With my next trip to Thailand just 8 weeks away, I have been filling my face with as much Thai food as I can. As much as I loved the food when I went to Thailand last year, I didn’t know what most of the items on the menu were so tended to eat pad thai everywhere. Naturally I got really bored with it so I have been trying new dishes before my next visit, starting with the new menu at Thaikhun.
The last time I visited Thaikhun I was blown away and always recommend it when people ask me for places to eat socially in Manchester. Having now visited Thailand for myself, I was intrigued to see how authentic the dishes were. It is clear that the decor is very authentic. With images of the King on the walls and the colourful baskets covering the condiments, we may not have mosquitos here but the attention to detail is clear.
No Thai meal starts without Thai crackers and the ones at Thaikhun are pretty good. I think they are a dish really difficult to get wrong though. We shared the Chicken Skewers and Palm Sugar Beef to kick things off. The chicken was soft and fell off the stick with ease whilst the peanut satay sauce had a nice kick. The accompanying relish was sweet pickled so had a nice crunch to add a little something different to the dish. I didn’t actually see chicken satay when we were in Thailand but I’ll be paying closer attention next time as it is something that I always order when eating in Thai restaurants in this country. Another dish I will be looking out for is the palm sugar beef. Thin strips of beef had been marinated with palm sugar, coriander, soy sauce and pepper before being fried. The are so thin that they are slightly chewy but it really adds to the flavour of the dish and the hot sauce on the side gives the heat that I remember from most street food in Bangkok. I cant wait to try and find this!
We both went out of our comfort zone with our mains. My friend chose the Barbecued Pork on Rice although the rice was served in this cute little pot. Every dish we ordered in Thailand was served with half a boiled egg and some cucumber, so this was truly authentic looking! The pork had a crispy coating with the lashings of sauce being spicy yet sweet for a different flavour.
I chose the Spicy Sukhothai Noodle Soup as I thought it would be as close to a ramen style dish as I could get. Ramen is a real favourite of mine at the moment and if I can find it in Thailand, I’ll be a happy girl. Despite ‘spicy’ being in the title, this dish did not have a heat measure on the menu like other dishes, so I assumed it might just have a gentle heat. Oh how wrong I was! It reminded me of the time in Phuket when I asked for my Tom Yum with a ‘medium spice’. What arrived was hotter than the sun and I could only let it touch my lips for a few seconds before them feeling like I had applied too much plumping gloss. The broth of this soup was far too spicy for me in the fact that the spice completely took over the whole dish, kind of making the other flavours meaningless. That said, the minced chicken, roasted pork belly and tofu were delicious so I gently picked them out between glasses of water.
Thailand isn’t really known for its desserts and we would usually skip them, but I was still a little peckish and the Unicorn Ice Cream promised to cool down my mouth. My friend, never one to be defeated, chose the Buttermilk Pancake Stack. The pancakes were delicious, topped with Nutella and ice cream, the way I have seen them in Thailand. My ice cream did as I had hoped and brought the heat of my main right down. Pink and white marbled ice cream was topped with cream, sprinkles and a cone. It was simple and probably a little childish, but I was happy.
As always, Thaikhun was a pleasure and I can’t wait to hunt out some of the dishes when I go back to Bangkok in December, I need them to bring the heat down of the noodle soup as, if it was a tad milder, it would be the perfect dish for me. Perhaps I need to go back a few times before my pending trip and get my tastebuds used to it, you know, for research purposes.
I was invited to dine as a guest of Thaikhun and was kindly given a gift voucher to cover part of our meal.