Over the last couple of years, the street food revolution has taken off in the UK, and is worth about £600m a year according to British Street Food, writes Holly Page.
Street food dates all the way back to Ancient Greece. Although, in Thailand, it didn’t become popular among native Thai people until the early 1960s due to rapid urban population growth, and by the 1970s it had superseded home-cooking.
With many street food concepts emerging in the UK, Martin and Kim, founders of Thai Leisure Group’s Thaikhun concept saw a gap in the UK market. Thaikhun brings classic Thai street food dishes from the streets of Bangkok to the UK, in a casual dining style.
We at FSC were keen to see the concept for ourselves, so took a trip to its newly-opened Guildford site. Having spent 5 months in South East Asia myself, I have to admit the décor of the restaurant felt as though I had taken a trip back to the Maekong Railway Market – one of Thailand’s most famous tourist spots on the outskirts of Bangkok. What makes it unique is the fact it has an actual train that runs through the middle of the market several times a day – only in Thailand!
The majority of venue’s interior props are sourced from regular business trips taken by the founders; from sauce holders, to flags, to an actual Thai train carriage which is utilised as a bar – giving customers a truly authentic, rustic and interactive dining experience.
The food however, was the real hero of the experience, unveiling a taste straight from the streets of Bangkok. We indulged in a variety of traditional dishes including a classic Pad Thai, Massaman curry and Thai fish cakes, to name a few. It took me straight back to the hustle and bustle of the streets of Thailand where I have been lucky enough to taste some of the most flavoursome food in the world.
The concept has been brilliantly executed and TLG continues to grow and spread its Thai street food expertise across the UK with 9 Thaikhun sites already open and another 11 in the pipeline through to the end of 2017.
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