Thaikhun opened in May 2014 and continues to truly embrace its authentic street vibe. From the restaurant’s relaxed atmosphere and spontaneous decor to the delicious and fuss-free food, it’s no wonder this Spinningfields eatery was packed on the Wednesday night Jemima Forbes visited to sample the autumn/winter menu.
Thaikhun is part of the Thai Liesure Group that owns Chaophraya and continues to serve colourful dishes inspired by the entrepreneurial street food vendors of Bangkok. Joint owner and chef, Kim, once had her own renowned restaurant in Bangkok before deciding to share her delectable dishes and vibrant flavours with eager Manchester diners.
“The menu at Thaikhun
is dotted with familiar
favourites and a large
selection of regional
The name Thaikhun translates as ‘your Thailand’, an underlying theme of the restaurant’s décor that intends to remind past visitors of Thailand of previous visits as well as entice future holidaymakers.
Look around you as you sit at your table and each item will have its own story, and if the mementos aren’t enough encouragement then the food will be. The menu at Thaikhun is dotted with familiar favourites such as coconut enthused curries and pad thai noodles, yet it also has a large selection of regional Thai dishes. I tried a wonderful selection of dishes and was rarely disappointed by the flavour or simple yet attractive presentation.
While browsing the expansive menu and admiring the quirky interiors, we sampled some amazing fruity cocktails. The My Thai, a Thai take on the popular pina colada and served in a coconut, was a particular favourite and the Bangkok Chill was an unusual but refreshing blend of mango vodka, lime and basil.
Having tried to not fill up too much on the complimentary Thai crackers and chilli sauce, the arrival of our starters was warmly welcomed. We opted for the Bangkok Street Platter and the Por Pia Sod, a tempting dish of prawn rolls. The platter was a selection of traditional Thai favourites including perfectly tender chicken with a crunchy satay sauce, tasty but perhaps slightly too oily Thai prawn toast, an unusual spiced sausage and incredibly moreish red curried corn cakes. The prawn rolls came unexpectedly as a cold dish but were nevertheless flavoursome with their blend of mint, coriander and basil combined with a chilli dipping sauce.
Satisfied with our choice of starters, we delved into the difficult challenge of narrowing down the choice of dishes for our main course. The regional specials all looked incredibly tempting but we chose the popular Khao Ka Moo, a Bangkok street favourite consisting of slow cooked pork on a bed of rice, kale and egg. The pork truly melted in your mouth and was lightly enthused but not empowered by the flavour of the spiced broth it had been cooked in. This dish, although delicious, was best left shared due to the richness of the meat that filled you up after only a few bites.
Our second choice was the Ped Phao Prik Poa, a spicy roasted duck stir fry mixed in with a selection of fresh vegetables marinated in a chilli and oyster sauce. While the dish had a kick to it, the spice was not too strong and my companion considered it to be the best dish we had tasted all night.
For me, this honour was reserved for the final main dish – the classic Thai Green Curry. Having travelled to Thailand myself and tasted many authentic green curries, this was definitely up there in my books as one of the best for flavour – a perfect blend of spice, sweetness and cream mingled with all the flavours of a traditional green curry. So good it was difficult to stop eating. Unfortunately, by this point I was far too full to finish it but we were allowed to take any leftovers home so they served as a delicious lunch the following day.
After a brief break in which I contemplated the dessert menu and decided I did have room to try one Thai sweet treat, I settled on the Pancake Sankaya. This Thai twist on a popular favourite came stuffed with pandan custard, a vibrant green dessert made from the pandan plant, served with an aromatic and refreshing coconut ice cream. The colour of the dessert may have been slightly unusual but the taste of the strange custard slowly grew on me and I ended up polishing off the whole dish. While it may be an acquired taste, this sweet dish is definitely worth a try if you feel like testing your taste buds or your culinary limits.
Having enjoyed an extremely satisfying and aromatic meal, I would definitely recommend Thaikhun to lovers of Thai cuisine and to anyone who to anyone who has yet to be converted. With a traditional and successful Thai chef behind the menu and a team of Thai chefs in the kitchen, the restaurant certainly doesn’t skimp on authenticity. While all restaurants may have some dishes you prefer over others, Thaikhun’s variation of amazing dishes along with its friendly atmosphere make it the perfect place for different people, different tastes and different occasions.
Check out their Christmas menu for a south east Asian take on the festive period and make sure to add them immediately to your list of regular take out places!
Contact & book
The Avenue, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3HF
0161 819 2065