Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Meadowhall Blogger Event - Cocktail Class at Chao Baby

Palm Sugar Lounge Chao Baby Sheffiled Meadowhall

Last week I was kindly invited down to Meadowhall for the second Bloggers Hub meet. This was arranged to take place at the Palm Sugar bar, which is a part of the Chao Baby resturant which is next to the Palm Sugar lounge, to learn how to make cocktails and mocktails (for those under 18, those who were driving, and awkward ones like myself - who don't drink!) 

We gathered there around noon and introduced ourselves before making ourselves comfy around the circular bar where Matt, who was the Mixologist, showed us how to make cocktails and mocktails after honing his skills in Sydney, Australia (does anyone else think of the Tom Cruise movie, Cocktail?). He even got some of us up to make the cocktails and get really involved with the process which was brilliant. 

Palm Sugar Lounge Chao Baby Sheffiled Meadowhall




Palm Sugar Lounge Chao Baby Sheffiled Meadowhall

Palm Sugar Lounge Chao Baby Sheffiled Meadowhall

Palm Sugar Lounge Chao Baby Sheffiled Meadowhall

Palm Sugar Lounge Chao Baby Sheffiled Meadowhall

Palm Sugar Lounge Chao Baby Sheffiled Meadowhall

This cocktail was a Tom Yam Siam - and yes, that is a chilli floating in the top! This little spicey cocktails uses the same spices that are used in the Tom Yam soup and some of the ingredients include lime juice, vodka, rum, lemongrass - and as you probably guessed from the little red spicey thing floating in the top - this cocktail contains red chillis to give it a spicey kick! As I don't drink I can't tell you how spicey this is, but from the faces fellow bloggers made, it definitely had some power behind it!  

Palm Sugar Lounge Chao Baby Sheffiled Meadowhall

Palm Sugar Lounge Chao Baby Sheffiled Meadowhall

These two were the first mocktails that we made - Mojitos! A raspberry flavoured one and a mint (i think?) flavoured one. Mojitos typically include white rum, however as these were mocktails, the rum was subsituted for something non-alcoholic. They also include sugar, lime juice, sparkling water, mint and as you probably guessed for the red one - raspberries! They were very fancy looking, but I didn't try these as I'm very fussy when it comes to things floating in my drinks! 

Palm Sugar Lounge Chao Baby Sheffiled Meadowhall

Next up was another cocktail - Strawberry Daiquiris. Which includes a blend of Vodka, Strawberries and Ice - I couldn't see what else what put in as they were made in a blender on the other side of the bar. They came out resembling a strawberry smoothie and I know that if I did drink, I'd probably really like this! 

Palm Sugar Lounge Chao Baby Sheffiled Meadowhall

For the non-drinkers, Matt made a smoothie! This contained Mango Juice, Strawberries, Ice and Limes to create a real tropical tasting smoothie that was really nice and I can imagine it being really refreshing on hot days! However, this drink isn't actually on the menu as it was created just for us - so it was unnamed, therefore it's now been dubbed the "Bloggers Hub" - well, what else where we going to call it?

Palm Sugar Lounge Chao Baby Sheffiled Meadowhall

The last drink that was made was a Frozen Margarita which contained Tequila, Vodka, Lime, Ice, Lemon Juice and an Orange Liqueur - once again, as I don't drink I can't comment on how it tasted, but it definitely looked fancy! 

Palm Sugar Lounge Chao Baby Sheffield Meadowhall

After the cocktail making class we were very kindly given lunch by the chefs over at Chao Baby, it was the first time I had tried Thai food and it certainly won't be the last!

Whilst we were waiting for everything to be cooked, we were told about Chao Baby and how the company got started. A man named Martin was in Bangkok, Thailand and one evening he really wanted Pad Thai, so he went down to one of the main streets to a street vendor selling the food, it was a lady named Kim and eventually they fell in love. The couple moved to the UK in 2004 and that is when they opened their first restaurant in Leeds named Chaophraya before opening another one in Manchester in 2007 and then another in Liverpool. The couple then developed Chao Baby which is designed to go in shopping centres like Meadowhall in Sheffield.

To this day the couple still live, and work in Leeds and Kim can often be found in the kitchen in Chaophraya in Leeds cooking away. We were also told that alot of people who work for the group are from Thailand and so that food is always tradiational. We were told that they consider Chao Baby and Chaophraya to be a group rather than a chain as they work very closely together and consider each other family. Often the people who come over from Thailand, come with relatives or as a couple so everyone who works there often have a strong bond with each other.

Being a hopeless romantic myself, I loved the story and the background of the group!

Palm Sugar Lounge Chao Baby Sheffield Meadowhall


Palm Sugar Lounge Chao Baby Sheffield Meadowhall

Palm Sugar Lounge Chao Baby Sheffield Meadowhall

Palm Sugar Lounge Chao Baby Sheffield Meadowhall

The food was absolutely delicious. We were given rice crackers, pad thai which was under a giant omelette (I really liked that they made Pad Thai - as if it wasn't for this dish in Thailand being sold by Kim, Chao Baby wouldn't exist today) as well as Beef Curry, Egg Fried Rice, Plain Rich, Fish in Batter, Chips and Vegetable Spring Rolls. Everything was full of flavour and I couldn't find a single thing wrong with it! 

I can't believe that I've worked in Meadowhall for almost 2 years now and gone there so often outside of work that I hadn't tried Chao Baby before, but I certainty know now that I will be going back in the future as their food is incredible and the staff there are so lovely, it's a brilliant atmosphere there and has such a lovely back story.

At the minute Chaophraya and Chao Baby are a northern based group, and only go as far south as Birmingham - but they are hoping to branch out in the future and reach London! If you ever are near one of their restaurants and are hungry - I highly recommend you pop in and sample some of their gorgeous Thai food! 


5 comments:

  1. ooh, this sees like such a good event! i always wanted to know how to make my own cocktails!

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  2. It sounds like you had a great time, pretty sure I would be too if I was making cocktails! :) x

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  3. We attended a show last night - my boyfriend is a metal head - and I was totally impressed with how security handled the large crowd present at San Francisco restaurants

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