Back in 2014, Thaikhun opened its doors in Manchester. Fast forward 3 years and the Thai street food chain now has 10 restaurants throughout Britain and are looking to expand further. Thaikhun, pronounced tycoon, means ‘your’ Thai restaurant. The ethos behind the restaurants is to let the diner sample Thai street food and cocktails in a relaxed environment for any occasion. I recently dined at Thaikhun in the beautiful city of Oxford.
The restaurant itself is on two levels with an open plan kitchen on the lower level and the funky décor ranges from a boat hanging from the ceiling to traffic lights on the walls. The waiter was very friendly when we arrived and made us feel relaxed immediately.
We started with Khao Greab Goong while we sized up the menu. These prawn crackers with a sweet chilli dipping sauce were tasty but the sauce was a little too sweet for my liking.
Our actual starter, Sukumvit Platter to Share, arrived shortly after ordering. This was a tasty platter of some of the bestselling dishes from the night street food market of Sukumvit38, in Bangkok. All four dishes were full of flavour. The Thai fish cakes really packed a punch while the flaky pastry and fresh, light filling of the spring rolls were delicious. The honey pork was tender and sweet and the steamed vegetable dumplings were light and very moreish.
For mains, my friend and I decided to share two dishes, Chicken Massaman and a Duck Stir fry. The Massaman Curry was outstanding. The cinnamon and star anise was there but not overpowering and the rich creamy sauce brought everything together nicely. The cashew nuts gave the dish some added texture and the potatoes made the dish more filling, while soaking up the tasty sauce.
The duck stir fry was fantastic. The juicy, succulent duck was accompanied by vegetables which still had a slight crunch (in a good way) a sweet, sticky sauce and chilli which added a nice heat to the dish.
For dessert, again we opted to share, Thai Bounty and 2 scoops of Ice Cream. The Thai bounty was slightly disappointing. This was a chocolate fondant served with coconut ice cream. The fondant did ooze, but, strangely it didn’t have enough chocolate flavour and was a little bland. However, the coconut ice cream was good and the other two ice creams were also a hit. Unlike the fondant, the chocolate chilli ice cream was very chocolatey and just when I started to wonder where the chilli was, it hit me! The vanilla was creamy and smooth and made a nice partner to its fiery friend.
Overall Thaikhun offers very tasty Thai food in a really relaxed, fun environment. I had my reservations when I realised it was a chain but I can safely say I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food and the service we received. With two restaurants already in Scotland I am hoping that Edinburgh will soon see a Thaikhun.
- Food - 8/108/10
- Atmosphere - 8/108/10
- Service - 8/108/10
- Value for Money - 7.5/107.5/10