheese - now I'm a fan of cheese at the best of times but this cheese is simply delicious, it's not strong or overpowering but it certainly has lovely deep undertones to it. The alioli (the regular & chilli one) were out of this world tasty, so fresh. 

The only dish that I wasn't really sold on was the cod - it didn't really do anything for me from the way it looked to how it tasted. It didn't taste bad but it just wasn't as full of flavour as the other dishes. Food rating: 4/5.

Service in La Boca Tapas is great. Ally and Katie were so friendly and helpful to us. I did however keep a watchful eye on how they interacted with other customers and I'm pleased to say that they were just as friendly and helpful. The food arrived out nice and quickly, however in true tapas style they arrived out when they were ready and in no particular order. Our knifes and forks were in a container on the table (which is what you would expect from an authentic tapas restaurant), I think that it would have been handy to have a few spoons in the container also, just for ease of sharing some of the dishes. Service Rating: 4/5.

The atmosphere is great here. Firstly it just looks amazing from the blue and white 'tiled' wall, to the beautiful decorations on the wall, to the lovely bar. It all really works well together. There was a good stream of customers coming and going which I thought was great for a wet and miserable Tuesday night. When we walked in there were a few people sitting at the bar - I thought this gave the place a real authentic feel. Whilst I love the idea of individual toilets, on the night we were there the lock on the only female toilet was broken, so I had to use the boys toilet. Atmosphere rating: 4/5.

As I was invited to sample La Boca Tapa's dishes I did not pay for my meal so I'm not going to rate the price aspect of it. However from looking at the menu I would say that everything is very reasonably priced, certainly for the quality and quantity of food. 
Last Words
This is a little gem of a place, it has it all - great food, service and atmosphere. To be honest when I was talking to Stephen at the start I was thinking to myself that the restaurant cannot be as authentic as he is making it out to be but put simply, it is. I also love the fact that it is family run, that Stephen is so passionate about it and it appears that he has hired staff that are just as passionate about it too. If you are looking for authentic Spanish tapas then this is the place for you. I will be bringing Mr EmmaEats here soon as he loves tapas and I think he will be blown away by the place. Total rating: 16 out of 20 (I converted 12 out of 15 into a figure out of 20 (and rounded it) so it is in line with all my other reviews).

Date Visited: Tuesday, 6 September 2016.

Restaurant Details:
La Boca Tapa's,
189 Hope Street,
G2 2UL,

Website: click HERE
Telephone No: 0141 2377575

Finally, I would like to state that whilst I was invited to try out La Boca and didn't have to pay for my meal this has in no way impacted my review. My review is unbiased and independent.

Thanks a mil for reading.

Emma mai xx

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Dinner at The Newmarket, Ayr, Ayrshire

So it was the start of September and just to welcome the autumn in we had a wet miserable day in Ayrshire. I had been away for a few days and had no food in the house but instead of going to the grocery shop I decided that I needed the warmth and comfort of a restaurant (I really don't ever need much convincing to go restaurant but I feel the need to justify it). We decided to stay local and try out a really new restaurant in Ayr, The Newmarket. At the time of my visit it had only been open for a few weeks. I have been following it on social media and thought it looked very nice. 

My first impression was of a warm and welcoming atmosphere. We had come in from the rain & cold and as soon as I walked in the door I felt relaxed. The restaurant wasn't overly busy so we had the pick of seats and choose a booth. We were given our menus and a drinks order was taken. 
There is a wide variety of dishes on the menu which caters for all tastes. For starter you can get dishes such as soup; cullen skink; a chickpea dish; scallops and rabbit to name but a few. For mains you can choose from tikka marinated chicken; coley; beef burger; pork and a veg curry etc. For dessert you can have cheesecake, sticky toffee pudding, cheese plate and ice cream. There was also a market menu but we didn't actually look at it, we just picked off the a la carte menu.

For starters I went for chickpea, tomato, broad bean and beetroot cassoulet. Mr EmmaEats went for pressed ham hough, cheddar bon bons and piccalilli. My dish was lovely and it really had a good kick to it, however there wasn't anything overly special about it. Mr EE really liked his starter, in particular the ham hough. 

For mains I went for the veg curry which is described as broccoli, cauliflower, & kohlarabi red curry, rice and coconut naan. It was a pretty dish and I did feel that maybe the portion was a bit on the small side (but I always feel in restaurants that a vegetarian dish is nearly always on the small side - clearly vegetarians have smaller stomachs - right??) however, the portion was actually perfect and I was pretty full after it. I did feel however that it was a bit bland - my starter had more of a kick to it. Don't get me wrong it was fine but just bland. 
Mr EE loved his dinner. He went for the 8oz ribeye, hand cut chips, roast tomato, flat cap mushroom and peppercorn. He said the meat was a really good piece of meat. It may not look it from the photo but the portion was actually huge - the chips were hidden under the fine portion of meat. It was also cooked to Mr EE's liking. 
We decided to share a dessert as the both of us were pretty full. We went for the sticky toffee pudding. I just had two bites and to be honest I really wanted to go for more but I refrained. Mr EE quiet happily finished off the dessert, clearly loving every bite. Food rating: 3/5. 
The staff were very attentive here and there was also plenty of staff on. Food came out pretty quickly but we did get a break between each course. Service rating: 5/5.

