Have you visited the Metrocentre since it revamped and expanded the eateries available in the Qube? There’s plenty of choice from the big chains and usual suspects but our favourite is Thaikhun which offers a taste of Thai street food right here in the North East.
After a trip to the cinema, we held off the popcorn snacks ready for our lunch at Thaikhun. Desperate to get our munch on, we sat amongst the quirky and eclectic decor and made a start with spiced prawn crackers with a sweet chilli dip… and an icy cold pint of Singha!
Since our last visit, there was a few new dishes added to the menu as part of a seasonal revamp so it was nice to see a bit of variety.
To start, Paul went for his Thai staple, the Tom Yum soup with prawns. Jam packed with huge juicy prawns and button mushrooms, the soup hit all the right notes with the warmth from the galangal, the aromatics of the kaffir lime leaves and the heat from the roasted chillies. The broth was quite light and it was a great starter portion.
I opted for what can only be described as summer on a plate. Por Pia Sod are rice papers stuffed with fresh crisp vegetables and herbs and prawns served up with fresh chillies, cucumber relish and a chilli dipping sauce. The prawns were again huge and plentiful which made the dish a bit of a bargainous hit. The rolls were juicy and packed full of flavour. Bit sloppy to eat by hand with the dipping sauce so I succumbed to pouring the dipping sauce on top and diving in that way. I could eat the Por Pia Sod all day long – delicious.
Again, creature of habit, Paul went for a red curry – Gaeng Phed. Served with soft jasmine rice, the dish was a good size and the balance of rice to curry was spot on. The beef was tender and abundant, whilst the pineapple added a a light sweetness to combat the heat of the sauce. The basil kept the curry grounded on the savoury side rather than leaning towards the sweetness of the fruit.
Goong Phad Prik Gra Tiam is one of the newest dishes on the menu and it was my choice. The dish was prawns coated in a light batter, stir fried with basil, peppers and onions in a chilli and garlic sauce. The sauce packed a healthy punch with the chilli but was spicy rather than hot, if you are a heat wimp. Again, the prawns are juicy and impressively large for the price point. I added a side of Khao Maprao coconut rice which is my favourite. At Thaikhun, the rice is served with grated coconut mixed in, rather than that sickly gelatinous gloop you quite often get. It’s a pet peeve of mine but rest assure ther Thaikhun version is fluffy and delightful!
With no room for pudding, we had a couple more drinks and went about our merry way.
The thing we like about Thaikhun is the quality. We find the vegetables to be crisp and fresh and the meats to always be tender and well cooked and the prawns to be incredibly delicious – that should be a given in any restaurant but it’s sadly not. The laid back vibe is always a good draw for me, you aren’t hassled and you can tuck yourself away from the crowd by taking a table for 2 at the back. The only thing I am not so keen on is the Thai greetings. It’s a bit gimmicky and I don’t want to hear my waiter greeting me in Thai with a thick geordie accent – which is probably exactly how Paul’s brother sounds as he has lived in Thailand for years and years now!