Oh what a joy it is to eat out stress free. I do wish I’d appreciated the luxury a little more before I went dairy free. Last week myself and my boyfriend headed to Tapas Revolution in Greys Quarter, Eldon Square, Newcastle to try out their food and drinks and put their allergy handling skills to the test. Spoiler: the outcome was pleasingly good.

Sangria time

When Tapas Revolution first opened I missed being cooked for by the company’s founder, chef Omar Allibhoy as Alex was still fairly new and poorly and I was more than a little miffed. This was a real shame as it would have been nice to add Omar to the list after enjoying Jean Christophe Novelli‘s cooking as part of the festive feast with Aldi a few years back. Tapas Revolution has since launched an adjacent bar de tapas that boasts an impressive happy hour or sangria time Sun-Fri 12-7 which also includes 2-4-1 on gin and tonics and cocktails. We’d originally planned to visit Tapas Revolution to celebrate my boyfriend’s birthday but a family bout of norovirus unfortunately delayed proceedings for a week.

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On our rescheduled visit, as we headed in to town I was more than a little excited at the prospect of having a proper ‘date day’ along with a few drinks.  I’d scoped out the menu online and was beyond overjoyed to find a really good Tapas Revolution allergy menu. Hallelujah! I really can’t praise restaurants enough when they make a nice clear menu that’s simple to read. Where allergens in dishes weren’t broken down on the menu we found staff at the restaurant knowledgeable and able to tell us how dishes could be adapted to make them dairy free, suggesting what we might eat on the menu. Yes, they had a heads up that I was dairy free but take not other restaurants at all levels, this is how it should be done.

I was completely put at ease by first manager Sam then our Spanish waiter, Javier. My dietary requirements never felt like a problem, there was lots on the menu I could still eat and a few things that simple adjustments like leaving the aioli off made safe for me to eat. We chose eight tapas dishes and all eight were safe for me to eat. How amazing is that? Sometimes I struggle to find one or two safe options on a menu.

Tapas already has a special place in my heart and a nostalgic spot in my stomach thanks to visits to Primavera and Sonar festivals in Barcelona back when I was child free. How happily did I roam drinking Rioja and Cava and eating pinchos as I went. In honour of these sunny times we selected one of the spring Cava cocktails from the menu. The Sparkling Tropical Sangria, was light and fruity without being overpoweringly sweet and the watermelon chunks in it were delightfully alcoholic. It would be a perfect tipple for drinking in the restaurant’s bar looking out onto the street as an afterwork drink in the summer or during a shopping pit stop. A cute little plate of Iberian ham and some bread sticks accompanied our drinks and made us wish we’d ordered the Jamón Ibérico tapas plate.

What we ordered

Pan con tomate £3.25
Albóndigas en salsa £6.25
Chorizo a la sidra £5.75
Paella de pollo £5.50
Torreznos con mojo dulce £5.95
Calamares fritos a la andaluza £6.50
Arroz negro £6.50
Patatas bravas £4.25

The food came out fairly quickly in succession and was so bountiful we thought we had made a mistake ordering so many plates but we underestimated our sleep-deprivation fuelled appetites. I had ideas of taking some snazzy flat lay snaps but when the food arrived I just pointed and papped quickly because my tummy was growling.
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IMG_5862My favourite was the arroz negros – black rice with prawn and squid. I could happily eat a huge bowl of this comfort food and was so pleased to find the squid was cooked perfectly. I easily polished off most of the potatas bravas myself as they were nice and crisp and not at all greasy. The saffron touched paella also went down too easily. I’d have liked a few more beans in that but there was plenty of chicken. The caramel pork was more of aconfusing affair. The pork and fat were rendered lovely and crisp and served with a caramelised sauce, flavoured with tasted like smokey pimento. It was really quite spicy too and while I couldn’t decide whether it was for me, I ate a lot of it! I think maybe I’d prefer a different sauce but the pork was cooked to perfection. The tomato bread hit all the right notes with my boyfriend who demolished most of it himself. While I enjoyed the meatball sauce I found the herb flavouring of the meatballs a little strong for my taste. The chorizo was both salty and sweet with a little smoke thanks to being cooked in cider.I wasn’t sold on the sweetness even though I recognise it’s traditional to put Chorizo with cider or Sherry but as my boyfriend has much more of a sweet tooth it really appealed to him and he happily dunked his bread in the sauce.

