Thursday, 26 July 2018

Our Experience of Edinburgh's Most Talked About Thai Restaurant - Chaophraya


Since its opening in late 2012 Chaophraya has seemed to be the Thai restaurant on everyone's lips. Everyone from our best friends to my next door neighbours to the postman was raving about the delicious food, incredible service and, of course, the complete showstopper that is the view of Edinburgh Castle from the rooftop dining area. 

We put off visiting Chaophraya because of the general hype around the place - not to mention that it was near impossible to secure a booking over the weekend. Fast forward a few years and we finally found ourselves at one of the best tables in the restaurant inside the amazing glass rooftop dining area.  

Chaophraya strikes me as one of the rare restaurants that you can visit with multiple types of party. The delicious Thai food would be the ultimate setting for a Friday night out with the girls, a family celebration or a romantic date night. By the end of the dinner, we were tempted to book a table for the following week to enjoy the tremendous food again and again. 


From the moment we arrived and were seated the service was fast and efficient and the general atmosphere in the restaurant was relaxed despite how busy it was (even on a Tuesday evening this place is very popular). We settled in and agonised over the lush cocktail menu before finally settling on a Raspberry Collins and Kier Champagne cocktails.  The drinks were excellent. They have some completely original cocktail recipes which showcase some delicious Thai flavours and were the perfect tipple to kick-off an evening of fantastic food and company.

The service at Chaophraya was excellent throughout the night - the waitress looked after us throughout the evening and had perfected the balance of being attentive but not overbearing. She ensured our water glasses were never empty and we had limitless access to the rooftop terrace for photo shoots throughout the evening. 


The menu had something for everybody and for three foodies it was difficult to decide what we didn't want to try never mind what we wanted to order. In the end, to start, we settled on the Yaowarat Dumpling Platter and the Chicken Spring Rolls which we shared. 

The spring rolls were perfectly crispy and the filling was moist and bursting with flavour. Lyndsey has a bit of a love/hate relationship with spring rolls after bad experiences in the local Chinese (haven't we all) but Chaophraya reaffirmed her love for the crisp delights. The selection of pork, prawn and beef dumplings were simply perfect. We loved the variety of flavour and textures with the different fillings but the prawn dumplings were a firm favourite for us all. The sweet soy sauce that was served with the dumplings was incredible too.



We decided to order a few things to share with our mains so we could taste a variety of the incredible dishes that were on offer.  From the 'Thai Re-Imagined' section on the menu (a variety of small plates recommended to accompany the mains) we ordered the Miang Kahm with Nasturtium- a little mouthful of ginger, coconut and spice served on a leaf. The flavours within this small bite were so intense, an interesting way to prepare our palettes for what was to come. An absolute must try from this section on the menu is the Sous Vide Pepper and Garlic Beef. Anyone who hasn't tasted this dish is missing out in our eyes. The slow-cooked beef melts in the mouth and the blend of truffle oil, mung bean and garlic in the rice/pearl barley will have you craving more. We also tried the Chicken Boxing: succulent chicken wings coated in crispy breadcrumbs served with a sweet chilli sauce which was the ultimate guilty pleasure side to accompany out Thai banquet. 





The mains we ordered comprised of a classic Massaman Curry, a spicy Beef Jungle curry and Tiger Steak. We ordered coconut rice and purple rice which were both totally perfect to go with our dishes. The purple rice definitely had a bite to it but was a great match with both curries for both texture and taste.


One of the best dishes of the evening had to be the Weeping Tiger Sirloin Steak. This is a dish we haven't come across too often in Thai restaurants in the UK but one Lyndsey has enjoyed in Miami on holiday several times. The steak was perfectly marinated and cooked in beautiful aromatic spices - with just the right kick to compliment the melt in the middle sirloin. She asked for it to be cooked medium-rare and that's exactly what it was. Sometimes steak restaurants can struggle to get the cooking right so was pleased to see that a Thai restaurant could get it spot on.

Our desserts were as delicious, if not more than they look. Zoë tried the Thai style Sticky Toffee Pudding with a hint of ginger and it was divine. The blend of ginger was just right and didn't take anything away from the comforting warmth from the toffee sauce and soaked sponge. Lyndsey went for the chocolate box which was rich in flavour but light as a feather- the ultimate chocaholics dream come true. Toni went for a soaked bubka (kind of similar to baklava soaking) which was sweet enough and a lighter end to such a wild flavour rollercoaster of a meal.






