Friday my wife and I decided to try a new Thai place we had seen on a previous visit to Ottawa's Chinatown. Newly opened Phuket Royal (713 Somerset Street West, Ottawa) offers not only Thai food but ads to the already overcrowded Vietnamese selection on Somerset Street West. But we were more interested in the Thai food after our previous Thai adventure not going so well.
We arrived at 4:30 P.M. to find the modernly styled and renovated restaurant with only one other table occupied. Fresh paint, flooring and tables were evident in this large spacious restaurant. The interior seemed like an anomaly compared to the rest of the Asian restaurants on the block that just try and provide a nicely painted interior with whatever flooring their happens to be.
The only gripe, the floors were a little dusty with the addition of odd pieces of paper. Perhaps this grime was more noticeable due to the shiny sheen flooring they have present. My wife also thought she smelled a stale odour to the place like a wash cloth that had cleaned two more tables than it should have. I chalked up the odour to restaurant not being properly ventilated on a warm day. Hopefully these optically minor cleanliness issues can be remedied.
We reviewed the menus and made our selections. The gentleman who showed us to our table by the window overlooking Somerset Street West brought us a complimentary tea, took our order and left.
The Order: 1 Chicken Pad Thai
The complimentary tea was a little weak. It was a Jasmin tea bag added to boiled water inside a tea pot and not let to steep long enough. This tea offering was different from other nearby Asian restaurants that tend to have a stronger Jasmin tea already ready and quite consistent in temperature and strength. After steeping for a while, the Jasmin tea was satisfactory but nothing special.
The food arrived short of 15 minutes after ordering.
The Chicken Pad Thai was nicely displayed with some vegetables on the side. Portion wise it was about the same amount of food as served at our current favourite Thai locale, Thai Garden. Vegetable wise there were less than Thai Garden includes with their version of Pad Thai. But then again, the Pad Thai itself is the center attraction of this dish and not the vegetables. Tastewise the Chicken Pad Thai was superb with moist chicken and delicious noodles.
Overall, Phuket Royal is a welcome addition to the food offerings of Ottawa's Chinatown located on Somerset Street West. Like any new restaurant it does have a few wrinkles to iron out. Hopefully over the coming weeks these can be taken care of. My wife and I will return in the future to try this restaurant again.
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