I’ve become accustomed to not having too much in the way of dessert options when we dine out. Our lovely waiter said he believed I could have the churros without the chocolate but we were pretty full from our savoury feast so we passed. We liked Tapas Revolution a lot. With our jug of Sangria at half price plus eight plates of tapas our date day feast came to a very respectable £52.30. We were being greedy guts though as I swear being a parent makes you hungrier.

It’s interesting to see which brands from Greys Quarter development are staying put and I really hope Tapas Revolution is one of them. I’ll be making an effort to visit again because it’s nice to have a change from pasta and sauce when I eat out and as a big fan of a buffet, I’m sure my little foodie in the making will love it too. We spotted that Tapas Revolution offer a kids menu for £5 and as I’d much rather Alex tried new flavours and foods rather than being subjected to the usual mundane (and dairy filled) choices on children’s menus, we’ve
promised her a visit when we next head out on a family shopping trip.

Big thanks to the staff at Tapas Revolution for making us feel so welcome!

*The cost of our meal was covered by Tapas Revolution but our review is an honest representation of the food and service we encountered.

You’d be forgiven for thinking I’d dropped off the edge of the coastline into the sea or given up eating out or something. However, after some decidedly dodgy dining out experiences in 2017 I’ve been working hard to put my positive pants on for 2018 and quietly plotting some exciting changes for Foodfables and lots of adventures with my little family.

Since becoming a mother, my world revolves around my daughter more than I could have ever imagined. It was a driver in my decision to change jobs at the end of last year so that we could spend more time together, and of course, Alex’s allergy is the reason why I’m still eating dairyfree too. It’s lovely therefore to be able to include Alex in bloggers events and to introduce her here too. Recently, we were both invited to Fratellos in Jesmond to enjoy brunch with some other toddlers at an event organised by Messy Little thing. It was lovely to be catered for confidently and provided with a delicious dairyfree lunch and Alex had lots of fun posing in her new long sleeved weaning bib, which we had the pleasure of reviewing and taking home. Here she is examining her bib and Messy Little Thing bib on arrival. Notice the Kiddilicious blueberry wafers in shot – we go through approximately 20 packets of these a month as Alex loves them, even though as far as I can tell they are pretty much blueberry flavoured skips in stick form.

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Alex and I both ate dairyfree choices from the menu, which were variations on a tomato pasta. I had the puttanesca, which had a little spice, olives and potatoes added, except Alex stole all my olives. Cheers babes. It was pretty tasty though and filling too, double carbs for the win. Not much to look at but safe food without stress gets a big thumbs up from me, especially if it has a bit of flavour. I’ve been to Fratellos before and didn’t rate the service too well but we’ll give it another go after this positive experience.

IMG_5633Now on to the purpose behind our outing, which was to try out the Messy Little Things Bib. With cameras on hand, Alex did some unofficial modelling for the brand and as a natural poser with blue eyes that love the camera, I think she did rather well. In fact, I’ve been considering whether it would be ethical to sign her up for some modelling so she can pay for family holidays. Of course, I could just think she’s the cutest toddler around because I gave birth to her. Here she is prancing and smooshing in the full length bib, which as you can see covers arms and legs as well as the front.

We usually use the kladdig ikea bib (£5) at home and Jojo Maman Bebe’s slightly thicker sleeved bibs (£12) with pockets when we are out and about. The Messy Little Thing bib measured up well – it’s easy to put on, washes well and comes in it’s own bag. At £14.95 it’s slightly more expensive than our usual go to but it is lighter weight and an obvious choice for a special occasion or meal out where toddles is wearing a nice outfit that we don’t want to cover in food stains. It was a lot easier to wash than our JoJo bib and comes out cleaner than the Ikea ones we use on a daily basis. It’s probably not what we would choose for everyday use as Alex refuses any kind of bib a lot of the time but it’s perfect for packing in your changing bag (mine’s in there now). Since Alex’s meal of choice when we do dine out as a family is spaghetti bolognese, I’m confident this bib will be getting plenty of use and I may well be picking up some extras to give as gifts along with a Yumbox or two, which Alex doesn’t like to go to softplay without!

It was espeically lovely to chat to the founder behind the Messy Little Thing brand, Dawn, about her own experience with breastfeeding and weaning and how Alex’s allergies have shaped my breastfeeding and blogger journey. Thank you to Dawn and Fratellos for hosting us and do let us know if you need a model in the future, though Alex may not get out of bed for less than a blueberry Kiddilicious wafer.

