New year, new you, as the saying goes. But this time, particularly as we enter a new decade with environmental issues high on the agenda, if you’re a meat-eater why not give Veganuary a whirl?
And if you want your sustainable meat-free dishes to be as flavour-packed and colourful as ever, Thaikhun, one of the city’s finest Thai restaurants, should be top of your list.
It’s a hop, skip and jump from Deansgate, at the entrance to Spinningfields, and you’ve no doubt noticed it before – it’s that charming restaurant packed with hand-picked authentic Thai bric-a-brac, while outside boasts a tuk-tuk sourced all the way from Bangkok.
Finding strictly vegan Thai dishes has long been something of a challenge, which can be frustrating to those of us who’ve fallen in love with the fresh ingredients and delicious aromas of Southeast Asian cuisine.
But now Thaikhun have launched a brand new menu, especially for Veganuary, based around the exciting new foodstuff ‘daring’.
Described on the menu as ‘daring chick*n’ (don’t worry, this is just shorthand to describe the texture and taste of this fascinating new food, not a single chicken is involved in the making of daring!), it’s used here to replace the meat items in your favourite Thai dishes on the specials menu.
It’s entirely plant-based and looks, cooks and tastes just like the meat itself – apart from the all-important fact that it’s animal-free. Even better, it’s made entirely from simple, natural ingredients. No unwanted chemicals here, we’re pleased to report.
But what does this new daring menu consist of? As experienced Thai food lovers, we were spoilt for choice, but we’d recommend starting out with daring chick*n satay skewers, to ease your way in.
They’re just like the ones you’d find sold from the street food stalls of Bangkok, smothered in peanut sauce and cucumber relish and an ideal way to demonstrate just how substantial and moreish daring actually is.
Or if you’re a fan of the classics, try the hand-rolled crispy spring rolls, packed with daring chick*n, carrot, cabbage, taro and vermicelli, superb when dipped into a serving of Thaikhun’s sweet chilli sauce.
You can go a little further when it comes to mains, thanks to the abundance of choice.
The daring chick*n pad thai is well worth a try, and you can’t go far wrong with the green and red curries with the protein element as daring chick*n (or even tofu, if you want to keep it old-school).
The most eye-catching dish is arguably the aromatic red curry, from the stir fry section, featuring thick chunks of daring chick*n and aubergine, wok-fried with plenty of fresh crunchy green beans, cooked with Thaikhun’s legendarily moreish red curry sauce.
And there are yet more options for the discerning vegan Thai food fan, including sweet and sour chick*n, tamarind cauliflower steak, and an aubergine katsu curry.
Finish things off with mango sticky rice or ice cream and sorbet, and you’ve just enjoyed one of the best Thai meals in Manchester, without animal products involved at any stage of the process. That’s how to do Veganuary right.
This forward-thinking menu has just launched this month, and you can drop in from midday every day of the week until 10pm in the evening (10.30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays).
If you’re already a proud vegan, you’ll find plenty of new exciting dishes to enjoy here. But if you’re a meat-eater looking for a healthier, more sustainable diet then Thaikhun’s groundbreaking menu will have you wondering what took you so long.