Raya Restaurant - Phuket

Phuket Town Restaurants & Dining

Raya Restaurant is simply the Thai restaurant in Phuket Town. Set in a renovated Sino-Thai mansion originally built at the beginning of the 20th century, this venue literally takes its patrons back to the past, and serves them such a delicious genuine local cuisine that movie stars, prime ministers, and royalty frequent this establishment while they are in Phuket.

Located on New Dibuk Road, on the side of Phuket Old Town, Raya Restaurant is certainly the best venue to discover Thai cuisine at its best; especially their crab curry, which is often ordered even from Bangkok and delivered by plane!

Read More

Where Is It?

Raya is on the continuation of Dibuk Road heading east – on New Dibuk Road. The 90-year-old converted two-storey house is somewhat overshadowed by the newly built, next-door Shintaro Japanese restaurant but use the bright-red Shintaro signage as your landmark. Raya is located to the back at the side.

Décor

Think Sino-Thai with a generous splash of Portuguese colonial thrown in and you'll get the picture. Raya may be old but she has aged gracefully and the zig-zag stairways in the centre of the restaurant are the original ones.

The mosaic tiled flooring is also original (and impossible to replace these days) as are 50's-era tea and coffee poster-girl ads and pictures of Thai monarchs. It's all the Real McCoy and tulip-shaped wall light shades add to the olde worlde effect.

Over by the bar, four signature-and-message-splattered whiteboards hang and an ancient windup gramophone graces the door area. 

Atmosphere

Totally unlike Phuket's other top restaurants, Raya exudes a Sino-Thai atmosphere with no hint whatsoever of tourist-related compromise.

Local businessmen, families and just plain locals make up the clientele. With sotto voce Thai ballads complete with lots of tinkling piano and florid orchestral arrangements, brighter-than-normal lighting (but thankfully no neon) and a no-nonsense attitude, no one can claim that Raya is a romantic hotspot – at least in the western sense.

But if good food in a retro-Asian atmosphere is your thing, you'll be in seventh heaven at Raya.

Wine

The menu has an eight-label list featuring two French, one Chilean and five Australian wines with none over 850 baht.

You can choose a hearty Chateau Beyran Bordeaux or maybe a lighter Hardy's Sauvignon Blanc to complement the spicy food.

We opt for a Chilean Augustinos Cabernet Sauvignon that slides down well with the multi-flavoured dishes. Beer, also good with Thai food, is also available. 

Food

The owner, Khun Kulab, is a keen restaurateur and is in great demand with orders coming in even from as far away as Bangkok.

She has trained several prominent Thai-food chefs on the island and her signature dishes include a sensational crabmeat curry served with rice vermicelli, caramelized and braised pork belly, spicy Phuket prawns, deep-fried sea bass with shallots and red chillies in tamarind and lemongrass sauce.

The crabmeat curry is especially noteworthy as the chunks of flesh are enormous – reputed to be the largest on the island. Phuket prawns pack a spicy punch while the braised pork is sinfully sweet and juicy. 

It's no wonder that the list of people who have eaten here reads like an A-list of movie stars, Prime Ministers, Royalty and TV personalities, although this restaurant does not even advertise. The beauty of it all is that most prices remain low and almost laughably so for those used to shelling out at tourist prices. With an upstairs section, there's room enough for 150 covers so if you're looking for a banqueting destination Raya admirably fits the bill, only phone ahead first.

Specialities

- crabmeat curry served with rice vermicelli
- spicy Phuket prawns
- deep-fried sea bass with shallots and red chillies in tamarind and lemongrass sauce
- caramelized and braised pork belly

Service

Unobtrusive, discreet and obliging, the service is efficient and brisk while Khun Kulab and her witty sister keep everything personal and warm.

Finally, Si-tong – the 'real owner' – a well-fed tabby cat adds more of a personal touch as he does his rounds.

Cooking classes available – phone for information.  

Raya Restaurant

  • Opening Hours: 10:00 - 22:00
  • Location: 48 New Dibuk Road, Phuket Old Town
  • Tel: +66 (0)7 621 8155, +66(0)7 623 2236
  • Cuisine: Thai
Hide Map Show Map
Rate This Place: ( votes)

Tours You May Like

Related Pages

Blue Elephant Restaurant in Phuket Town

Blue Elephant Phuket

Blue Elephant, an established restaurant brand, has branches all over the world in 12 different countries. The group Read More...

China Inn Café

China Inn Café

If you enter the front room at 20 Thalang Road in Phuket you may be tempted to sit down in the lovely red sofa there and Read More...

Top 10 Phuket Restaurants

20 Best Phuket Restaurants

After long discussions, during which the Phuket.com Magazine team considered and weighed up each restaurant’s cuisine, Read More...

Let’s Relax Spa Phuket

Let’s Relax Spa Phuket

Let’s Relax Spa Phuket was established in 1998 and has several other branches around Thailand. Let’s Relax Spa is now Read More...

10 Hotels Travellers Love Most in Patong

The 10 Hotels Travellers Love Most in Patong are the ones which guests loved so much, they voted and left comments Read More...

Sunsuri Phuket

Sunsuri Phuket

Facing a beautiful lake and a glistening Buddhist Temple, the 132 rooms and suites resort is designed in modern Thai Read More...

Best hotels around this place

Hotels.com

Talk to us!

Help us keep this site up-to-date by sending us your comments:


Loading...