Last week I ate in Bangkok. Bath masquerading Bangkok to be exact. It was a chilly evening when my husband and I walked into Thaikhun. There was an immediate assault on the senses: colour, noise, people and stuff. Look up and there are all sorts of items hanging from the ceiling including signs in a language we didn’t know, household utensils, some very old TVs, networks of wires wrapped round what looked like telegraph poles. We then noticed the bar to the left where much energetic shaking was going on and to the right a very shiny kitchen semi-open to diners. The space is large but cleverly split into different areas.
We were pleased to be sat near the open plan kitchen. (I always like to be nosy). Looking around we realised the room (and indeed the loos) is faced with distressed wood panelling. The whole look and feel of the place is a very clever way of making you really feel you’ve stepped through a door into another country. It works in the same way that the Hard Rock Cafe works, even if you’re not into heavy metal, you are when you eat there.
As it was preview night, the managers and staff trainers were on alert. The training had been well done. Our sever, Molly, was bright and helpful and happy to admit she hadn’t quite got used to hot dishes yet!
Pricing is similar to Wagamama’s. Starters are around £8, mains £12 to £15. There are curries, noodles and stir fries to choose from for mains and a good selection of starters.
We plumped for a starter sharing platter which proved a great way to start the meal allowing us to try 3 different dishes. It looked so appetising when it arrived. I particularly love Thai Fish cakes and was very happy with the small ball-shaped cakes that arrived packed with flavour. All dishes were well cooked, offering a variety of textures and tastes and included spring rolls (crisp), honey pork (particularly more-ish) and steamed dumplings (soft).
For our main course, we chose dishes served in a Pinto. In Thailand, this is a set of 4 dishes used to carry food prepared at home to the workplace. In addition to Jasmine rice, we chose Thai Green Curry, Vegetable Pad Thai and Moo Prik King (Pork in Red Sauce) so that we could try all three types of dish. The Thai Green Curry was the standout dish. The sort of curry you could eat more and more of. The Pork a very close second which was very tasty. We weren’t quite so wowed by the noodles. Dishes were hot, but not overpowering
There’s plenty to choose from on the drinks menu. I had a Phi Phi Belline cocktail which was perhaps a little delicate for the spicy food.
We had a quick chat to the trainer for the staff and mentioned that we’d been to Chaophraya a number of times both in Glasgow and Edinburgh which is under the same management. There food is served in beautiful surroundings – you could say a little more up market – where the food at Thaikun is definitely street food.
Thaikun is such a welcoming place. You can just imagine eating there on a frosty evening and being instantly transported away from winter.
There’s plenty of joy. The staff are encouraged to dance if the mood takes them, and it’s a great place for a birthday as we witnessed. The staff process through the restaurant singing and ringing bells and generally making a fuss of the person having the birthday.
So who would like Thaikhun? We were particularly impressed by the look of the children’s menu – at last something out of the ordinary. I’d love to try the free “creepy crawlies”. So that’s the kids sorted. It’s a cliché, but there’s something for everyone! If you don’t live near Bath, there are 8 other locations across the country.
Bath BA1 1AQ
Danielle dined at the invitation of Thaikhun. Opinions are always my own.