How have you found the mess of weaning? Do you love seeing your little one play and explore food or cringe when they splat food up the walls? I am definitely betwixt the two but after Alex’s early problems with weight gain it’s a real delight to see her enjoying new tastes and textures and getting stuck into a big bowl of pasta, just like her Mama.

You may have noticed I’ve not posted for a while, eating out isn’t something I get to do very often at the moment, which is why yesterday (my birthday) was all the more upsetting. I’ve decided not to mention the restaurant name, at least at this stage, because I don’t think one staff member’s attitude should reflect on an establishment. Also, your boss did try and rectify the situation and then as we were settling down for the night you sent my partner an email. Before I respond to your lengthy communication, let’s take a little look at the comments you wrote on our booking and left on the bar for everyone to see, including my partner who spotted his name as we walked past to leave the restaurant after taking the decision to cancel our booking. He snapped this photo. I think it’s important to highlight that the notes next to the booking about my dairy allergy and us possibly wanting the tasting menu ‘waa waaa waaah!’ were added at the time of booking.

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Screen Shot 2017-11-01 at 06.42.56It’s a long one isn’t it? I do think you could have safely cut it to start at “I hope that our Chef/Owner following my ghastly unforgivable actions was somehow able to provide you with an experience that met your requirements”. As it happens, he did cook us a lovely meal, it came out quickly, which suggests putting together something dairy free wasn’t beyond the capabilities of a talented kitchen team, after all. I’ll add some fancy numbers to this when I get the chance so that it’s easier to see which of your points I’m addressing, but for now I’ll just approach this in order, as I should be getting ready for work after a poor night’s sleep.

The narrative

Thank you for iterating the order of events from my partner contacting you on numerous occasions prior to our visit up to and through our attempts to order food yesterday. Please note, we aren’t actually married, sorry about that, my boyfriend did mention I was his girlfriend but let’s not quibble about a lack of wedding ring. I agree for the most part with your account of our attempts to order and thank you for offering up your ‘feelings’ about it. Let me tell you about mine. Dining out is embarrassing for me. Asking questions makes me feel awkward, difficult, guilty even.Once the things you can’t have start stacking up, you begin to feel more and more disappointed. While you did suggest changes to the dishes mentioned, these were, let’s be honest, for the most part omissions. Scallop and pickled veg in place of scallops, pastry and other delicious accompaniments isn’t as innovative as your restaurant ethos. And being offered lamb and double cabbage for mains while probably lovely tasting was making my tummy grumble louder. I’m a breastfeeding mum who doesn’t get much sleep and runs around a lot, which is why we asked if you could offer any carbs. I suggested chips as I know some restaurants cook them separately. I’m sorry that’s not the case at your establishment and that my partner suggesting you make some was so ridiculous. I was hungry. What would have been really lovely is if you’d actually taken the time to talk me through what I could have on the menu or what could be created easily without too much inconvenience. Whether subsconsciously or consciously your curt manner, sighs and lack of effort to check in advance about the suitability of the menu items that day made it obvious to us that we weren’t going to dine as valued customers. At this point, rather than eating a meal we would be disappointed in we decided to pay for our drinks and go elsewhere.

Being a Mombie on Halloween

To address the confusing paragraph about the wine – which only serves to highlight your lack of allergy knowledge – it was indeed a horrific oversight on my part to forget to check if the wine contained milk. That’s what we were checking for by the way – if a bottle mentions sulphites ( a separate allergen) it should make mention of whether it’s milk filtered. Thankfully, it wasn’t. In a full year of being dairy free, I’ve never forgotten to check, I was incredibly upset because the reality that my baby might be caused pain as a result sunk in quickly. Yes, that’s right, it’s not myself who is allergic to dairy, it’s my child. Over the past few weeks as a sleep deprived parent I’ve put things meant for the dishwasher in the fridge, for the dishwasher in the bin and worn both my underwear and outerwear inside out. Too much information? My baby is teething and I’ve not been getting much sleep, I can only presume my one and only oversight was due to that and the excitement of dining at what was previously my favourite restaurant. I would mention however that you did know I had a dairy allergy – your staff are required by law to be trained on allergens in ALL your products and to check labels of any ingredients or products. 

