Situated in the heart of Spinningfields, Thaikhun — pronounce ‘tycoon’, translated as “your” Thai restaurant — looks to bring the flavours and colours of the world-famous Khao San Road to central Manchester. Not always the easiest of transplants to perform, founder Khun Kim has certainly set the stall out confidently. Focused on authentic street food dishes grounded in tradition, her talent and experience were garnered from decades in the food business, having left her home village, rural Khiri Mat in the province of Sukhothai, to set up a Pad Thai cart back in 1993.
Things have changed since then, not least after relocating to northern England, opening the first restaurant in Leeds. Nevertheless, the overall focus has remained the same: showcasing the taste of Thailand in the truest sense. Hence the menu packing a host of familiar favourites — Red, Massaman and Green Curries, Fish Cakes and Gyozas, in addition to more specialist fare like the Papaya and Grilled Pork Strip Salads, Crispy Duck Pad Gaprao, and a dessert of Mango Sticky Rice.
“Every recipe on our menu is found at real Thai street vendors. Every trinket comes from our top-secret Bangkok bazaar. We are proud to be Thai replica-Rolex cheap, and to introduce our favourite flavours for the people of Britain to try,” Kim says of the Thaikhun concept. Perhaps best described as vivid both in aesthetics and flavours, it’s a vibrant, colourful and hugely welcome addition to the city, in a district that doesn’t always do value for money that well.