Ever since I came back from Bali, I have been planning to head back to the Far East. Not only have I fallen for the culture, but the cuisine has been to die for. Whilst Manchester does have it’s fair share of Thai restaurants to choose from, I don’t think I have eaten anywhere quite like Thaikhun. Situated on The Avenue at Spinningfields, Thaikhun is in a prime location for after work dining and also impulse restaurant decisions. Walking past Thaikhun and you can see the busy interior, paying homage to the bustling streets of Bangkok and the Khao San Road where street vendors offering local dishes are in abundance. Peeking inside, you can see the casual dining area and open kitchen.
The menu is very extensive and on my visit, I was dead set for Pad Thai which I cannot stop myself from ordering. Our servers for the table spoke in depth about the menu, with detail to the dishes created from the street food influence. Surprisingly, my planned order went out of the window in favour of a dish that I hadn’t tried before. Catching up with my sister in law, we sampled the house wine whilst we waited for our dishes. Wait time was actually very impressive, as was the attentiveness of the wait staff who ensured the dishes were brought to the table whilst piping hot, cutlery was replenished and empty plates were not sat in front of us for too long. We also received prawn crackers and dipping sauce whilst we waiting for our starter, which was gratefully received.
I couldn’t break away from my need for dumplings, so naturally a plate of stewed pork dumplings was my first choice. Freshly made, succulent pieces of pork melted in the mouth alongside the thin buttery dough. The smattering of chopped peanuts enhanced the flavour and a touch of soy sauce set the flavour off beautifully.
Clare also went for a pork dish to start and chose the grilled pork skewers. A Thai street food classic, the pork has been marinated with coconut milk, oyster sauce, palm sugar and garlic . Deliciously tender and melt in the mouth, the marinade was tasty and moreish. The highlight of the dish had to be the Jaew sauce which was like an explosion of spice in your mouth. Considering that I can handle fairly hot food, the jaew sauce had me reaching for a napkin to wipe my brow. It’s definitely going to be on my list future order list when I next call in.
As I usually go for Pad Thai, I compromised on a new dish but served with oodles of noodles. A classic dish of Chilli and Thai Basil with chicken was the order of the day. Considering I’ve eaten Thai cuisine many a time, I’m shocked that I have never ordered a classic dish like this. Stir fried chilli and garlic with the flavoursome addition of basil gives a warming, slightly hot to the tongue yet subtle zing to the dish. Substituting the rice for the noodles was also a great decision. The portion size was quite hefty and after a starter, I did struggle to get through my main course even after fighting with myself to have another mouthful.
Clare went for her second pork dish and chose the aromatic red curry with succulent pork belly and green beans in a red curry sauce served over a bed of white fluffy rice. From the quietness of Clare during the main course, I can confirm that the dish was a success.
Unfortunately, we were both hit with eyes bigger than our bellies so we couldn’t even attempt dessert, which was annoying because there is Unicorn Ice Cream on that menu. I’ve also spotted that that Thaikhun offer Thai cooking classes which would be right up my Thai street.
For my first time at Thaikhun, it certainly has left an impression and I can’t wait to head back for more food soon. There is so much choice on the menu that it is definitely worthwhile chatting to the servers about the dishes if you can’t made a decision on what to eat. Next time, the pinto box will be coming into play to try even more dishes.
Thanks for having us Thaikhun! Whilst my meal was provided FOC, all opinions are my own.
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