 Gross Misconduct

It was on the way out that my boyfriend spotted his name on the iPad, photographed it and showed it to me. I felt my face flush and eyes wet. HOW DARE YOU. Your job is to make diners feel special, as I questioned at the front of the restaurant – do you have no empathy? I didn’t choose the dairy free life, it chose me. Previous to yesterday we’ve dined with you a handful of times since you opened and had a completely different experience, we were treated as valued customers. As we told you, I’m dairy free because my daughter has a cows milk protein allergy and feeding her myself is the best possible thing for her. It’s hard. I have to check every label for the supermarket shop, I pack snacks for us both wherever we go, I miss social occasions, I haven’t been blogging. But I do it because breastfeeding is proven to help allergies, it helps heal, prevent further allergies and is a great comfort to my daughter during a reaction. Guidelines recommend I continue until she is two years old. Just as some added information, my feeding her rather than giving prescription formula (which is without the benefits I listed) also saved the NHS upwards of £5,000. I appreciate society didn’t ask me to breed, but I do hope that money saved is useful for operations and paying for NHS staff. Maybe think about that next time you’re sat in the doctors. Additionally, breastfeeding lowers my chances of cancer and my daughter’s risk of developing problems such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes. More money in the bank for other poorly folks,  I’d say!

After some shouting and crying you were persuaded to get the owner, so I would like to apologise to other diners who were disturbed. They may well have been celebrating special occasions too and I hope it wasn’t spoiled for them, though I think the responsibility for that situation undeniable lies with you, your lack of professionalism and your prejudiced attitude. We are all human, it’s true, but if you are, as you say, ‘cynical’, and you’re unable to direct frustrations appropriately, I’m not sure the hospitality industry and in particular, front of house service, is for you.

Let’s talk empathy

Addressing your request that we are empathetic to restaurants because of my whacky dietary requirements that have been successfully managed by kitchens including your own with ease, I’d like to just outline why we’re luckily in a great position to be empathetic.

  • I’ve worked on and off in the hospitality industry since I was 13 years old. I’m not ashamed to say I was 34 yesterday, so not quite your 22 years. Also, I’ve only worked in lowly positions like waitress, deli assistant, bar person, events assistant, street food server. I’m proud to say I’ve never treated a customer as you have.
  • My partner has worked in the hospitality industry on and off since the age of 14. He’s a year younger than me, as he loves to remind me, so that clocks up a nice 20 years. He has (and does) work in managerial positions. He would be sacked on the spot if he wrote the comments you did on that iPad.
  • We didn’t just land and expect you to cater for what is a very common dietary requirement – particularly with the rise of veganism. You were given 11 days notice, multiple calls and emails from my partner – this should highlight that the dietary requirement was serious.
  • While cross contamination is always a risk, environment health best practice advises keeping allergens separate. Sensible measures like washing hands and cleaning pans and substituting with safe ingredients is sufficient to avoid issues for us. We have dined out successfully in high street chains and other award winning restaurants. At both ends of the scale servers elsewhere have made an effort to identify and satisfy my requirements without making me cry. One to think about when you look in the mirror there. Time to sharpen up those customer service skills,
  • With the notice given, it would have been perfectly possible to make some simple changes in advance. My partner had stated we would be happy if there was just one option for me. For example, that pastry that couldn’t be eaten because of the milk glaze? You could have simply made one portion without milk glaze that morning. Genius, huh? If you’d like any further tips on easily adapting your crazily complicated menu, I’d be happy to put you in touch with my mum, who successfully cooks multiple course Sunday dinners for myself, my diabetic dad and my baby. All with a smile on her face despite having MS.
  • Our booking was purposefully midweek, early lunch so that you wouldn’t be too busy and would therefore find it wasier to accommodate us. The restaurant wasn’t busy when we arrived. You made the difficulty.

I am grateful to the chef who cooked us a delicious meal – provided on the house. Waaaa waaaa waaah, indeed. I can appreciate you can’t work a million iterations of the menu through the kitchen but cooking for me was certainly possible. I drank an additional gin and tonic and cup of coffee on the house too, for reference, and added my delicious Oatly Barista to finish it. Your younger serving staff were a credit to your establishment. Hopefully they won’t pick up your prejudice or cynicism and go on to have successful careers in catering. I would like to thank them for making extra effort to make me feel at ease after your failings.

Unsurprisingly, we won’t be dining at the restaurant again while you remain working there in your role. You guys probably won’t miss the few hundred pounds a year we spent with you since you opened or the votes that I made for those awards that you’ve won. I’d suggest you review your career path and implement proper allergy training. When our next special occasion comes round, we’ll spare you the incredible inconvenience of trying to eat with you.

