Raya is one of those very Thai restaurants. By that I don’t mean that it serves Thai food, because just about every restaurant in Phuket servers at least some Thai food. What I mean is that it serves Thai food for Thais. Even more peculiarly, Raya serves old fashioned Thai food to Thai families mostly Chinese Thai families.
It, however, isn’t in the old part of Phuket Town, or if it is, it’s on the very periphery. In fact, it’s the only old style building still standing in the area and is partially hidden behind a new Japanese stye restaurant. I’ve been living here for quite a few years and haven’t ever even noticed it. I still wouldn’t have gone there if a Thai friend of mine hadn’t suggested it.
Once you do find it though, you know that it’s a very different place from most restaurants. From the moment you step through the doors you feel like you’ve gone back a few decades. It’s in an old Chinese building that hasn’t changed much over the years. It’s clean and neat, but it still has the old pictures hanging from the walls and ancient fans still spin lazily overhead—there’s no air conditioning here. Chinese Thai families populate the place in fairly large family groups. It’s a strange, interesting, but very cozy place.
มาถึงภูเก็ต ต้องมาลองร้านอาหารระย้าสุดอร่อย เจ้าของร้านป้ากุหลาบ นำบ้านเก่ามาดัดแปลงเป็น ร้านอาหาร ได้บรรยากาศแบบโบราณ พร้อมสูตรอาหารดั้งเดิม เมนูเด็ด ๆ เช่น แกงปูใส่ใบชะพลู นำ้พริกกุ้งเสียบ ยำผักกรูดกุ้งสด ขอย้ำ! ไม่ควรพลาด
My Thai friend insisted we order Pak Mieng, a special kind of grass that Thais like to eat. It’s worth a try, I guess, if you think you too might like to eat grass. I can’t say I’m so much into that, but I’m not going to judge those who are.
The other two dishes we ordered were fairly standard: a Yam, or spicy Thai salad, and Panang Curry. The Yam was interesting with minced shrimp and some other vegetables I hadn’t seen before in this sort of salad. The taste wasn’t entirely different, but it was a nice change on an old favorite. The Panang Curry didn’t fair so well. The sauce just didn’t have the rich taste you expect from this sort of curry. It was certainly edible, but it’s not something that I would order again at this particular restaurant.
Raya is what I might call a taste of old Phuket. The food isn’t tremendously fancy, but it’s good and the atmosphere is a like a breath of fresh air from a time very long ago.
Raya Royal Thai Restaurant
48 New Dibuk Road Phuket City, Phuket 83100
Telephone: +66 - 76 218155
เวลา เปิดบริการ: 1100 - 2300 น. ทุกวัน
ที่ตั้งร้าน: สี่แยกถนนดีบุกตัดใหม่ อำเภอเมือง จังหวัดภูเก็ต
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