March 2, 2012 City Centre, Thai No Comments

MJ’s Verdict
On Monday evening, B and I were out to celebrate the birthday of a close friend and after a play about Bukowski, aptly set and performed in a bar, we were all quite hungry and looking for food. Luckily the area around Broughton Street is filled with places that look inviting. But the birthday girl led the way to the Phuket Pavilion, a place she is rather fond of and frequents when she is in town.

We arrived and were shown to a table, our jackets were hung up, and we ordered drinks: wine, beer and water. I never know what to order in a Thai restaurant. I look over the massive menus and really want too much of what I see. I kept looking and looking and dithering until it was time to order…in the end, none of us ordered starters and I followed suit and ordered the prawn Pad Thai.

Prawn Pad Thai

Somehow, our friends were able to not talk about ‘when I was in Thailand’ as they are the lucky ducks who recently returned from a holiday there, and we chatted and were generally merry.

In record-making time, our food arrived and we tucked in. B’s looked the most impressive, but I was very happy with my pad thai. It is not a dish I normally order, then again, Thai food isn’t a cuisine I usually seek out (which make come in as a surprise considering the amount of thai Food B and I have had this week—perhaps the world is conspiring to give him happy experiences at Thai restaurants), but the pad thai was tasty. Just the right amount of sauce that gave it a very slightly sweet tinge I associate with it. The prawns were large and well cooked while the peanuts added a textural contrast to the noodles.

All three of us finished our dishes and sat back satisfied.

condiments for the Pad Thai

Was it the best food I’ve ever had? No, but was it perfect on the night? Yes. And yes, I’ve been prior to this visit, and I’ll  go again if I find myself in the area and wanting a taste of Thailand.

Phuket Pavilion was a nice part of a great night that included good friends, poetry, theatre, simulated sex, drooling (not necessarily linked), Thai food, cupcakes, and a futuristic fire pod.

Please scroll to the bottom for some Bukowski inspiration.

Blythe’s Verdict
It was an unexpected pleasure to be welcomed in to the comfortable confines of the Phuket Pavilion, after an enjoyable evening spent in the company of Charles Bukowski’s theatrical barfly drunks, at the Barony Bar. The owner of the place, clearly quite a character, welcomed us, and we were shown to our table by one of the small battalion of waitresses.

My friend Jane, who comes a-questing with us from time to time, speaks very highly of this place, and lists it as one of her favourite lunch spots in the district, so it was with optimism that I considered the menu.

Fruits de Mer Phuket

I must admit to be slightly befuddled, though I’m fairly certain that was at least partially Mr Bukowski’s fault, but soon settled upon the Fruits de Mer Phuket, while my delightful dining companions, two of whom were recently back from a trip to Thailand, no less, opted for the prawn Pad Thai.

Dishes arrived incredibly quickly, with my array of seafood, served in a sauce infused with a good chilli kick, neatly arranged on a fish-shaped plate. The Pad Thai didn’t look like the bonniest dish in the world, but was consumed with considerable enthusiasm and appreciation by Susie, Tracey and MJ.

I was pleased with my dish, too. It included a nice range of seafood, all well cooked and full of flavour. There were scallops, large mussels, squid and prawns, so a nice selection. Matched with some glowingly white rice, this formed a good hunger-chasing dish, which was entirely the order of the day.

Our bill tray

I found the service a little over-the-top in its attentiveness, but it ensured that the bill was swiftly with us, served on a lovely elephant tray. Once we’d settled up, been effusively wished on our way, and even had the door held upon to ease our passage, we were returned to the night air.

Overall, Phuket Pavilion served us good quality dishes that met with approval round the table. I’d be happy to pay it a return visit, next time I’m in a post-Bukowski frame of mind.

Blythe scores Phuket Pavilion:
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
3/5 for setting
giving an overall 14/20

MJ scores Phuket Pavilion:
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
3/5 for setting
giving an overall 13.5/20

Today’s questers were: Miriam, Susie, Tracey, Blythe

We ate: prawn Pad Thai (3), fruits de mer Phuket, rice

We drank: sparkly water, Singha, red wine

We wore: garb suitable for watching theatrically simulated sex in the Barony Bar

Total bill: c.£60

Phuket Pavilion

Phuket Pavillion on Urbanspoon

roll the dice

if you’re going to try, go all the
otherwise, don’t even start.

if you’re going to try, go all the
this could mean losing girlfriends,
wives, relatives, jobs and
maybe your mind.

go all the way.
it could mean not eating for 3 or 4 days.
it could mean freezing on a
park bench.
it could mean jail,
it could mean derision,
isolation is the gift,
all the others are a test of your
endurance, of
how much you really want to
do it.
and you’ll do it
despite rejection and the worst odds
and it will be better than
anything else
you can imagine.

if you’re going to try,
go all the way.
there is no other feeling like
you will be alone with the gods
and the nights will flame with

do it, do it, do it.
do it.

all the way
all the way.

you will ride life straight to
perfect laughter, its
the only good fight
there is.

– Charles Bukowski


Written by BKR