It’s no secret that Bristol is not short of amazing restaurants. Which is why, sometimes, it’s hard to remember our fancier cousin in the South West. I’ve heard talk of some amazing things happening with our friends over in Bath; of new places popping up here and there, and I’ve got a list as long as my arm of new restaurants to test out.
Myself and the boy headed down the A39 a few weeks ago to test out new kids on the block, Thaikhun Bath.
Before we went I did a bit of research, as you do, and discovered that Thaikhun is in fact part of a family of restaurants with branches in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Nottingham, Cambridge, Oxford and now Bath. Being a superfan of independents, I have to admit that I had my reservations about it being a chain, but didn’t let that put me off.
Thaikhun Bath has positioned itself to catch the footfall of the festive pedestrian traffic perfectly, slap bang in the middle of the Southgate shopping centre, in what’s being desribed as their new food quarter, Little Southgate. Greeted by a bright orange tuk tuk outside the doors, we stepped inside out of the cold to find out what this place was all about.
The inside of this place is pretty mind blowing. The walls have been decked out in all kinds of paraphernalia to create the bustling streets and markets of Thailand’s capital. If you’re a mardy sort, you might think this a little tacky. Personally, I think it’s pretty fun, plus you’ve got plenty to look at whilst supping your Phi Phi bellini.
The first thing I loved about this place was their cocktail menu; as a connoisseur of tacky cocktails I was in bloody heaven. I was seduced by their My Thai – a mixture of Thai whiskey, malibu, pinapple juice and coconut. Plus it got served in A CHUFFING COCONUT SHELL. My inner seven year old was most pleased.
The menu is a mixture of street food dishes, designed to capture the essence of Thailand. I adore Thai food, and for me and the boy (being pescetarian and all), there was plenty to choose from. There’s a smattering of choices for veggies, but this is truly a place meant for carnivores.
We got a few things to nibble on to start – thai fishcakes, corn fritters and spring rolls, and were pleasantly surprised thus far. For chain restaurant food, this wasn’t half bad.
For the main event, the boy opted for glass noodles with tofu and sriracha (‘Sukiyaki Noodles’) and I opted for my favourite, a panang curry. Most of these dishes are at restaurant prices (£10+) but I was delighted when presented with a massive bowl brimming with curry with what looked like a whole block of tofu inside. If you’ve got an appetite as big as mine, you’re in for a treat.
Despite being stuffed to the gills with delicious curry, I somehow always manage to make way for pud. Especially when there are banana fritters on the menu. These guys were served warm with a massive scoop of ice cream, and again, there was far too much of it for me to finish. I’d definitely make room for these at the end of your meal, they are summin’ else.
So, what’s the verdict on Thaikhun Bath? I’ve read some less than savoury reviews of this place recently, but personally on our visit we weren’t disappointed in the slightest. I have to admit that it was quite busy when we went which meant waiting a little longer on drinks than normal, but I didn’t mind that too much. It’s not haute cuisine, but the food is generous in size and our choices were pretty damn tasty.
If you’re out and about at Southgate doing a spot of Christmas shopping and need to refuel, then I would definitely suggest treating the family to a trip to Thaikhun. Just remember to leave some room for dessert.
I was invited to this restaurant for the purpose of this review but all words and opinions are my own.