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Now you can Thai two on in West Roxbury

Phuket

Who'da thunk it? Centre Street in West Roxbury now has two places to get Thai food - Thai Spice (really more of a take-out place than a sit-down restaurant) and Phuket, which recently opened where Cafe Le Royal used to be (1856 Centre St.).

Nancy and I went to Phuket for lunch today. It shows promise, but could use a bit of work.

First, the food. Nancy, not a big fan of Thai (we were actually heading for Mandarin Gourmet at Putterham when I cautiously suggested "that new Thai place"), really liked the crispy rolls (basically, spring rolls filled with shredded chicken and carrots) and her entree of chicken and cashews. I ordered my Thai crack, chicken massaman curry. It was good, and the chicken made me realize that Bangkok Cafe in Roslindale needs to stop overcooking its chicken, but I dunno, the sauce didn't make me want to lick the plate like at Bangkok Cafe (no, don't worry, I've never actually done that, at least, not in public). Also, the sweet potatoes were overdone and the carrots underdone. And while it's kind of cool they offer dessert, um, cheesecake and tiramisu? At a Thai restaurant?

Unlike the nearby Himalayan Bistro, which has Indian music coming out of its loudspeakers, Phuket relies on Muzak-brand-like generic Americanish music (we entered to "The Girl from Ipanema") - played just on the edge of annoyingly loud. They could save some money and just turn it off. The room has a bit of a claustrophobic feel - it's not very big to begin with (although enormous compared to Thai Spice) and they stuck the bar/cash register/hostess station right in the middle rather than at the back or off to one side. And the tablecloths are covered in this butcher paper; probably saves on the laundry bills, but just feels kind of weird. Also, the restrooms seem not to have been cleaned since the Cafe Le Royal days, at least, judging by the thickness of the dust on things.

Still, Nancy is to Thai food as Mikey is to cereal, and she said she'd be willing to go again. So would I (although maybe next time, I'll take her down to Rozzie Square to see what she thinks - or maybe I'll try something else at Phuket).

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Comments

how do you prounounce that?

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I believe, as opposed to something you'd expect in a limerick about a man from Nantucket.

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POOH-*KET*

I found the food to be tasty, the service was OK, and the atmosphere needed work. The price is equatable to the experience.

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I thought the food was good, much much better than Thai Spice. The Pad thai was very very good, although I ordered it with chicken and shrimp....the shrimp was white and did not look cooked to me, I will stick with chicken pad thai. I had salmon with veggies, very tasty but it came with noodles, veggies (a little under cooked) and potato (also undercooked). I did not understand the potato and noodle in one dish, I would have thought it would be one or the other. My husband had his usual, Yellow Curry and he loved it.

Yes its a little cramped feeling inside, but all thai restaurants are kind of small or cramped. Its definately a welcome asset to Westie, I just hope it keeps up its present quality or try to improve upon it.

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My husband and I love it - best Thai around - we've loved the Salmon Teriyaki, Shrimp Lemongrass, Chicken Spring rolls, Hot and crazy noodles, pad thai, and the list goes on... It's impressively non-greasy and fresh-tasting.

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