Regards, Fay Nyberg (also known as Mrs Lightley, though somewhat lacking in the relevant sparkler or marriage ceremony)

While I’m trying really hard not to empty the contents of my fridge directly into my mouth every evening, there’s no avoiding the fact that I’m now eating for two with a supercharged appetite. Combine this with the amount of things that need done in the house before the baby arrives and my packed work schedule and I’m finding more excuses to eat out. Hurrah (except not so good for my clothes fitting).

Feeling rather hard done to that my weekend highlight was nailing two loads of washing before 10am on a Sunday, I was treated to a surprise Sunday night curry last night and took a trip to a place previously reviewed on the blog Haveli. You can find my previous post on the place here. I’m never too sure how often to post updates on places we’ve reviewed because if we like a place we inevitably head back fairly frequently. However with Haveli being a little out of our way over in Ponteland, we’ve not had the chance to head back since our last visit. My constant suggestion that we should pay the place a return visit seemed to make an impact on Sunday afternoon when exhausted from serious Sunday over-productivity, I put the other half in charge of sourcing the tea.

Since our last visit Haveli has bagged itself a recommendation in the Michelin guide, which didn’t surprise us considering how much we enjoyed the food on our last visit. It’s also added some Paleo menu choices, including cauliflower rice that fellow Slimming Worlders may be interested in but I was too hungry to consider carb cutting.

When we arrived around 5 minutes late for our booking we found quite a few tables were busy but not packed. Haveli is in a bit of a strange spot but the decor inside makes eating there seem more of an occasion. We were asked to wait in the bar area when we arrived and promptly took a seat. I must say we were a little disappointed to be waiting to be seated at our table for 25 minutes, particularly as we had to ask for the drinks menu. As I’d dressed up for the occasion and remembered having a rather lovely cocktail on our last visit I chose a Garden Fresh Virgin Mojito (£4.95) to get things started. This was a lovely accompaniment to my curry when we were seated – a refreshing mix of elderflower, cucumber, apple and lime. It looked lovely too.


IMG_2611I’ve not edited the photos from last night at all – the food really was as colourful and the lights as lovely as they look. As we waited so long to be seated, we were actually a little bit pushed for time when it came to ordering, so we skipped starters and went straight to the main courses. On a bit of a side note, we thought the menus were looking a little worn – probably because the place is so popular but with the classy restaurant vibe they are trying to promote it might be time to have them replaced.

I’m not eating as much meat these days so I chose the Shahi Palak Paneer (£7.50) and Mr Fables had the Railway Lamb Curry (£12.95). We added a side of keema naan and a basmati pilau, though I can’t seem to find the former on the online menu. After our surprise wait to be seated we were a little apprehensive about not ordering some nibbles but the food actually came out extraordinarily quickly, within 5 minutes I’d say.

It didn’t take long for the ‘mmm-ing’ and ‘aaah-ing’ to begin. The lamb in the coconut curry sauce was melt in the mouth, a fairly mild sauce with the occasional surprise chilli. My spinach sauce was creamy and moreish but with a surprising spice level, this wasn’t the mild, bland curry that paneer and spinach can sometimes be. It’s the extra finishing touches that show that Haveli consider how flavours will work together – sweet fried onions topping the rice were a delight alongside my spinach sauce and the keema in the naan had its own distinct flavour too. Best of all, our choices complemented each other well and Mr Fables actually exclaimed he might be tempted to order more vegetarian sides from now on.

With a couple of extra soft drinks our bill came to around £44, which is certainly more than our local curry house but the food at Haveli was well worth making a trip for. The few little niggles on arrival didn’t impact too much on our evening, except to maybe stop us from eating even more and as we didn’t really have room for dessert that may not have been a bad thing. Thanks Haveli for not disappointing! Now, can you open somewhere a little closer to us please?

What do you eat when you go shopping and what do you think of the new wave of food courts? If you’re a resident of the North East and you’ve indulged in a little retail therapy recently (willingly or less so), you’ll know the food offerings at Intu MetroCentre have been undergoing a bit of a revamp. I was recently invited to the launch night of one of the new residents, Thaikun, so while planning a review of this colourful new ‘street food’ stop, I’ve found myself musing about the food culture in shopping centres generally. Consequently this post is partly a review of the very jazzy new Thaikun at the Metro Centre and a bit of a personal ponder about the ideal fuel for shopping trips.

