Over the summer Thaikhun introduced a new children's menu into their restaurants nationwide. With a Thaikhun tucked away into the corner of the revamped intu Victoria Shopping Centre, Nottingham, I was invited along with Willow to try out the new menu for ourselves and give our verdict on whether Thaikhun ticks the box as a family friendly restaurant.
We love trying different cuisines at home and I'm a big fan of Thai food, so I was really excited to try Thaikhun and see what the menu had to offer. The restaurant itself is situated on the upper floor of intu Victoria Shopping Centre, tucked away into the corner. Vibrantly decorated, it makes a lovely change from the majority of venues which can be more relaxed in their appearance; wherever you looked there was something to explore. If you're going along with a pushchair it's worth baring in mind that there is very little room for pushchairs near your table and we were only able to have ours with us because we took advantage of the sunshine and ate outside on the roof terrace, overlooking Nottingham City Centre.
The staff at Thaikhun are extremely friendly and they quickly helped us out with highchairs and had drinks ordered straight away; I tried a couple of the different juices on offer and was really impressed. Menus were provided and we were given time to browse before placing our order.
There were no specific starters for children and the children's menu itself does lack options for anything other than a main, so I decided to share a couple of options with Willow from my own starter. Whilst we waited for our starters to arrive, snacks were brought out for Willow to try; carrot and cucumber sticks. She tucked into the cucumber with gusto, but the carrot was a little too solid for her as she had only just started baby led weaning, so we left those to one side.
My starter was the Goong Choop Pang Tord Tempura Prawns, presented almost like traditional fish and chips on a newspaper, the Thaikhun Times no less! Sea water prawns tempura with a sweet chilli sauce, they were really tasty and perfectly cooked; the sweet chilli sauce was the perfect finishing touch for me. I also shared a starter with Willow, Moo Ping Grilled Pork Skewers which were incredible and so, so delicious! As you can see, Willow really enjoyed hers and it's a starter I would definitely have again on a future visit. Grilled marinated pork skewers with a tangy chilli dip - which I enjoyed whilst Willow had her skewers as they came, as it had quite a kick to it which would have been a tad too much for her! Impressed with our starters, I couldn't wait for our mains to arrive.
Although we were invited along as guests of Thaikhun who knew Willow had only just begun weaning, it became very clear when ordering our mains that the menu was more for grown up children than babies or toddlers. A mix and match menu which options a handful of options, you can pick between Phad Thai, a mix and match Thai tray or Fried Chicken with Jasmine Rice. Willow had plain noodles with mixed vegetables and sweet BBQ sauce.
When it arrived I was transported back to school, with hers being presented on a school dinner tray - ideally, had it all been together in a bowl, it would have been much easier for Willow to delve in. I couldn't exactly hand her the tray and leave her to it, whereas a bowl she will happily dig in and help herself, so it was a little awkward for her particular age but I am sure would be fine for older children. None the less the bits she tried seemed to go down well, although I kept the sweet BBQ sauce to one side as it seemed super sweet.
For my main I opted for incredible Pla Pao Grilled Sea Bass, marinated in oyster cause, lemongrass, galangal and lime leaves, wrapped in a banana leaf before being grilled over charcoal. It comes with sticky rice, although there's also the option for steamed noodles, and I used a touch of the sweet BBQ sauce from Willow's main as a dip for my main, which worked really well flavour wise. It really was a scrumptious dish and I would definitely pick it again. For me, it was easily the star dish of our visit.
Of course we couldn't leave without checking out the dessert menu and decided to try the Banana Fritters with Vanilla Pod Ice Cream which were a lovely sweet treat to end our visit. Willow didn't have a dessert, but for older children there is an ice lolly which comes with the kids meal, or the option of a scrumptious dessert from the normal menu.
For our first visit to Thaikhun I was really impressed with the presentation and flavour throughout. Just thinking about the sea bass makes me wish I was back there right now! I think next time I would be more likely to share a meal with Willow or pick her something from the main menu which would be easier for her with baby led weaning, as the kids menu is more suited to older children. We'll definitely be back again, that's for sure!
You can find your nearest Thaikhun restaurant on thaikhun.co.uk.
*We were invited along as guests of Thaikhun Nottingham - Disclaimer.