Our experience with Chaophraya was flawless and utterly delicious. The price point isn't ridiculous for the quality of the food and the whole experience was fun and memorable. We loved each course just as much as the next and can't wait to return again very soon. They're more than happy to meet any dietary requirements or make dishes milder or spicier if you wish. The food is fresh, exciting and simply the best Thai restaurant in Edinburgh.

 L, T & Z x


Be sure to book in advance during the mania of the Edinburgh festival and fringe!

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Thursday, 12 July 2018

The #1 Steak Restaurant In Edinburgh - Hawksmoor

Hawksmoor Edinburgh

Listen up guys and gals, there is a new restaurant in town and it has possibly (almost definitely) taken the title for the best steak restaurant in Edinburgh. Edinburgh is the 9th location that Hawksmoor have set up a restaurant in, and I think I speak for most in saying that I am so excited that it is finally open!

I was lucky enough to experience a little preview of the menu last night and it did not disappoint. For a start, the staff were amazing. They knew where every single ingredient on the table came from, including the wine- which was delicious btw. On top of the wine, the cocktails that we tried were also delicious and original. Shout out to the 'Shaky Pete's Ginger Brew'- a gin/beer cocktail that has me thirsty for more.

Hawksmoor

I was really impressed to find out how much of the produce was sourced locally. For example, all of their bread comes from none other than Twelve Triangles and they get their cheese from I J Mellis in Stockbridge. A lot of their seafood comes from the Isle of Mull, taking no more than 6 hours to get from the sea to their kitchen. For me, the best scallops you can get are from Mull and so I was really happy to hear that, and I was even more excited when I actually ate them. Delicious. Scallops were just one of the starters we got to try, another favourite of mine was the Langoustine Scampi which surprised me because it's not something I would usually go for but the batter was just so light and you could tell how fresh the fish was.

Hawksmoor Edinburgh

Hawksmoor Edinburgh

Hawksmoor prides itself on the fact that all of the beef they sell comes from grass-fed, local native breeds. It was really nice to hear just how committed they are to sourcing meat of the highest quality while bearing in mind ethical standards. It certainly tasted like their efforts have paid off. My personal favourite out of the cuts of meat we tried was the Fillet, but the general consensus around the table was that Rump is the one not to miss. 

Hawksmoor Edinburgh

Macaroni cheese


Lobster, Hawksmoor

Hawksmoor

From sides to sauces (peppercorn sauce, beef dripping fries, the butter lettuce and herb salad were my no.1's) I couldn't fault one element of the meal... maybe that was just the 14%abv Cab Sav swaying my opinion but either way, I thoroughly enjoyed it all. Even when desserts came, they did not disappoint. I often find that this can be a falling point for many restaurants but certainly not Hawksmoor. They have something for everyone, and if these pictures aren't enough to make you believe me, then go and try for yourself.

Hawksmoor

Hawksmoor

Hawksmoor

Hawksmoor

I have a feeling that it is going to be a busy opening month at Hawksmoor so if I was you I would get booking. I really hope that if/when you get the chance to go and try out the best new steak restaurant in Edinburgh, that you will enjoy as much as I did.

Toni x

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Monday, 2 July 2018

Best Glossier Products - Just Three Glossier Gals

If you don't know Glossier then please let us know the location of the rock you have been living under so we can remove it and you can read this post whilst adding each product to your basket. This is a brand that we just love, it has become a staple in our routines and is perfect in every way. They are fun, their branding is flawless and their products are even more so. We've listed our fave Glossier products, what they're good for and why we love them. *This post is not affiliate linked, we just really love them xoxo


Lyndsey: For a girl who likes a lighter touch when it comes to makeup application this cleanser is a great everyday option. The formula is designed to cater to all skin types and it leaves my sensitive, dry and eczema prone skin feeling hydrated and clean. It is the perfect morning cleanser or for days when I am wearing little to no makeup - I wouldn't use it after a night out for example as it isn't heavy duty enough for that in my opinion. The scent and texture of the cleanser are light and clean smelling which I really like for something I will be using on the regular. Great product for the low maintenance beauty girl amongst us.


