- by: Andrew Kilpatrick
TASTE OF THAI SELECT: Chaopaya
Chaopaya claims to be Barrie Ontario's only authentic Thai restaurant. Located in a lovely old house at 168 Dunlop Street East in Barrie, Chaopaya has been open for about 12 years, and under the current ownership for the last eight. Run by a husband and wife team, Chaopaya aims to bring authentic Thai food to the people of Barrie.
We are told that the locals are becoming more adventurous eaters as more people move there from further south in the GTA. The current owners used to live in Toronto and the husband worked as a quality manager in the automotive industry. But the downturn in the auto market in the late 2000s led him to make other plans for his family. With no previous experience in the restaurant business, the couple bought the restaurant and started using their passion for great food and quality to build their business for the locals to enjoy.
Chaopaya has a number of small cozy diningrooms situated around a large central room that leads out to the patio. The large patio has a wonderful view of the water. It was perfect weather so we enjoyed our meal outside, but the quaint little indoor spaces would be perfect and comfortable during the colder months.
We started with some vegetarian spring rolls. They were surprisingly light and crispy and the plum sauce with chili was just right.
Red Curry with Beef
Served in a beautiful bowl, the red curry was light and the beef was nice and soft. The spicy level was just right.
Cashew Nut Tofu
An excellent example of this popular Thai dish, the cashew nut tofu was quite sweet and citrusy. The nuts were crunchy and the tofu had a lovely texture. The vegetables were fresh and perfectly cooked.
Pad Thai with Chicken and Shrimp
You just know you're in for a treat when the dish comes with a gold fork! The noodles were thinner than most Pad Thai we've seen, and there was a hind of tamarind. The texture of the noodles was great, and there was a nice amount of chicken. More of a kick than the other dishes, this is definitely nice if you want a bit of a spicier dish, although they can probably make it mild if you prefer.
If you enjoy Thai food and looking for the real thing in the Barrie area, check out Chaopaya. You will not be disappointed!
Visit Chaopaya online: www.chaopaya.ca