One of the area's newest restaurants is set to open up in the next couple of weeks at the 21 Princess Street location just off Main Street in downtown Wakefield that was occupied by Zalek's until last summer.
Na Dongparteep and White Chanin are two of the entrepreneurs opening the restaurant. This will be the second location of Phuket (pronounced Pu-ket and named after the popular resort area in Southern Thailand), with the first one on Centre Street in West Roxbury. The West Roxbury location has been open since 2006.
During a Friday visit to the new restaurant, the interior was largely in place and the owners reported they were just waiting to complete some permitting steps with the town. The restaurant is also reportedly in the process of obtaining a beer and wine license.
Na told Wakefield Patch that she lives in Natick with her brother and sister, and moved to America from the Bangkok area in 1992 when she was still very young. She has worked in Thai restaurants for much of that time, handling almost all of the duties at one time or another to get ready for owning one.
She also said that in Thailand, much of the cuisine is saltier than most Americans would prefer - although around Bangkok, that taste preference tends to run more toward sweeter flavors. Na said that the restaurant's menu aims to appeal more to American customers, and also has some items that one doesn't typically find on a Thai menu - including a pork chop dish and beef tenderloin.
A look at the menu finds a range of popular curries typically found at a Thai restaurant such as Masaman, yellow and red - but also with Indonesian and Mango variations. A BBQ chicken dish is comparable to the Gai Yang barbecued chicken frequently found on Thai menus, reported Na, while other dishes include lemon scallops, mango duck, salmon teriyaki, and honey spareribs.