Thaikhun, pronounced tycoon, translates to “your” Thai restaurant. Located upstairs in the brand new food court area of Victoria Centre in Nottingham, the focus is on authentic Thai street food; a craze that seems to have really caught on in recent years, popular in London, spilling out now into the Midlands and further North. Thaikhun really does transport you across the world to Khao San road, Thailand bursting with amazing, colourful memorabilia on the walls, ceilings, floors and tables and what’s more our waiter informed us that all of the furniture, lighting and décor has been purchased from street markets in Thailand itself and bought back to sunny Nottingham for our pleasure!
Following a polite welcome from the host, we were shown to our table and one of the first things we noticed was the lively and energetic atmosphere in the restaurant, the second thing were the delicious smells coming from the open kitchen. We honestly didn’t know where to look first, from the industrial ceiling, to the fishing nets intertwined with lights, there was something new to discover at every glance.
Scanning the menu we realised we were in for a real treat as the choice was very vast and being completely new to Thai food we both decided to jump straight in and try as many dishes as we could manage, starting with the old favourite; vegetable spring rolls, or ‘Por Pia Tod Pak’, which by the way were utterly delicious and the best I’d ever eaten. We also went for a portion of the Tod Man Khao Pod (sweet corn cakes) small fried balls of corn wherein Thailand are served fresh from street vendors, where they are fried up in huge batches. The flavour was really quite distinct with red curry paste and aromatic kaffir lime leaves, served with sweet chilli dip.
For main course, we opted for a Thai red curry and tofu stir fry (Phad Phed Tofu) being vegetarian and were pleasantly surprised to find so many veggie options on the menu. I have never really been a huge fan of tofu, but this was a nice change from the norm with lots of interesting flavours and a good sized portion -my dining partner and I decided to share so that we could try one another’s dishes and so got the best of both worlds as the Thai red curry was absolutely delicious with the grapes, pineapple, cherry tomatoes and sweet basil offering up a sweet taste to a healthy dish.
Dessert was simple-two scoops of ice cream – vanilla and strawberry and my dining partner said it was quite possibly the nicest ice cream she had ever tasted- a great achievement! Other more exotic flavours on the menu include chocolate chilli, matcha green tea, Thai whisky, toasted coconut and mango.
Overall my first Thai street food experience was a positive one and Thaikhun certainly live up to their name and good reputation and I will no doubt be returning again very soon.
Fiona Duncan, RSViP