Thaikun Spinningfields, 3 Hardman St, Manchester, M3 3HF – Visit Now
When I heard the group behind Chaophraya was opening a Thai street food restaurant on The Avenue, it seemed like it could be the injection of personality Spinningfields needs.
For our starter we shared the Bangkok Street Platter, which was basically the same thing you’d get at any neighbourhood Thai in the country, with decent satay and wontons and dire chicken balls. My salad featured fresh dressed shards of green papaya and mango, which shared space with lightly battered pieces of sea bass, but the flavours just didn’t work together. A stir-fry with belly pork and green beans was much better.
The fit out is something, though. It’s a riot of colour, with kitchen implements and colourful Thai tat flung around seemingly at random. Much money and effort has been expended in giving this unit the feel of a Bangkok street food stall that’s been cobbled together out of dusty window frames, junked fishing boats and old movie posters. And the service was very attentive; there’s a slick efficiency about the place. The staff charge around wearing T-shirts that say “ask me about our must-try meals” and loose elephant-print trousers like the ones you bought on the Khao San Road and then never wore back home. At one point during our meal they formed a line and advanced upon a table outside, banging bits of metal and emitting bloodcurdling shrieks. Either it was a birthday meal or someone tried to leave without paying. We didn’t ask.