Raya Thai Cuisine Restaurant @ Muang – Phuket Trip Day 1

We did not spend much time on Phuket Island itself except on evenings to catch an Aphrodite (lady boy) show and dinners at Raya House that serves Thai cuisine some say it’s Southern Thai while others called it Phuket-Thai style food.

Phuket's beauty has never been in dispute but how's the food?

Phuket’s beauty has never been in dispute but how’s the food?

Raya House is a 90 year old double storey Sino-Thai-Portuguese residence converted into a cozy restaurant that can cater up to 150 pax. The decor communicated old world with sepia pictures of Thai monarchs, 1930s poster advertisements with cheongsam wearing Chinese ladies hanging on the walls. Wooden staircase and framed windows with green tinted glass, mosaic tiled floors from the 1950s, vintage paraphernalia like a wind-up gramophone and Singer sewing machine base. It’s like entering into a different era.

Khun Kulab better known as Aunty Rose, a former Bangkok Bank executive, dived into F&B because her friends praised her cooking. Since then, she has been in business for 17 years, dishing out traditional recipes from her own family. She still does the marketing personally, picking out the freshest ingredients available.

Iced Tea and Iced Coffee. Iced Tea also known as Cha Yen is a very popular drink in Thailand. The tea is usually "redder" in colour compared to Ceylon or English Tea. Both the tea and coffee are also stronger in brew strength, sugar sweetness and a good dose of milk.

Iced Tea and Iced Coffee.
Iced Tea also known as Cha Yen is a very popular drink in Thailand.
The tea is usually “redder” in colour compared to Ceylon or English Tea.
Both the tea and coffee are also stronger in brew strength, sugar sweetness and a good dose of milk.

Tired and hungry but still able to enjoy a good dinner at this old world charm restaurant.

Tired and hungry but still able to enjoy a good dinner at this old world charm restaurant.

Caramelized and Braised Pork Belly.

Caramelized and Braised Pork Belly.

Thai Jasmine Rice.

Thai Jasmine Rice.

Tomyum Seafood Soup.

Tomyum Seafood Soup.

Ingredients (spices) of Tomyum Soup.

Ingredients (spices) of Tomyum Soup.

Creamy Crabmeat Curry with Vermicelli (Kanom Jeen) is the signature dish and to many, their best specialty.

Creamy Crabmeat Curry with Vermicelli (Kanom Jeen) is the signature dish and to many, their best specialty.

Spicy Shrimps (Dried Prawns) and Assorted Vegetable Salad. From left to right: Purple Snake Beans, unripened Mango slices, longish Cucumber tasting gourd, Bittergourd Vine, English Cucumber, some sort of Bean Sprouts. In the middle, a bowl of delicious Spicy Shrimps.

Spicy Shrimps (Dried Prawns) and Assorted Vegetable Salad.
From left to right: Purple Snake Beans, unripened Mango slices, longish Cucumber tasting gourd, Bittergourd Vine, English Cucumber, some sort of Bean Sprouts.
In the middle, a bowl of delicious Spicy Shrimps.

Deep-fried Grouper with Garlic.

Deep-fried Grouper with Garlic.

Loads of chunky Garlic bits.

Loads of chunky Garlic bits.

Thai Green Curry (Chicken).

Thai Green Curry (Chicken).

Deep-fried Garlic and Pepper Squid.

Deep-fried Garlic and Pepper Squid.

Complimentary fruits - Pineapple.

Complimentary fruits – Pineapple.

The exchange rate we got was SGD 1 = BHT 25

The exchange rate we got was SGD 1 = BHT 25

You can see from the bill that there was repeat orders for the Cha Yen, iced Thai tea but the drink was merely passable as I have had better. Iced Coffee seemed light. Coconut was naturally sweet and Coke is Coke.

The Caramelised and Braised Pork Belly looked very similar to our local dish called Lor Bak or Tau Yew Bak but this had whole black peppercorns. The sauce was rich, thick and tasted of melted garlic and leant on the sweet side with not overpowering taste of pepper unless you bit into the corns. The meat was disappointingly tough. I would very much prefer the meat to be braised longer and achieve a fork-tender texture. On hindsight, even if softer meat texture was achieved, I do not think we will order this dish again.

