Don’t be fooled by the slick and corporate surroundings of Spinningfields – Thaikhun offers some seriously authentic flavours and some of the best Thai food in Manchester. So good that it transports you straight to Bangkok with every colourful mouthful.
Thaikhun launched in Spinningfields in 2014 and now has eight restaurants across the UK. The chaotic and fit-to-burst interior is crammed with sacks of rice, pots, pans, flowers, books, postcards, maps, newspapers, birdcages and bikes – all designed to transport you to the heart of bustling Bangkok.
The new menu is a celebration of flavour and fresh ingredients typically found in Thai culture with fun titbits of information helping you decide what to order. And you need all the help you can get as there is so much to choose from.
There’s sharing platters, healthy salads, curry, stir fry, rice, noodles and grill and you can make your own pinto boxes! There is also a dedicated For The Young Adventurer section with fun facts and activities complete with free creepy crawlies. We wanted to order from here but decided not to as my companion and I are both well out of our teens.
We chose a mix of new dishes and old favourites instead. Some of the dishes on the old menu have been tweaked. But first things first. Cocktails. We had the Full Moon which was very refreshing and watermelony (in other words, you don’t really notice the vodka and could drink these far too easily), and the signature Thaikhun, which was a clever balance of Thai whisky, ginger, lemongrass, chilli and mint. I would go back for this alone it was that good.
All three starters we ate were super healthy and super tasty. Por Pia Sod fresh prawn rolls are served cold and are made from finely shredded carrot, mint, coriander, basil and prawns held together by thin rice paper. The fresh flavours simply burst in your mouth. Ka Nom Jeeb steamed vegetable dumplings were a revelation as we both thought they’d bought us the meat ones by mistake. Who knew minced bean curd and tofu could taste so meaty?! And possibly our favourite, Pla Tod Yum Mamuang sea bass and mango salad.
I always think Thai salads are some of the tastiest salads going but this one was exceptional – crispy sea bass with tamarind fish sauce, a lot of chilli, shallots and coriander. Absolutely stunning.
Make Your Own Pinto is a great way to try a couple of dishes if you can’t make your mind up. These are served for two or more in traditional pinto boxes as used by workers in Thailand for their packed lunches. Simply choose three dishes and rice. Arguments over, we finally went with the Beef Red Curry. Made with bigger red chillis, it’s not as hot as its green counterpart and tends to be more savoury and less coconut sweet with the flavour of the herbs and spices really coming through. This one was particularly good. A classic Chicken Pad Tai which was just that. And Goong Phad Prik Gra Tiam chilli garlic prawns stir fry, a sweet and sour very saucy dish that’s bound to be a new best seller, served with lovely sticky rice.
Although I wouldn’t normally order a Thai dessert, we were intrigued by their Thai Sticky Date Pudding so we decided to share one of those. This proved to be the right decision. The pudding was moist with lovely dates and loads of ginger – a lot more than a western recipe would have, and all the better for it. With the accompanying Thai whisky ice cream, this was a bit naughty but very nice!
What a great lunch. A big thumbs up for the new menu – and to Thaikhun for donating 5p for every portion of rice ordered to the Thai Children’s Trust to help underprivileged children.
Try a Bangkok Street Platter for free!
Book for 4 or more quoting “THAIKHUNNEWMENU” to try their new Bangkok Street Platter for 2 completely free.