*Note, this was my last restaurant review before pledging to go vegetarian, but more on that later...
Although I've just moved from Southampton to London, I still find myself back in the south coast city quite frequently to visit James. Not long after I left Soton, the eagerly anticipated WestQuay Watermark opened in December and with it a number of new restaurants were welcomed into the city. Amongst those restaurants is Thaikhun, a restaurant that brings the tastes of Thailand's famous street food to the UK, and we were invited along to taste the menu during the soft launch of the brand new Watermark complex.
Now I'm a little inexperienced when it comes to Thai cuisine, and haven't eaten too much in my lifetime. In fact, the only Thai dishes I've ever tasted are the famous red and green curries, so I was excited to branch out and taste a few different dishes.
We arrived at the restaurant around midday on Christmas eve and upon entering we were greeted enthusiastically by the staff and shown to our seat. Without much hesitation we ordered two beers to begin (it may have been midday, but it was December!) and scanned the menu greedily not really knowing what we were going to order. Usually, we would scan the menu beforehand in order to get a rough idea of what may tickle our tastebuds, but unfortunately we didn't have time before this visit. Luckily our waitress was on hand to take us through everything (and I mean, literally everything!) on the menu and recommend her personal favourites, which was really helpful for someone who is a little clueless when it comes to trying a new cuisine.
I'm not going to lie, the majority of the menu sounded pretty delicious and we took a few moments before deciding on the Sukumvit Platter & Gai Satay (Chicken Satay). When we start to feel overwhelmed with choice, we always opt for a platter so we can try a little bit of everything and satay, because well... it's satay!
The platter is inspired by some of the most popular dishes from the food market of Sukumvit 38 in Bangkok and includes Thai fish cakes, chicken spring rolls, honey pork and steamed vegetable dumplings. Now I personally detest all seafood and I always have, so unfortunately the fish cakes were never going to be for me. I did however take a bite to taste the fish cakes and the it was full of flavour, so if you do like seafood, unlike myself, then you'd most likely approve. Everything else on the platter was more up my street, especially the honey pork which James and me were fighting over until the end. As expected chicken satay never, ever disappoints and was utterly divine.
Once again when it came to mains we decided to share so we opted for the 'build your own' Pinto, where you get to choose three dishes from a set selection with a side of rice. I was eager to try the Massaman curry after our waitress let us know it was the most popular dish in Thailand, alongside Pad Thai chicken and a tender beef stir fry.
All three of the dishes were completely unique and bursting with aromatic flavours, but the Massman curry was the one that truly blew me away. I can see exactly why it's so popular, as although it's mild in taste, the combination of cashew nuts, cinnamon and star anise is a delightful combination that would suit even those who are a little wary of spicy foods. I'll definitely be returning as soon as I can to indulge in another Massaman curry!
After our mains we were suitably stuffed, so we decided to sample a few drinks from the cocktail menu as our food settled. The cocktail menu is entirely Thai-inspired and most of the drinks are mixed with genuine Thai spirits. We tried four cocktails between us both and even the aesthetic of each drink was carefully thought through as each looked entirely different from the next - perfect for Instagram, right?!
With the help of our cocktails we were ready to move onto a dessert dish, so we decided to share a Thai waffle with green matcha tea ice-cream and a dark chocolate drizzle. Granted, I probably ate more than my half compared to James, because I freakin' love desserts. Also, if you've never tried green tea ice-cream before, I suggest you do stat! It's incredibly refreshing after a heavy meal and cleanses the palette perfectly. Plus, it's got green tea in so that means it's totally healthy, RIGHT?!
Thaikhun Southampton are offering a whopping 40% off your food bill throughout January (Sun - Thurs) when you book online. So, if you've never tried Thai cuisine before, get yourselves down there and save some pennies during the long, cold month!