Last night I was sitting in the back of a taxi with my mother-in-law and Nan, catching up on what various members of Stringer’s family down south have been up to since I saw them last (getting lots of cats, apparently) when it struck me that the kids I met on my first few visits were now at university, or almost out of their teens. I mean, it’s not a massive surprise – I’m aware that we’re approaching the 10-year anniversary of this post, after all – but it turns out that, even when you’ve been with somebody for a decade, they can still surprise you.
Which is my way of saying: (i) my language choices were abhorrent in 2006 and that’s even with me fixing the worst of the damage, who said long-term blogs were a good thing; and (ii) it turns out that Stringer really, really likes Thai food.
That this fact took an invite from Thai street food restaurant Thaikhun to emerge isn’t all that surprising, when you think about it: my idea of Thai food is Thai curry, which being predominantly cream- and fish-based is not something that would have even entered my head to consume. A trip to Thaikhun’s Glasgow Silverburn restaurant immediately put that that misconception to rest as Thai curry only forms a small part of what is an absolutely staggering menu choice.
In fact, let’s get my one criticism of Thaikhun out of the way early, shall we: I’m all for a bit of variety, but faced with the restaurant’s extensive menu my brain nearly short-circuited. That said, every member of staff we met on what was a relatively busy Saturday evening in the restaurant was passionate about the food, clued up on every single menu item and ready to take the time to explain the concept and recommend things we might enjoy.
Since we’re well into our prawn crackers, a basket of them was quickly procured for us to enjoy while we got to the bottom of the menu – starter wise, Stringer eventually settled on the too man pla Thai fish cakes, while I opted for the distinctly less photogenic – but incredibly delicious – moo dad deow fried pork. A word of warning for those of you who dislike affected quirk: in terms of decor, Thaikhun takes its street food concept extremely enthusiastically for what it is a mid-priced, sit down restaurant – think Buddhas, bric a brac and advertising hoardings everywhere, plus the mock newspaper our starters came served in that you see above. Me, I love a bit of tack – but YMMV.
Yeah, whatever Lis, I hear you say, never mind the mock newspaper, what about your pork? Did it taste like crispy worms, or just look like it? To which I must respond in your FACE, sarcastic internet commenter, for this dish – deep fried pork strips, marinated in palm sugar, coriander, pepper and soy sauce – was one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. I could definitely imagine myself wandering around a marketplace munching on a wee cardboard cone of these. And that was only the starter.
The main courses were where things got a little more complicated, at least for me (Stringer picked some Thai curry or other, whatever dude, they literally all look the same to me). The menu boasts three columns full of mains: curries, stir fries, rice or noodle dishes and “regional specials”. And, despite being priced at around the same or a little more than the rice or noodle dishes, the stir fries are basically just a plate of meat and veg with carbohydrate-based side dishes a mere added extra.
No, I don’t get the distinction either; but I do not regret my choice of nua phao kra prao beef with chilli and Thai “holy basil” one jot. Again, this was a deliciously flavourful dish made with really fresh-tasting ingredients – spicy as all hell though. I’m not sure how I was supposed to have coped without a side of jasmine rice, and this wasn’t one I could imagine eating out of a cardboard cone in true “street food” style either.
The portion sizes were really decent, particularly given our having starters, which left Stringer and I with something of a dilemma: we had committed to three courses, but would we have room for dessert? Stringer was tempted by the traditional pancake-based desserts, but ended up ordering his old faithful chocolate fudge cake, while I stuck with the simple ice cream option: a scoop of mango sorbet and one of coconut ice cream. And, just like that, my world was changed – it turns out coconut ice cream is actually the greatest invention known to man, and the tart-sweetness of the mango sorbet complimented it perfectly.
Final shoutout to the cocktails, which may not be an influential factor in your choice of dining destination but which certainly are in mine. I started the night with a classic coconut mojito on our waitress’ suggestion, which was really refreshing if not much to look at – so I was utterly stunned when my order of a “Full Moon” left me with an incredible, fruity concoction complete with paper straw and garnish of Flying Saucer sweeties. If you’ve ever wondered what my happy place looks like – well, let me direct you to the above.
Its out of town location means that a trip to Thaikhun will set you back almost the cost of dinner in taxis if you too are coming from the wrong side of Glasgow – but with cocktails like these, you’re hardly going to want to play designated driver. Pair it with a shopping trip or a visit to the nearby Cineworld, and it’s definitely a treat worth having. Just – maybe look at the menu before you leave the house, yeah?
Our meals were complimentary in exchange for a review, but all opinions are my own and unbiased.