We were invited along to Thaikhun, the Metrocentre’s newest restaurant, to try out the food and drink ahead of the official opening to the general public on the 31st March. Located within the updated Yellow Mall, there has been a recent flurry of eateries launching there over the last couple of weeks. Thaikhun joins Barburrito and Byron Burger in the shopping centre, while next week sees the long awaited opening of the first Five Guys Burger restaurant in the North East in the vicinity.
Thaikhun’s layout includes an open kitchen with chefs preparing the dishes in front of diners, as well as artefacts and decorations sourced from the street markets of Thailand. A traditional opening ceremony was carried out by Buddhist Monks earlier in the day ahead of our visit, which is done at every branch opening in order to bestow good fortune and prosperity on the new establishment.
Dishes on the menu include Thai salads and stir-fries, curries, rice and noodle dishes, as well as sharing platters. In keeping with their street food concept, Thaikhun offer a take-out menu of over 30 dishes enabling you to enjoy their food at home. We were served cocktails in takeaway containers laced with rum and pineapple (a My Thai perhaps?) while there’s a choice of bottled beers from the Far East on offer.
Thaikhun were warned about Mr. Canny’s veganism ahead of time, and I looked through the menu online to see what was on offer for those with dietary requirements. The launch also happened to be our first night away from Dinky since she was born, so we were determined to enjoy the experience of dining out sans kids while we had a babysitter.
We experienced a set menu that was suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Starters, which we shared, were Por Pia Sod Tofu (vegetable rice paper rolls) and Tod Man Khao Pod (Sweetcorn Fritters, similar to those at Turtle Bay but not as fiery!). I preferred the fritters, which were flavoured with red curry paste and kaffir lime leaves. The rice paper rolls contained tempura tofu with coriander and mint, herbs I’m not overly keen on. Mr. Canny said this made them taste fresh and healthy, but I remain unconvinced! He let me finish off the fritters without too much moaning.
Mains were Geang Phed Ped (Thai Green Vegetable Curry) and Tofu Pad Thai. The green curry was my favourite, which was accompanied by slightly sticky Jasmine rice. Normally the word curry frightens me as I can’t handle anything too spicy, but this dish was mild, creamy and aromatic. The Phad Thai, which is Thailand’s national dish, had well cooked tempura tofu which, unlike Aveika, wasn’t flaccid or bland.
As the restaurant was running a limited service due to it being a launch event we weren’t unable to try the Kluay Khaek (Banana Fritters) as they didn’t feature on the set menus. Disappointing, but means we will have to return to Thaikhun in the near future. All diners were given a sample menu on the night we visited, including the meat eaters, who enjoyed sample platters to start with and meat versions of the Phad Thai and Green Curry for mains.
The welcome was warm and the food showed promise. We felt we were well catered for, despite our dietary requirements, and the staff wre knowledgeable on what was appropriate to eat. The prices were reasonable for a chain, especially the Thai Pinto boxes. These are similar to Japanese Bento boxes and are charged at £10.50-£11.50 per person. A great idea for family dining, although there are no veggie options for the Canny Food crew to share in this manner.
With so many new eateries opening up in the Qube, the days of the Food Court and Metroland are long behind the Metrocentre. We eagerly anticipate completion of the revamp and taking a culinary tour of what’s on offer afterwards. Thaikhun is a great addition to the dining repertoire.
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