I've got to assume that Chao Praya is named after the river in Thailand with the same moniker. When it was on Ridgeway in Hickory Hill, it was one of my favorite Thai restaurants in Memphis, though I only went occasionally because it was a bit of a drive from my house. When I heard it was closing, I thought it was lost to me forever.
Then, one of my favorite dining companions, Ziggy, told me that it had returned in an unlikely strip mall in Southwind. It was a bit hard to find, because Chao Praya is now part of Thai China Dragon. If you don't know what you're looking for, you'll pass right over it.
The interior is a bit dark, and the restaurant was a bit empty with only a couple other diners on a Saturday afternoon. I started with rich, creamy Thai iced tea. It's funny; I can't stand regular iced tea, but add a generous amount of sweetened condensed milk, and I can't resist it.
I almost always start out a Thai meal with spring rolls. I feel like if you can't do those right, then I don't have faith in your ability to execute the rest of the menu properly. Chao Praya's version is delicious, just as good as I remembered it from the old location. They were well-fried, crisp and not at all greasy.
For my entree, I chose Pad See Ew. I just love good noodle dishes, regardless of the style of cuisine. I give bonus points if the noodles are made in house. I'm not certain if Chao Praya does so, but this plate of food was excellent. It may not be the prettiest dish, but it's hearty and satisfying.
I'm so glad that I learned that Chao Praya was back in the Bluff City. It's a great addition, and a reason to travel outside of the I-40/@240 loop.
760 Winchester Road, Suite 103
Memphis, TN 38115
Monday-Thursday (lunch) 11:30am-2:30pm (dinner) 5:00pm-9:00pm
Friday (lunch) 11:30am-2:30pm (dinner) 5:00pm-10:00pm