If you haven’t yet visited the new inTU Victoria Centre in Nottingham, be sure to get yourselves down there stat. Having had a brand spanking new makeover and a heap of new stores, it makes for a perfect place to shop and what’s more is the newly fitted food court where shoppers can wine, dine and sip a hot cup’o’Joe to their hearts content but… there is one place certainly cooking up a storm with the people of Nottingham, Thaikhun.
Making its home on the 1st floor, it welcomes you with open arms through the extra wide entrance and towards the vivid wall sign. Greeted straight away with a traditional ‘Sawasdee‘ and asked if we had a reservation, we confirmed and were shown to our table. Whether I’m getting lucky this year or it was out of pure chance, our table was in view of the busy working kitchen. Best seats in the house in my opinion.
Taking in the decor and noticing little quirks that brought back memories of when Ben and I visited Thailand last year. In Phuket, we noticed the wiring above us was low and coiled and Thaikhun had replicated this within the interior, aptly hanging baubles from them to add festive feelings. The plastic containers that were hanging from the ceiling very much like the ones you would see on the back of mopeds as they sped past you, full of water. There was also a story about Kim, a lady who used to travel around on her cart selling Pad Thai; eventually becoming so popular that upon moving to the UK, Kim and her husband had the ability to open the well-known Chaopraya restaurants in a number of cities and now, following the success of those, a chain of Thaikhun restaurants across the country.
*Sanook means ‘fun’.
After admiring and reminiscing about our travels, the menu was given the once over even though I think we both already knew what we were going to order, so salivating over the scrumptious sounding starters we opted for the ‘Bangkok Street Platter‘ consisting of Grilled Chicken Satay, Thai Prawn Toast, Esarn Sausage and Red Curried Corn Cakes – it promises to deliver a true taste of Thailand for only £6.65 per person. To fill the void within our stomachs due to skipping lunch for a lavish evening meal, we also ordered the ‘Peek Gai Tod‘ which translates to Chicken Wings which were served with a sweet chilli sauce for £6.90.
The Bangkok Street Platter living up to its promise and delivering a preview into the tastes of Thailand also brought the best prawn toast I think I have ever eaten. Perfectly fried, perfectly seasoned and perfectly delicious – more please! The curried corn balls, a sweet yet savoury ball of marinated and deep fried corn giving the tastebuds something to have a go at. The chicken satay sticks were succulent and provided the aromatic satay style from Thailand. The sausage, unusual but extremely meaty with a great salty taste to tantalise the tongue after the sweet feast from the satay and corn balls. Accompanied with our additional side of chicken wings and sweet chilli, a little more meat in the bellies and that brilliant crispy skin covered in a dip that gives you a little bit of kick, nothing close to what you can expect from some of the spicy dishes Thaikhun has to offer.
With a need to ‘wet the whistle‘ in anticipation of our mains, I opted for an unconventional cocktail called the ‘Thai Takeaway‘ which, as the name would suggest, came in a mini takeway box containing Ketel One Vodka, Captain Morgans Rum, Pineapple and Lime Juice followed by a dash of coconut cream and finished with mint leaves and a chilli on the side.
A gimmick it may be and an expensive one at that for £8.50 but definitley delicious and just the refresher I needed, it would fair well for my mouth throughout munching my mains. We ordered our favourites, a ‘Geang Kiew Wan Gai‘ or a Thai Chicken Green Curry, a typically traditional and spicy dish made with chicken, vegetables and fresh basil amongst other thai spices to give it that kick. For Ben, a ‘Panang Gai‘ otherwise known as a Panang Chicken Curry, a creamier version of a red curry with palm sugar and basil. All curries at Thaikhun are served with jasmine rice which definitley accounts for the cost of them, £8.95 is a moderatly good price for the green curry, yet the £12.95 seems a little steep for the penang. It appears though, I was too quick to judge…
A hefty bowl of thai goodness and the perfect portion of rice for one arrive at the table for each of us, it entices us to take the first mouthful and feel the heat. In this instance, with Thaikhun, you get what you pay for. Authentic thai taste with authetic thai ingredients. The dish was serisouly good and tasted just like we remembered when we were in that beautiful country. Fresh, fiery and filling is exactly what I wanted and that is exactly what I got. In fact, too filling for a dessert so I opted for something a little off-piste instead but also something I’d heard so much hype about, the Thai Green Matcha Iced Tea.
An ominous green colour and icy cold, this cool and creamy drink is a match made in heaven following a spicy meal. With a chocolaty taste and of a watery consistency, it makes for a great alternative to a dessert if you don’t have the room for one and a brilliant refresher before you head home, stuffed for the evening.
It won’t be too long before we return to Thaikhun, the atmosphere, the drinks and the food, not to mention the staff were all fantastic. With so much more to explore on the menu too, you can count on this visit alone that we will be back to try more. I might still steer clear of the creepy crawlies though!
Thaikhun Nottingham – open Monday to Sunday 12:00AM – 10:00PM
Unit R7, Victoria Shopping Centre, Upper Mall, Zone D, Nottingham, NG1 3QN.
Phone: 0115 838 9950
Facebook: Thaikhun Nottingham