I don’t know if there were different broths offered here but every Thai restaurant we go to, we always tell them we do not want coconut milk in our tomyum soup. The Seafood Tomyum Soup at Raya was incredibly appetising and definitely one of the better if not the best we have tasted in both Singapore and Thailand. The prawns were crunchy, squid tender and the soup had optimal sour level. Spice-heat wise, it can go up a notch. We like our tomyum sour and hot! This dish is highly recommended. Try to consume as soon as possible since this is not served in steamboat and gets cooled easily.

Ryan practically squealed with joy at the Crabmeat in Yellow Curry. He loved that he did not have to crack any shells to indulge in the luscious morsels. On the other hand, I was expecting thickened sauce instead of liquid gravy. I thought we had ordered crabmeat in yellow curry powder which is a dry version. Emphasis is on the word powder. Anyway, I began to understand why this curry was more “thin” (watered down) than for example the Green Curry – when the rice vermicelli arrived. You can eat this as one-dish meal for lunch. This gravy was meant to be a soaking liquid for the beehoon. You either spoon some gravy over the rice noodles or like me, use a fork to pierce into a patty, dunk it into the bowl with a sweeping motion, fish them out and pop into your mouth.

Spicy Shrimps (Dried Crispy Prawns) came with assorted Vegetables. We all liked the shrimps but no one touched the vegetables so I had to. I took a strand of the gigantic looking Taugeh (Bean Sprout) and cautiously bit into it. It tasted horrible as predicted. It had fermented smell and taste in a bad way (at least to me) that I can’t describe. I think it’s a love-it-or-hate-it kind of food. The Bittergourd Vine (not sure just my guess of veg) was simply blanched, had squiggly crunch which was not too bad. I think if they were cooked in sambal, they would taste great! The cucumbers topped with the spicy shrimps were refreshingly good. A novelty dish but will remain a one time order for us.

Deep-fried Fish with Garlic and Pepper was awesome! The garlic bordered on having a burnt taste but not quite there so the dish remain unscathed. Flesh of fish was moist and smooth. Highly recommended if you don’t mind dry fish (without sauce). Otherwise, go for their other signature, Deep-fried Sea Bass with Shallots and Red Chillies in Tamarind and Lemongrass Sauce.

As for the Thai Green Curry, we chose Chicken (there’s pork). Ryan is a fan of green curries so this dish went well with him. In my humble opinion, it was ordinarily good.

The Deep-fried Squid look like calamari and I thought Vanessa would like it but she said the dish had no shakes. To me, the squids’ texture was perfect. Taste wise, humdrum.

The excitement of holiday and this being our first dinner did play a part to add on to our joy of eating. To me, the food was fine. To the children, the food was remarkable!

If you are in Phuket, do visit Raya. They do not do visible advertising (usually word of mouth). The patrons are mostly locals including dignitaries and celebs, and farangs who have stayed there for long time. Besides reasonably priced good food, this restaurant has nostalgic decor that proves to be off the beaten track for young city dwellers.

Raya Thai Cuisine

Raya Thai Cuisine

Raya Thai Cuisine
Address: 48/1 New Debuk Road,
Muang, Phuket 83000.
Thailand.

Tel: (+66) [0] 76218 155.

Operating hours: Daily
10am – 10pm

Terms of Payment: CASH Only

Happy eating 🙂

By the way, it rained this morning (16th March) for the first time helping to clear the haze. Yay!

Missing MH370 Update:

The hijacking theory, previously largely discounted, has now climbed back up the list of possible explanations for flight MH370’s disappearance. – Frank Gardner (BBC security correspondent)

Click here for news update on MH370 from Malaysian PM’s Statement.

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Comments
9 Responses to “Raya Thai Cuisine Restaurant @ Muang – Phuket Trip Day 1”
  1. wingedprisms says:

    Yummy looking food. AND that first shot – what a gorgeous view! Wonderful.

  2. Laura Lynn says:

    I think this food was the BEST looking I’ve seen. So bright and pretty! I am with Ryan, I like crab to be fresh but no shells! Phuket looks very beautiful. Someday I want to go to Thailand. It looks like paradise with all those long beaches and warm water…

    • Sam Han says:

      Haha, Laura. I think you will love it. It’s so relaxing you’ll lose count of time. Asia travel is quite affordable now with budget air and packaged stay.

      • Laura Lynn says:

        I just went an looked at Hoi An (?) in Vietnam. It looks so beautiful and peaceful and I LOVE the food. Maybe someday when this is all behind me…

      • Sam Han says:

        Remember to rope me in. I love to travel and discover. And I’m not a fussy companion 😀 😀 😀

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