There's always been something a little bit special about Chaophraya, as unlike the majority of Thai or "Asian-fusion" restaurants in Manchester, which either look dated or 'hip but casual', this place has upmarket decor, authentically dressed and smiling staff and a fantastic ambience - bustling but never rowdy or 'echoey'. Review site Manchester Confidential claimed it gone downhill when they last reviewed it in 2011, accusing it of pandering to the mass market and selling hideous-sounding hybrid cuisine like Yorkshire-puddings filled with Thai sauces! Luckily they seem to have taken the hint and restored the original, authentic Thai focus! I ordered a starter of steamed dumplings, which were fine if a little bit cold, and a Chicken Pad Thai - a little bit on the sweet side I felt but still very tasty, full of variety and a good-sized portion. My partner had sweetcorn cakes, which were delicious (I pinched one!) and plentiful followed by Thai red prawn curry and jasmine rice, which must have extremely good as he's not a big eater but devoured what was a very large portion! He did say he thoroughly enjoyed it, and prawns are always a highlight at Chaophraya - bigger and juicier than I have seen elsewhere. The wine selection was great, a very nice sauvignon blanc was selected, and reasonably priced too, the service prompt and courteous and it was good to see that the traditional Thai costume and drum-banging routine, prompting applause from most of the restaurant, is still in full force for birthday celebrations!
My only comment would be that the starters are possibly a little bit overpriced for what they are (almost £8 for a handful of dumplings I felt was a little steep) and they were a little stingy with tap water, providing only single glasses rather than a jug! However, this is not somewhere you would necessarily visit often and as such the price is worth paying for the special ambience and warmth of the place, as well as the competently-executed food.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.