There's not a day that goes by when I do not think about my recent trip to Bangkok. As someone who has barely travelled in their life, Bangkok left a long lasting impression. I loved everything from the food to the culture, the shopping and of course the people. Thailand was the first place I've ever flown internationally and the place that really stole my heart. Everyday I long to go back and see more of the country.
When I heard there was a restaurant in Manchester that was pretty much a replica of a Bangkok food market, I knew I had to visit. At least one in three foodie nights out, my husband and I dine at a Thai restaurant. We're always on the look out for more authentic Thai food and new places to visit and Thaikhun seemed to tick all the boxes. Thaikhun is an exciting new restaurant from the owners of the Chaophraya restaurant group (another one of my favourite places to eat). The interior is set to look like an authentic street market and is decorated with rustic ornaments and features a large open kitchen. The table settings feature everything you would expect to see when you visit Thailand - a handful of chilli flakes, chopsticks and of course, fish sauce. If you haven't been to Thailand, the people there will pour fish sauce onto almost anything. The word Thaikhun derives from a popular thai saying which roughly translates to 'when you dine, you feel welcome and part of our home as you would in Thailand.'
My husband and I arrived at Thaikun at 8pm yesterday and although I expected the restaurant to be busy, I didn't really anticipate an hour and a half wait for a table. Since we set our hearts on eating at the restaurant we decided to wait it out and visit all the neighbouring bars. Luckily Thaikhun is situated in the Spinningfields region of Manchester where there's quite a lot of bars in one area. When we eventually went back to the restaurant, we were seated straight away, our orders were taken within five minutes and the staff were really courteous and apologised for the long wait. I was really happy to see a wide selection of vegetarian meals on the menu and I opted for the deep fried sweetcorn cakes for starter and the tofu thai green curry for main. If I was being ultra picky I would have liked to see a few more vegetarian starters on the menu, but I was happy regardless.
When the deep fried sweet corn cakes arrived they were so much better than I expected. Crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. The sweet chili dipping sauce was the perfect accompaniment to this dish and I loved the rustic, street style presentation. This was one of those starters that left you wanting more and I couldn't wait for my main to arrive.
Before I went to Thailand I used to avoid anything hot and spicy and I would often refuse to eat curries. After being introduced to Thai Green Curry my mind had been completely changed. A lot of Thai curries are based around coconut milk making them creamy and rich and full of intense flavour. The spices are just enough to get your temperature soaring and make the dish a pleasure to eat. This dish was exactly that - the tofu was succulent and soft and not overcooked like some restaurants have a tendency of doing and the creamy thai curry sauce was perfectly seasoned. I really couldn't fault it.
Our bill came to just over £30 which included two starters, two mains and a drink. My husband and I are used to paying almost double that at our favourite Thai restaurant and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of food for such an affordable price tag. The only thing that let the evening down slightly was long wait - it would have been nice if Thaikhun had an online booking system, but in all fairness it was Saturday night and they are one of the must-visit restaurants in Manchester. Was it worth the wait? Definitely, but I will be going in much earlier to reserve a table next time.
Have you been to Thaikhun before?