Chain restaurants are not usually my style.
They leave me with a bad taste in the mouth, a taste of having had to spend far too much money to eat food that’s really not that good in a restaurant that is all too dull and as flavourless as the food they serve.
So I must admit the prospect of eating at Thaikhun in the newly developed food court at Nottingham’s Victoria Centre did not fill me with too much excitement.
How very very wrong I was.
As soon as I walked through the door it was very clear that Thaikhun, which has six restaurants across the UK, is a rather unique and pleasing place to feast.
The estasblishment has been lovingly designed to conjour up feelings of eating authentic Thai street food from the streets of Bangkok.
The interior is authentic, offering an interactive dining experience with open kitchens and traditionally rustic surroundings.
Pronounced ‘tycoon’, the name celebrates the street food sellers in Thailand who are real tycoons – owning and running their own successful food businesses and leading the way in Thai street food.
And the food is equally as enchanting as the restaurant’s traditional Thai decor.
I selected a Moo Ping to start (that’s marinated pork skewers with a tangy chilli dip to you and me). It was a choice I did not regret with the pork cooked to perfection and perfectly complemented by the flavoursome dip.
A Khao Moo Deng Moo Krob followed for my main course - which is a tantalising mix of barbequed belly pork with a sweet soy and barbeque sauce laying on a bed of rice.
Thai cuisine offers a different culture and a different way of eating.
The bowl of broth that comes as a free side dish with this meal may look rather odd and like a bowl of water with some tiny bits of veg carelessly lobbed in. In fact it is a rather mouth-watering and welcome addition to the dish, and a gesture that further shows the hospitality and culinary attention to detail of the Thai people.
And, at just £9 for the dish, the main offers taste, value and is the perfect ingredient for a delightful night of dining.
Thaikhun doesn’t just leave you with a good taste in your mouth, it leaves you with a taste to Thailand.
I’ve never been to Thailand, perhaps it’s time that changed.