As I said earlier, the moment I walked in the door I just got a warm and welcoming feeling. It was a Thursday night and to be honest I did expect to see more people there, but as I said above, they are only open a few weeks so hopefully over time it will fill up. The restaurant is beautifully decorated with lovely glass features on the roof and lovely wall features - which you can see in the photo below. Atmosphere rating: 4/5.
The total cost of our meal was £47.80 which included 2 starters, 2 mains, 1 dessert, 2 bottles of sparlking water, a large glass of wine and 2 coffees. This I thought was really good value. When I studied the receipt it turned out that our starters and mains must have been on the market menu (with a £3 supplement for the steak) as were only charged for 2 market menu's with the supplement and a dessert. Price rating: 4/5.
Last Words
I really liked my visit here - whilst my dishes may not have blown me away I think that this place is very promising. It must be borne in mind that this restaurant is only in it's infancy and will need time to find it's groove. It is certainly a great addition to the food scene in Ayr and I really hope that they do well. We will certainly be back. Total rating: 16 out of 20. 
Date Visited: Thursday, 1 September 2016.

Restaurant Details:
The Newmarket,
48 Newmarket Street,
KA7 1LH,

Website: none
Telephone no: 01292 268519

If there is anywhere you think I should try next I would love to hear from you. You can either comment below or email me at 

Thanks a mil for reading.

Emma mai xx

Friday, 9 September 2016

Raw Desserts Workshop with Laurianne's Raw Cakes

If you have been following me on social media over the last few months you will know that I've been trying to eat a little bit healthier. So this means when I'm at home I try my best to eat 'clean'. What does this mean - well I try not to eat dairy, wheat, gluten, refined sugar etc. I haven't been eating any treats as such (unless I'm eating out) but going forward I would like to be able to have a 'clean' treat with my cup of tea. So I took to the worldwide web looking for inspiration and came across Laurianne's website and noticed that she was hosting workshops on how to make raw desserts so I decided to give it a go.

The Workshop
I wasn't really sure what to expect from the workshop so I arrived with an open mind. It was being held in conjunction with the Tartan Carrot* in The Old Barn (G41 4SN, it is surrounded by the beautiful Pollok Country Park). It was a beautiful setting, in a lovely little kitchen. You would have thought that you were just sitting around in your friend's kitchen. The courses are small and depending on location can be limited to 8 people. Which is great, as it makes it very personal.

So Laurianne started off by giving us a booklet which contained all the recipes that we were going to 'bake' and she also gave us a little background to her company (you can find an interview I did with Laurianne by clicking HERE).

I hear you ask impatiently - what cakes did we bake? For this particular workshop we made:-

  • rainbow fruits cheesecake
  • raw fruit tartlets, and
  • raw brownies & chocolate icing
Laurianne proceeded to make each cake - giving us the opportunity to see the cakes at each stage. The consistency is important so I thought it was great to be able to see it evolve. We were also able to taste the cakes at different stages which showed us how important the ingredients were to make the cake work.

Laurianne was able to make recommendations for the best produce to use and where to get it in Glasgow. Further information was also provided in the booklet on this. The equipment used is also important so Laurianne talked us through what she would recommend and this was also covered in the booklet. Also included was a list of places where we could find further recipes.

The Cakes
Rainbow Fruits Cheesecake

Raw Fruits Tartlets

Raw Brownies & Chocolate Icing
I seem to have lost my photos of the making of this brownie but you can see it in the right hand corner of the photo.

The Cost
The cost of the course was £45 - which I thought was great value. The course lasted for 2 hours. We got to bring home our cakes and while we were there we also got to taste some other cakes.

Further Information
Laurianne's website click HERE
For more information on workshops click HERE
To find out how to get your hands on Laurianne's cakes click HERE

Finally, people may think that these workshops (or Laurianne's cakes) are only for vegan's however, I think that both the workshops and cakes are for anyone who is looking for something healthy. The cakes really are tasty and you would be surprised how filling they are. And as they are not packed full of refined sugar you are not left craving more, you are actually really satisfied.

If you have any questions on the workshop please comment below or send an email to

Thanks a mil for reading.

Emma mai xx

* The Tartan Carrot is a hub for all things Vegan and Vegetarian in Scotland. They organise Vegan and Vegetarian events as well as researching the best Vegan and Vegetarian places to eat in Scotland. You can access their website by clicking HERE.

Some photos of Laurianne's cakes:-