Memories of the Metro Centre

Truth be told, I have few memories of eating in the MetroCentre as a child – we ate in the zone with the old Mediterranean vibe where the independents once were vary rarely when I was a kid. The only fast food I can ever remember eating as a child was my first ever Burger King aged approximately 11 and that was on Northumberland Street when my brother and I went to see the Fenwicks’ Christmas window display with my dad, I’m pretty sure he told us not to tell Mam we’d eaten there either. We had double cheeseburgers FYI.

I’m pretty open about the fact I’ve always had mixed feelings about chain restaurants, I’ve had some great nights in Pizza Express and Las Iguanas with my friends and I recognise how useful they are when it comes to pleasing a crowd and eating cheaply. I like to support local but I recognise chains employ people and give them opportunities too. Mix this all up together and I’m not sure how I feel about the MetroCentres new food court and the fact it’s all chains (although it does have some smaller ones – Thaikun for instance only has eight branches).

What’s the ideal shopping centre food set up?

When I visit my former home of Leeds, I’m always impressed by the mix of places to eat in the Leeds Trinity shopping centre, which includes Trinity Kitchen where various independents take up rotating pop up slots. There are also some familiar high street chains in there, some less familiar ones and some posher places to eat too. There was a good amount of controversy when this shopping centre opened and shortly after its opening many questioned whether it contributed to the closure of some other restaurants in the city centre. That said, in Trinity Kitchen I think they’ve successfully harnessed a relaxed, casual eating vibe – the sort of vibe Thaikun is clearly aiming at with its street food offering.

Thaikun, Review

First things first, eating at Thaikun was a very fun experience – the staff put a lot of effort into entertaining us with singing and shots – though as I’m currently up the duff I wasn’t under the influence for the review. There definitely seems to be a certain formula new chains are following at the moment – the loud and proud decor of the surprisingly large restaurant takes all the sights of Bangkok and amplifies them times a million, a lot like the Caribbean influenced deco of Turtle Bay. That’s more an observation than a criticism.

Thaikun is owned by the Chaophraya chain (which I’ve previously visited in Leeds) and boasts a chef director who had her own restuarant in Bangkok in the past. This shows in the menu through some lesser spotted dishes that don’t show up at every Thai restaurant. For example, I was delighted to see khao soi guy on the menu, which I learnt to cook while I was in Thailand. I was unable to sample it on this occasion as we were served a set menu at the launch event but it’s top of my list of things to try next. Here’s what myself and my dining partner Hannah shared:

The shared platter of starters were good finger food and little nibbles are always a good way to introduce little ones to trying new things. I did miss the usual array of Thai condiments while I was eating these – I would have liked to have add some spice with some Nampla Prik or a little sugar but was pleased by the presence of Sriracha and a serving of two chilli sauces. I enjoyed the salty squid (this was super salty) but found the squid a bit overdone. The sticky pork was the star of the starters while I’d liked to have tasted a bit more spice in the fish cakes and corn cakes. I think perhaps they’re relying on customers to spice to their own taste. Apologies for the poor photography – ambient lighting and a lack of editing time make for yellower than average snaps!

Main courses covered the traditional Thai favourites with green thai curry, pad thai, a sticky pork and a spiced mince. The latter was actually my favourite overall dish and the one I’d consider to be the most authentic tasting based on my own experience of food in Thailand. It reminded me of a lovely dish I ate in Chiang Mai, which has a lot of Burmese food influences.

The green curry was nice – quite heavy on the basil mind and the pad thai had plenty of juicy prawns, though it didn’t quite have the balance of flavours of those straight off the Bangkok streets. Those around me seemed to be enjoying some cute cocktails served in Takeaway boxes but as I wasn’t drinking I asked to see the drinks menu and was pleased to see a totally calorific but very moreish Thai tea on the menu (very sugary but I may well be popping in for these to takeaway while shopping). Even as a hungry pregnant momma-to-be, myself and my dining partner Hannah didn’t quite manage to finish this feast.

We had a lovely time at Thaikun and though it’s authenticity didn’t totally ring true for me I’m keen to try more dishes on the menu next time I’m shopping with friends (and I’ll post an update then). I like the idea of introducing kids to new cuisines on unavoidable family shopping trips, so from this perspective this fun concept gets a thumbs up.

Have you been to Thaikun yet? What do you think of the new food court offerings in the MetroCentre? Have you eaten at any of the other new places and do you miss the independents?