Lyndsey: Boy Brow is definitely the stand out product for me amongst the Glossier range. I am lucky enough to be blessed with pretty full brows, for me, it is mostly about filling in gaps and taming lose hairs into a formation. I love the small spoolie that gives you lots of control of the style and shape of your brows and it also ensures a small but effective distribution of gel across your brows. I never find the gel making my brow hairs clump together or flaking off onto my face at the end of the day, which has been my issues with other similar products. Boy Brow ticks all the boxes with my brow needs, a fail-safe for girls with bushy brows they need to tame.

Zoë: This Glossier product is something of a blessing to every single person that uses it. Even people that don't use it have only good things to say or share about what they've heard. I have super dark hair and my eyebrows are what can only be described as baby caterpillars if not managed. I rarely use anything on them because they don't need to be darker, they don't need to be filled in and I quite like them being a little bit wild and natural. Boy Brow has let me keep their natural and naked look but has managed to support their stray ways. It works with a full face and looks amazing when I don't wear anything else. I'll apply it once and that's enough for a whole day. Boy-Brow is one of those products that I'll never not have in my make-up bag.

Toni: As a girl who has quite fair and thin brows, this product was a godsend when it was introduced to me. After I used it once, I knew it was something that I will always have in my makeup bag. It bulks my brows out by filling in the baldy patches while shaping the hairs that I do have. The product sets really nicely, holding the hairs in place and it doesn't melt off half way through the day. I use Boy Brow every time I wear make-up (almost every day) and it has lasted for so long, it's only just starting to dry up/run low and I have had it for almost four months which I would consider a win.


Zoë: Glossier's Stretch Concealer is the best concealer I've ever used. I've got darker skin than most of my friends so found it quite difficult to get any recommendations that actually work with my skin tone. If Glossier has done anything right, it's their extensive colour range to meet any skin tone. It feels weightless, blends like a dream and goes a long way. I've used it as a primer on my eyes, a coverup for dark circles and scars as well as concealing it just works for everything. The texture of it is almost like a moisturises and feels like it when you blend it into your skin- delish. It's a dream concealer I couldn't recommend more. 


Zoë: My ultimate nudey lipstick is CAKE from Glossier. It doesn't dry out my lips, it doesn't make me look like I'm wearing foundation on them and I swear it's my exact lip colour. I was sceptical when I first bought it because I couldn't actually see it on my lips but swift realised that for that exact reason it was perfect for me. It's an amazing colour and looks great with a saucy clear gloss over it, or just bare on its own and looks fab mixed in with other colours. It's perfect. PS: the way it clicks back together is also very satisfying.


Zoë: Can I get a digital confetti canon for this Solution? My skin has been through the shitter from having acne as a teenager and picking spots (sinful) that's left my skin pretty scarred and has left me terrified to use anything new on my skin in case it goes back to being covered in acne again. It's so sensitive I just want to wrap myself in cotton wool and never let anything come near it. Obviously, that's ridiculous. When Glossier announced the Solution coming out I had a flashback moment to the Cake lipstick thinking they were making these products just for me. It's a miracle worker that reduces redness, spots and pore size. It makes your skin smoother and softer and actually gives you a real-life glow. Can I hear you adding to your basket yet? I thought so.


Zoë: This little bottle of joy has been made for us gals who have emotionally troubled skin. As it says on their website it's perfect to use before your period and skin hell arrives or ideal to use when you're stressed or eating junk food. It's really a bottle of saving grace. Easy to apply and I never go a day without it. I really don't know how my skin and I got on before this- it's a little bottle of dreams coming true.


Toni: A little stick of glowy dreams is how I would describe this highlighter. I have this product in the shade Quartz which has a slight pink tone to it which sits really nicely on my cheekbones and ties in well with my blush. I can create my ideal makeup look with this highlighter so easily, I only need to use a tiny amount to get a nice glow with a dewy finish. It can feel quite sticky to put on at first but it sets after a few minutes and then you cant really feel it anymore. It is intended to be applied to your skin directly from the stick but it definitely needs to be blended a bit with a brush or your finger.


Toni: You will find this balm either in my hand, pocket, bag or next to my bed. I always have it on me and I never get sick of it. I do have other lip balms that I use in between so that my lips are getting a bit of a change but this is definitely my main. I have the birthday flavour which, as you can imagine, has a very sweet scent/taste just like b-day cake so I could see why it might not be for everyone. But on top its tasty flavour (lip products can often be unpleasant to taste but this one is actually delish) it has a slight shimmer to it which looks gorgeous on its own or really cute on top of a lipstick.


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