Knutty Explorers: Thaikhun, Guildford – A review
A question I get asked numerous times every week, and often one which makes my eye twitch in anger.
As a mum and wife, I find it really hard staying inspired on the dinner front. The intent is there, I don’t mind cooking, I bookmark recipes I like, with every intention of one day making them, and some weeks (when the world doesn’t feel like it is conspiring against me) I even manage to meal plan!
It doesn’t help that my kids are quite fussy eaters. Don’t ask me where I went wrong, I don’t know. I tried the baby led weaning thing, I tried pouches, I tried making my own cooked and pureed food until I couldn’t fit anymore in my freezer. You name it, I tried it, but nothing seems to have made much difference with any of my 3. Thankfully, the 8 year old is coming out the other side of it now and will at least try new foods but the 6 year old and the toddler have good and (very) bad days where food is concerned. Mealtimes can often be pretty traumatic in our household but I have stopped the shouting and started the calm, “well, that’s fine but you don’t get anything else”, approach. It doesn’t seem to have changed their eating habits but the house is a lot calmer so that’s something I suppose…
We rarely get to eat out these days because the toddler is incapable of sitting still for more than 15 minutes and I go into panic mode as soon as he or one of the other kids start revving up for a tantrum. The stares from other diners, the embarrassment when the waiting staff remove the toddlers plate and all he’s done is drive one of his toy trains we’ve taken out with us through his food. It’s just not worth the hassle, expense or wastage.
So, when I was contacted by the lovely folk at Thaikhun to see if we would like to review their new kids menu, I jumped at the chance…as soon as I had checked with my mum that she could babysit the toddler 😉
Luckily for us, Nanny and Grandad came up trumps as usual and agreed to have the littlest one so myself and Mr Knutts could take the 2 older ones to experience some Thai food. This would be the first time my boys have eaten Thai food (they have had some Chinese food however in the form of Prawn crackers and breaded chicken) because of their fussy eating habits and I was a little apprehensive but you have to give these things a go don’t you.
With the little one safely dropped off for a sleepover at Nanny and Granddad’s (he was very excited!), we set off with the older two for our local Thaikhun Restaurant in Guildford, Surrey. They also have restaurants in various locations around the country so do check their website to find your nearest one. Luckily for us, Guildford is about 15 minutes drive from where we live so it wasn’t far to travel at all.
We booked a table for 5:30 and arrived there spot on time…a miracle in itself but probably helped by the fact we didn’t have a willful toddler in tow for a change 😉
We were greeted warmly by the staff and were shown to our table in the middle of the restaurant.
The restaurant is decorated and themed in such a way so as to try and transport you to the streets of Bangkok, Thailand’s capital. I have to say, I’ve never been to Bangkok, but I certainly didn’t feel like I was sat near Guildford High street! They’ve done a pretty good job. The kids also thought it was amazing in there and I even sent them off with my camera to take some of their own photos for me. Looking around the place kept them entertained for ages…
(The photos the boys took)
Once back from their trip around the place taking photos, the kids were given super activity sheets which had various activities on to keep them occupied, along with some colouring crayons and also some dried edible bugs which they were encouraged to try! One type was dried silk worms but I can’t recall what the other pot were – I was probably in shock and didn’t take it in. Either way, they looked maggot/worm like and I could see their little legs and faces staring at me, frozen in time. I immediately recoiled and had visions of me eating one and projectile vomiting across the table before we had even had anything to eat so politely declined, as did Luke my eldest. Daddy Knutts and the middle one however, were feeling game. They both tried a couple and then, to my utter bemusement, the middle one started scoffing the things like they were Haribo! This kid HATES vegetables and fruit to the point I have a 30 minute fight with him most mealtimes about even trying a mouthful, and yet, here he was, chomping on dried worms like they were the most amazing thing he had ever had. Kids…don’t try and apply logic to them. Ever.
We ordered our food and drinks and they all arrived at the table promptly. Seen as I love my cocktails, I thought it only right that I try one and I chose a Coconut Mojito, whilst Daddy Knutts plumped for a beer. It was absoloutely smashing and I could have easily had 3…or 6 of them 😉
The kids got cups of Milk, water or Juice included in their kids meal so we plumped for cups of milk which, when delivered to the table, came in cute little animal beakers with lids on. Despite my eldest being 8, he didn’t seem to be bothered by the animal cups at all and happily swigged his milk from it.
