Thaikhun is fun. It is fairly noisy and there is a boat hanging from the ceiling and they sell reasonably priced Thai food. You probably already know from that description whether it’s the kind of place you like to go. Assuming that, like me, you enjoy bright colours and spring rolls, I think you will like Thaikuhn.
For starters, we ordered a platter of fried veggie snacks (£6 each when ordered with a sharing main). They came out quickly, hot and crisp and generously portioned. The sweetcorn cakes were nicely done with a pleasing hit of kaffir lime leaves, and the vegetable and tofu dumplings were unexpectedly delicious, fried crisp and swimming in a tangy sauce. The vegetable spring rolls were perfectly delicious and the crispy papaya turned out to be a very comforting wodge of carbs (albeit a little sweet for my taste). All this is served with a duo of dipping sauces.
You’re encouraged to share the food, and we ordered the sharing meal they steer you towards – a curry, a stir fry and a noodle dish of your choice, all served with jasmine rice (£15.50 each, but at least two people have to order it). We chose a tofu panang, a tofu and cashew stir fry and a vegetable pad thai. All of these were great. The panang was rich, surprisingly hot, and fragrant with lime leaves. The cashew stir fry was intensely savoury, bristling with fresh chunks of lightly cooked veg and pleasingly textured tofu, and the pad thai was sweet, sticky and moreish. I was genuinely sad we were too full from the starters to finish it all.
The food is presented to you with a flourish, in a multi-layered metal tin that they disassemble and spread over the table. It’s fun! Fun to bicker with your date over what the best type of Thai curry is, fun to sit in the window and watch George Street go by, fun to chat to the waiter about where you went in Thailand on your honeymoon.
We were too full for pudding really, but shared a clementine tart with a chocolate base and matcha ice cream. The tartness of the citrus went beautifully with the matcha ice cream, and the whole was refreshing as well as indulgent. When ordered with the sharing main, this pudding was only £3.
“A wealth of veggie and vegan options at every turn”
We didn’t order any meat with our meal. Unlike a lot of set menus, we didn’t need to be specially catered for – you bolt the menu together yourself and there are a wealth of veggie and vegan options at every turn. This is really refreshing – so often the vegetarian section of the menu feels like a bit of an unwilling add on to the main dishes.
It was cheerfully explained to us that most of Thailand eat vegetarian for the month of November anyway, for a festival they named their veggie starting platter after. The staff were also quick to explain that they’re very aware of allergies as well as dietary requirements. The price point was also impressive – without beers, this impressive array of food would have come in at under £50 for both of us, and really just the pinto is perfectly adequate for a treaty midweek supper at £15.50 each.
All of this combines to make this a lovely choice for a night out. It’s affordable, accessible and substantial. The service is friendly and fast. You don’t feel like anyone’s going to judge you for laughing too loud. If I was a student those factors would make this an absolute go-to to start a night out. I imagine that would also make it a great choice to take kids. As it is, I will definitely be back. The sharing main plus a beer would be a serious whack of food at about £20 each, pretty perfect as a post-film treat in the centre of town. Happy food, served fast and with panache.
We dined as guests of Thaikhun. As always, all views remain our own.