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5th October 2017

Thaikun, Spinningfields

Looking for authentic and delicious Thai food? Maybe try elsewhere

I never had a gap year, nor have I been to Thailand to find myself. I can still confidently say, however, that if you want to find great Thai food, Thaikun may not be the place for you. Located in the heart of Spinningfields, it has to be said that the décor does its best to transport you to Thailand.

You’ll find yourself sitting amongst tuk-tuks and mandalas, and much of the food comes in very authentic serving dishes. There are, however, many gimmicky touches that will not please those looking for a genuinely authentic experience. Some of the cocktails, for example, are served in the fishbowls one may expect to find on a beach in Koh Phangan.

The starters, it has to be said, were very good. The chicken satay was rich and had a much more fragrant flavour than many satay sauces. The tempura prawns were perfectly cooked, with a light and yet crispy batter. The prawn crackers were still warm and came with a delightfully tangy sweet chilli, and the spring rolls had a fantastic filling.

Unfortunately, this is where most of the compliments begin to run out.

The mains — in this case, a pork belly red curry and sukiyaki chicken — left an awful lot to be desired. I also feel it worth mentioning that it was not possible to order beer on draught, or to order an authentic Thai beer; perhaps not the end of the world but disappointing nonetheless.

The pork belly in the red curry was somehow dry and yet still very fatty, while the curry itself was bland at best. Completely lacking in the beautiful flavours that one would expect from a Thai red curry, it was weak and watery.

Gone were the fantastic flavours of ginger, garlic, chilli, and kaffir lime leaves, the richness of coconut milk and the beautiful soft meat that pork belly ought to be. The sukiyaki chicken was somewhat better, but one would still only go as far as to describe it as fine.

Overall, although the starters were very good, and the experience of dining in a busy city-centre restaurant was enjoyable, Thaikun is not the place for anyone looking for fantastic, or authentic Thai food.


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