Our food arrived promptly, the kids dinners arrived with the adult starters which I thought was a fab idea and they, again to my utter amazement, tucked straight into their meals without so much as a whine! It was a miracle!
Luke opted for Grilled Chicken with plain noodles and BBQ Sauce. Zak opted for breaded chicken with sticky rice. All kids meals come with a pot of vegetable sticks in a cup too.
My fuss-pot eaters like to have their food separated at home if there is a sauce involved, so when the kids meals arrived in a tray which had compartments and separate pots to put sauce in, it was like my prayers had been answered! I think this is one of the reasons they didn’t moan and just excitedly tucked into their dinners. This made for a really nice atmosphere, as opposed to the usual mealtime carnage, so we actually all managed to sit, enjoy each others company and chat to each other which is a rare occurrence because poor Daddy Knutts often doesn’t get in from work until late and we sadly have to eat at a different time to the kids.
The meals were simple, but tasty, which is just what you want for kids. In my eyes and theirs, it was brilliant.
It was genuinely really lovely.
I went for some chicken spring rolls to start with and the hubster went for some deep fried breaded king prawns. Both dishes were really delicious and came with a dipping sauce.
The kids were about halfway through their dinners by the time our mains arrived which was perfect as they still had some to eat whilst doing their activity sheets and nobody was moaning or getting bored because they had to wait or were finished. It was really good, family friendly, service.
For main, I chose Breaded Chicken with Coconut Sticky rice, which also came with a chicken soup on the side, and Mr Knutts went for steak with Sticky Rice. Both meals were delicious and we would happily recommend them to anyone thinking of going. The portion sizes were very generous, but not so much that you couldn’t finish it and ended up wasting food. Spot on once again.
The waiting staff were very attentive and spied me being a clumsy plonker as I knocked my middles ones milk off the table and all over the floor. A lovely waitress was straight over with some kitchen roll, she didn’t make a fuss about it, I helped her clean it up and she popped off to get Zak a new milk. Really great service and didn’t make me feel awkward at all.
We thought it only right that we try the puddings while we were there (well, you have to don’t you?!) and I went for a Sticky Date pudding with Whisky Ice Cream. It was sooooo scrummy. Squidgy cake, chewy dates, sweet and sticky sauce with a potent whisky ice cream. It was the perfect way to finish off my meal.
Hubster went for some Chocolate Chili Ice Cream and he really enjoyed that after a carb loaded meal.
The children got an ice lolly included in their kids meal, but sadly the freezer wasn’t working properly so these were off the menu. It didn’t matter, the kids chose from their grown up ice creams (not the whisky one, though it was tempting to see if it made them calm down at all…) and the waitress bought this out to them in a little bowl. It was just the right size for them and the Strawberry one that the kids went for had real strawberry in it. I might have had a little test of it myself… 😉
Overall, we had a fantastic time at Thaikhun, Guildford and we would totally have no qualms in recommending it to family, friends and Life is Knutts readers!
The kids meal, inclusive of a starter, main, pudding and drink is £5.95 which I think is really good value for money given the portion sizes and the good quality ingredients used.
Even if your children are fuss-pot eaters like mine, give it a go! You never know, you might be surprised like I was!
I have to just add, that I did have a bit of a giggling fit at my eldest reading out some instructions on the kids menu at one point. It was telling the kids how to say ‘hello’ in Thai, but one of the words, well, read it for yourself but it did make me chuckle hearing my 8 year old saying it at the top of his voice!
Thank you so much to the staff at Thaikhun, Guildford for being so kind and accommodating. We loved our evening out and will certainly be back, the kids have already asked when we can go again!
After our meal, we went for a little stroll up to Guildford Castle to help all that scrummy food digest. if you haven’t been to Guildford before, we can thoroughly recommend it. Little alleyways, places to explore, wonderful shops, a castle and much, much more.
Here are some photos from our evening stroll…
Disclosure: We were given a complimentary meal at Thaikhun, Guildford, in return for this review. All thoughts, opinions and photos are my own.