We were remarkably desperate to escape another grey UK Saturday afternoon in Glasgow. Well, it turns out we had to look no further than Silverburn and in particular, Thaikhun – the leading Thai street food restaurant – who as it happens has partnered up with STA, Singha beer and Tourism Thailand to offer one lucky thrill seeker the #BestSummerEver!

Thaikhun resides in the recently refurbished Silverburn centre in the city’s southside. We had been given a heads up about how tasty this quick growing Thai street food restaurant was and the GlasgowLiving team were looking forward to checking out their celebrated casual dining experience.

The group of eateries are owned jointly by Kim Kaewkraikhot and Martin Stead. Since opening their first restaurant in 2004, the company has become one of the leading Thai dining operators in the UK.

Kim started off cooking food on the streets of Bangkok and eventually opened up her own small restaurant in the capital. Kim’s food was distinguished in the local neighbourhood for its fabulous flavours and people would travel many miles to taste it. Her recipes, including her enigmatic Pad Thai recipe, became so famous Kim went on to win several awards back in her native land.

Tucked away from the main shopping Mall, the enticing aroma with palatable personality and vibe from the restaurant on arrival was tempting, to say the least. If you’ve ever travelled to south-east Asia, you’ll know that street food is a way of life over there. Traditionally the locals have always cooked outside to stop their homes from getting even hotter!

The front of house staff were welcoming and pleasantly attentive throughout.  The manager sat us down and went over the menu thoroughly with us whilst throwing in some of his personal recommendations too.

Based on our charming host’s recommendations we couldn’t see passed mixing it up a little for the starters. First up they sent us a over a nice bowl of Thai crackers, very different in style and taste from anything else we had tasted before. GlasgowLiving were spoiled for choice, and just as well we’re all close pals as everyone was sharing and dipping in and out left right and centre. The Por Pia Tod (Deep Fried) Spring Rolls were delicious and a whole world away from your average festival style often burnt delicacy.  Not too crispy and pleasant inside. Served with vermicelli and sweet chilli sauce.

But, as expected we opted for the works of course! Next up for us leapt the Tod Man Pla (Thai Fish Cakes). Fresh fish is always easy to come by “back home” in Thailand, with the picturesque Chao Phraya river running right through the heart of Bangkok. The street food specialists based in Glasgow’s southside take inspiration straight from their homeland’s local vendors, who always head to the riverside to the buy the freshest ingredients for the right dish. On the first bite, we got an unexpected but delightful surprise. Texture wise there was an unusually wet dumpling-style filling. Refreshing all the same. Flavoured perfectly with red curry paste and fine beans. The dressing was the best bit for us here, all served with cucumber relish and sweet chilli sauce topped with palletizing peanuts.

Tod Man Khoo Pod! The Thai trio was terrifically topped off with a seasonal local delicacy. When summer corn starts flooding the markets during September, corn fritters step up as a street food staple! Cleverly fried up in huge batches then fashionably flavoured with red curry, aromatic kaffir lime leaves then served with a tasty sweet chilli oil.

So for starters, you can take it easy or feast, the choice is yours. But as expected we pushed the long-tail boat out the opted for the full works! Fabulous value for money, all our prep picks were around the 200฿ (5 quid) mark.

When it came round to the main meals we got all adventurous and mixed it up again with three dishes and rice served in a traditional pinto, used by workers back in Thailand for their packed lunches. This was a cool, creative and cultural novelty but the food was nothing short of spectacular.

First up we delved into Thai Green Curry (again on the bosses recommendation)  Sometimes you expect it to be uncomfortably hot and overly spicy, right? Not here. The Geang Kiew Wan was potent, delicious and cleverly prepared to perfection. The fresh Thai basil and a slight kick gave this Pinto a standout seal of approval. We will be back for more of this next time!

Our pick of the day was the Barbequed Pork On Rice (the chef’s favourite)…Si Lom Road has been popular for more than 52 years, well known for it’s Khao Moo Daeng. They keep their recipe well guarded and as we say in Glasgow, “Nae Wonder.” However, we think Team Thaikhun have magically created an equally good alternative right here in our Dear Green Place! The slices of barbequed and roasted pork belly, on a bed of steamed rice with a boiled egg, sweet soy and barbeque sauce! This was the one we couldn’t stop ourselves from nibbling. Crispy, tasty and highly seasoned, roasted to perfection and as moreish as it gets!

In terms of interior and decor, these guys are the masters of reinvention. For a minute we had to snap back to reality whilst dreaming of a cocktail at a Koh Phi Phi Ley beach bar!

The overall experience excelled in zinginess, freshness, customer service and the whole street food fine balance we were hoping for! 5 stars all round! The company will be launching its second Thaikhun in Glasgow later this year…

Gallus Glasgow Gastro Gauge:

***** Plenty of options across the full menu.

***** Decor – Some striking traditional and cultural surprises.

*****  Value for money – Street food prices without the messiness.

***** Customer service – Warm, interesting, and knowledgeable throughout.

Wannabee travellers will have until the 9th of October 2017 to prove why they deserve the one-of-a-kind trip, with three prospective contenders being shortlisted for each site to battle it out in a social media showdown.  Out of the three, one winner will be chosen as the official Thaikhun ambassador for their city and will compete to win their summer holiday to Thailand.

Why bother? It’s simple (and super cool).  There are plenty of prizes to pick up along the way, it’s fun AND the winner will get to design a #BestSummerEver in Thailand of their own choosing with the help of STA and Tourism Thailand. What’s the catch? There isn’t one.  It must be hard?  Nope, the hard part is deciding which friend to share the holiday with.

Everyone’s a winner too.  Whoever enters will receive a free Pad-Thai; anyone who reaches the battle to be an ambassador will win a meal for six at Thaikhun; and all ambassadors receive an orange card (free Thai for a year) – what a time to be alive.

Thaikhun is looking for contenders who like Thai food and Thailand, who want to win a fantastic prize and who are willing to get involved in order to prove it.  Fit the bill? Get in touch.

To find out how to get your free Pad-Thai and have the chance to win the holiday of a lifetime visit Thaikhun.co.uk/BestSummerEver.