For what was surprisingly my first taste of Thai food in Glasgow, I ventured down to Thaikhun, situated in the shopper’s paradise that is the Silverburn centre. Entering this eatery however, you might as well have stepped off a tuk-tuk on Kaoh San Road. Let me introduce the laid back, sociable sister of Chaophraya, having just recently taken up residence in Glasgow.
Thaikhun is wholly and consistently street style; the kitchen is open and on full view, as is the bar. The amount of effort gone into the ‘stripped back’ effect of the interior is quite impressive. There’s plenty to keep the eye amused as you wait for your food, with the surroundings uncannily reminiscent of a hostel on Koh Phangan, with posters, postcards, books and Buddhas on display. Thaikhun have undoubtedly aimed for a contrast to the more formal dining experience you might expect from Chaophraya, and the old, mismatched wooden school chairs and subtle aroma of fish sauce really add to the street vibe. I particularly enjoyed that the staff were wearing ‘hareems’. All that was missing was someone wearing a tank top with “SAME SAME BUT DIFFERENT” written on it.
The Food and Drink
The smell of the food on arrival here was enough to get my tummy rumbling. For starters we shared a ‘Sukumvit 38 Platter’ between two of us (£7.50 per person). This included a scrumptious combination of salt and pepper squid, chicken spring rolls, fish cakes and honey pork with accompanying sweet chilli sauces, and was a really decent amount of food for two without being overwhelming. If you’re hungry however, I wouldn’t recommend getting a platter between more than two (however I like a lot of food so maybe don’t listen to me).
Since the style of Thaikhun is very much ‘street food’, it would be fair to expect tapas style or shared dining, but that isn’t the case with the main menu featuring full plates of curries, stir fries and Thai salads and some regional specials. After changing my mind ten thousand times because everything on the menu here sounded fabulous, I had a Gai Phad Prik Pao (£9) for my main – stir fry chicken with ground garlic and black pepper; the flavours were authentic, rich, warming and really echoed the genuine interiors of the restaurant. Don’t worry if you haven’t brushed up on your Thai in advance – everything is described well (and in English) on the menu. I love anything peppery with a bite and this was delicious, though their stir fries only come with meat and vegetables, so I had a side of Sen Jun Luak (£3.50) – rice noodles with soy sauce, bean sprouts and fried garlic to add a little more depth.
To accompany my meal, I had a glass of Sauvingon Blanc (£8.95 for 250mls), with the drinks menu also offering a full list of Thai themed cocktails, Asian beers, spirits and non-alcoholic juices, smoothies and Thai drinks. If you’re lucky enough to be getting chauffeured and indulging in an alcoholic beverage, spirits seem to be the best value, with varying price point options for each.
Needless to say, the location of Thaikhun means it was bustling and lively. The restaurant is intimate yet noisy, so best suited to smaller groups – perfect for lunch or dinner after some strenuous shopping. Even after late night shopping on a weeknight, it was extremely busy, so it may be best to book in advance if you have a set time in mind as it looks like it’s going to be a popular spot! The staff were extremely friendly and helpful and I can definitely see why it’s received a warm welcome in Glasgow – I will definitely be back.
Casual, delicious and authentic Thai dining at a pretty affordable price; sums it up really. Thaikhun is an absolute treat in Glasgow, and there's not a lot to bash, at all.