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Review: THAIKHUN, Thai Street Food.

Being terribly adventurous with food hasn’t always been my cup of tea, so when Thaikhun offered us the chance to try their menu, I swithered for a while, and then decided to go with it.  As a blogger, trying things that might be just outside my comfort zone, has to be done… excuses.

With my complete foodie fan child away for the day, it fell to my youngest to accompany me along, and we duly found our lovely lunch date venue with no trouble, as it’s part of a local shopping mall at Union Square in Aberdeen, although Thaikhun has eateries in different cities up and down the country.

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First impressions were really good.  The eatery has a sort of shabby chic look to it, which is one I like.

Inside was quite impressive, with the attention to detail, and I especially liked seeing the covers over condiments on each table that makes sure any bugs don’t get into them before diners sit down.

The kitchen is open, and if we wanted to, we could watch our food being cooked in the back.

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My youngest wasn’t terribly adventurous and went for the kids meal, while I had no idea what to choose.

Our waitress came and introduced herself, and then explained how the menu worked, so that we could decide what to have.  Without that explanation, the names on the menu might have thrown me.  To those who are familiar with Thai food, names like Gieng Kiew Wan or Moo Dad Deow or Ka Nom Jeeb, might have been a bit much, but she patiently told us how spicy some dishes were, and that we could choose to have them not so spicy.  The menu explains the dishes fully, so once you’ve had a read through, it’s quite easy to work out what’s good for us to choose.

For my starter, I went with Tod Man Khao Pod, or to quote from the menu…

Sweet Corn Cakes.  When summer corn starts flooding our markets in September, corn fritters are the first seasonal treat we make.  Back home these corn cakes are served fresh from street vendors where they are fried up in huge batches.  We flavour them with red curry paste and aromatic kaffir lime leaves, served with a sweet chilli dip.

I don’t know what I expected.  Possibly something along the lines of our british flat fishcakes, but sweetcorn and spicy.  I was thankfully wrong.

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These sweetcorn cakes were surprisingly light and easy to eat.  Not big enough to spoil my appetite and nowhere near as spicy as I expected them.  Actually, they are fairly mild, with the spicy dip on the side.

They’re more an aromatic taste, rather than spicy and very pleasant indeed.  My middle child would have loved these.

For my main course, I decided not to go for my safe salad option, and plumped for a Chicken Phad Thai, which our waitress assured me was a good choice for a first try of Thai food and not very spicy.  She was right.

For Phad Thai, noodles are stir fried with egg, carrots, bean sprouts and spring onions, in a sweet and sour tamarind sauce.  I enjoyed this far more than I thought possible, which is even more surprising as I tend to dislike things in sweet and sour sauce.  I suspect the tamarind gives this a different flavour, and turned the sweet and sour into a taste I do like.  I was pretty pleased with my choice of main course.  At this point, my youngest, who had a bit of a face on, and who’d spent more time on his phone than talking to me, decided to lift his head and actually remember his mum was a living breathing person who actually likes to talk now and again.  Well, quite a lot sometimes, but I don’t admit that in public….. Whoops, I just did, well let me off.

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Kidlet decided to try the kids meal, which is a variation of the Phad Thai, but separate, so they can choose what to mix in their tray.  For very young diners I think this is a lovely colourful option, and lets them choose what to mix, or not, although my middle boy would have had the Phad Thai, the same as me, I suspect.   I can imagine it’s difficult to persuade a child to eat Thai food, and I thought they did a great job of making the food attractive for little ones who might struggle with rice and noodle dishes in general.   They can choose from rice or noodles, grilled chicken, port or mixed veg, and to serve, satay sauce with no nuts, or sweet BBQ sauce, or slightly spicy green curry.

The very interesting part of this kids meal, was the edible creepy crawlies served with every dish, although this is optional.  There are two versions, although ours were like little worm bugs.  I’m afraid to say I wimped out, although our waitress assured us they weren’t bad at all.  I did take them home, and let the hub try them out.  He munched and smiled, saying ‘yum.’  It’s a fab talking point, and my youngest is still talking about the pot of insects.  It’s not for everyone though.

When it came to dessert, I was feeling pretty full, I have to say, but I wanted to try something.  Middle boy had a friend meet us, who he was going out with afterwards, and they both opted for the Sticky Date Pudding, which usually comes served with Thai whisky ice cream.   They chose to substitute that with vanilla ice cream instead, although I was half hoping they’d opt for the Thai Bounty version, so I could taste the coconut ice cream.

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To say they loved this pudding was an understatement to be honest.  My youngest loves sticky toffee pudding, and this variety ticked every box with him.  I don’t blame him, it really looked much better than it does in my picture.

I toyed with the idea of the coconut ice cream, but went for something unusual for me, but then again, I am a bit of a chocolate head….  Yep, I am being sarcastic, but when you spot a chocolate tart on the menu, even if it says gluten free, a chocoholics eyes widen, and your mouth begins to water.

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OMG.  This has to be the very best dessert I have ever had in a restaurant, ever……  Ever, ever, ever.  I didn’t want my slice of tart on an almond base to end.  It was chocolate, creamy, crunchy and all sorts of absolutely fabulous.  I want to know how to make this.  I really really really want to know how to make this.  Honestly, I do…

At this point, youngest and his friend were chatting away, buoyed by their sticky toffee pudding.  Bear cub went to the loos, and came back raving about how cool they were and I had to go and see if the ladies was the same, so apologies for the next two pictures, but I had to post them, to keep him happy.

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This is cool.  Normally when you see graffiti in a loo, it’s offensive, but this is way cool.  You don’t really get the full effect in a picture, but I think you get the idea.

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All in all, I’d go back to Thaikhun.  I’d definitely take my middle and eldest, along with my hub, for the experience of different food.  I’m glad I tried it out, and the waitress service was exceptional.

Thanks to Thaikhun for the lovely meal.  I was surprised to find out they also have a cook school at the premises and gift vouchers are also available online or from the reception team.  I wonder if they give lessons on making that chocolate tart…….

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Disclaimer:  We received our meal free from Thaikhun, with no obligation to publish a review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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