Starting Your Children’s Thai Food Adventure

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I have always believed that introducing children to a wide range of flavours whilst they are young is really important. Mia and Joe have eaten the same food as A and I since they were tiny…minus a little salt and chilli when they were really small. Of course they both have their moments of fussiness, but they will always happily try new foods. So, when I heard that Thaikhun, one of my favourite Oxford restaurants were launching a brand new children’s menu I knew that they would love to try it!

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I booked a table at Thaikhun for an early lunch on Sunday, which just happened to be a gorgeous sunny day for a visit to Oxford! The restaurant is in a really central location, near to the main shopping area, museums and galleries. We were welcomed by the waiting staff and offered a lovely table by the main window, overlooking the bustling street outside. The little ones were delighted to have a seat made from a cleverly converted bathtub. They loved that from outside the restaurant it looked like they were in a bath, and spent ages keeping the passing shoppers entertained…a group of tourists actually stopped to photograph them!

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Our waitress explained the new children’s menu to us all, and showed how we could mix and match Mia and Joe’s choices. This was fun for them, and also meant that there was more variety with the various different combinations. They both absolutely love jasmine rice and noodles, so this was probably the most difficult menu choice for them!

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Both of them had tried a little Thai food before our visit and really like chicken satay and vegetable spring rolls, so were very enthusiastic to try more Thai flavours. I have made them a very mild green curry at home before, and Mia likes the creaminess and fragrance of green curry, so went for this option with chicken. Joe also opted for chicken but with a ‘no nuts’ satay sauce. I thought this was a very thoughful detail by Thaikhun to make the menu nut-free, as so many children now have nut allergies.

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As soon as we had placed our order, colouring sheets and crayons arrived, along with some crunchy carrot and cucumber sticks. M & J were both very content to colour whilst snacking for a little while. I have to mention the children’s drink cups too; they were the best design, with cool jungle animal lids to prevent any spills and cool enough for even a fairly streetwise seven year old to enjoy! I was actually googling the cup brand whilst in the restaurant (Bumpidoodle if you were wondering…but they seem to be quite difficult to find online!) Well done Thaikhun for thinking of all these little details; they are the things that make so much a difference to a family meal, and make it really enjoyable, rather than slightly stressful!

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Next up were the mains, again very thoughfully set out on brightly coloured trays, with sections for each different ingredient. Mia loved adding her chicken, rice and green curry sauce together, and personalising her own lunch. Joe went in the opposite direction, and ate each part of his rice, chicken and satay sauce separately…rice first, then chicken, and then his remaining carrots from the starter dipped into his satay sauce.

I tasted a little of both of their sauces, the green curry and satay, and they were great, slightly milder versions of the much-loved classics. Most importantly though, Mia and Joe both enjoyed their food choices, tried brand new ingredients and were keen to visit again…and for dessert there were mini milk ice lollies which were perfect as treat to end lunch with!

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I love the relaxed and inclusive feel there is at Thaikhun. There were quite a few other families there, a dad with a newborn baby sitting next to us who had popped in for a quick curry, and plenty of couples and larger parties enjoying lunch. Despite the place’s busyness the service was excellent as usual, which I’m sure is part of the reason (along with the great food!) for its popularity.

 

Thaikhun kindly invited us to review the new children’s menu as their guests. All words and opinions provided are my own (and my children’s!). 

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