Le Celtique is an out-of-the-way French restaurant in Rawai that moved from Kata several years ago. Its no-nonsense approach to traditional French, Italian and Thai dishes and efficient and friendly service make it well worth a visit.
Run by a French-Thai couple, Bertrand and Lek Plumer, Le Celtique could at first be mistaken for a mini museum as its décor, consisting of Buddha images, wall friezes, wooden statues and Celtic whorls, is so distinctive that there quite simply is nothing else like it in Phuket.
There’s a bit of everything at Le Celtique, with two fish tanks, chunky wooden furniture, Buddhist iconography, Breton paraphernalia and even two children’s wooden rocking horses at the entrance.
You’d think that clutter would attract dust and grime but in fact Le Celtique is spotless and with the cleanest bathrooms I have seen in Phuket. Unusually enough there are not only ceiling fans and air conditioning but also floor stand-fans.
The restaurant’s piped-in French music is never too loud and the lights are just right for romance. During low season (May-November) it’s a great place for a tranquil evening but throughout high season this 80-cover place is busy – so much so that it’s best to phone ahead to reserve.
Lek and her team of local girls who have been working together for a long time do an excellent job of welcoming you and making sure you’re served. Sports enthusiasts can enjoy the large-screen TV at the bar.
A 15-label wine list offers enough choices to cover the generous and varied menu with selections from France, and South America.
Our plummy and velvety Chilean Paso del Sol Cabernet Sauvignon from the favoured Central Valley location is perfect for the occasion.
The three-language menu featuring French, Italian and Thai dishes is extensive enough to keep everyone happy, especially if you lean towards the crepes and galettes (40 varieties on the menu) of Brittany. When it comes to Thai noodle dishes; diners can choose from three different portion sizes, which is handy for families.
For starters we sample fish soup with a rouille (an olive-oil based Provencal sauce with saffron and bread crumbs) accompanied by fresh house bread along with a homemade terrine de porc.
This is not fine cuisine but good, rural cooking executed in first-rate style. For mains we order a galette complete with tomato, egg, ham and cheese along with filets de sole in a lobster cream sauce – both dishes satisfyingly filling.
What Le Celtique is particularly good at is French country cooking with its robust textures and no-nonsense traditional recipes. You get exactly what you order at Le Celtique and it’s all about homemade cuisine.
Many staff members have been with Bertrand and Lek for years and are happy to extend the same warm welcome and professional service as the owners.
Where Is It?
Up a side soi off Soi Samakae 4 and Soi Samakae 2 in Rawai in the south of Phuket, Le Celtique is well signposted. If coming from Chalong, turn down Soi Saiyuan off Vichit Road at the 7-Eleven and right at Le Celtique signage. Follow the road for a kilometre and turn right up the hill at the second restaurant sign.
- Opening Hours: 15:00 – 23:00 closed Tuesdays
- Location: 89/90 Soi Samakae 4, Rawai
- Tel: +66 (0)76 613 098 Mobile: +66 (0)89 588 9517