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On the Rawai shorefront, Nikita's has taste but lacks service with a smile

Nikita's Charm Could Use More Cheer

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Nikita's Restaurant, Rawai


Telephone: 076 288703

Open: 10am to late, every day. Takeaways.

Address: Beach Road, Rawai.

Style: Beachfront Italian/Thai.

Price range: Tourist prices. eggs, bacon, tomato, toast, jam (180 baht) bruschetta (90 baht) garlic bread (90 baht) deep fried squid rings (160 baht) cheese and bacon burger (200 baht) french fries (95 baht) burger with the lot (250 baht) tomato salad (120 baht) tempura (140 baht) satay pork/beef/chicken (140 baht) tuna sandwich (160 baht) homemade beef lasagna (220 baht) spaghetti bolognaise (180 baht) nikita's special pizza (240 baht) pizza napoli (240 baht) fish and chips (240 baht) steak mushroom pie, french fries and peas (250 baht) beef goulash (290 baht) mashed potato (95 baht) spicy seafood salad (140 baht) prawn salad (140 baht) massaman curry (160 baht) steamed rice with prawns (90 baht) stir fried crab (180 baht) deep fried white snapper (390 baht) banana split (120 baht) tiramisu (140 baht) fresh coconut (60 baht) coke (50 baht) bloody mary (160 baht) singha beer (75 baht).

Specialties: Pizzas, seafood.

What Phuketwan says:
We arrived at 11.30am, half expecting to catch Nikita's napping. In bygone days it would have been far too early to find signs of life at a venue where the nights have always been prime time. But Phuket has changed. We did catch one old dog napping under a tree, but other old dogs were already enjoying a convivial yap at what's now one of Phuket's most charming and best known restaurants - even if they do try to tell you online that it's still a well-kept secret. For years, Nikita's got by with food brought in from a neighboring kitchen, but now with a kitchen to call its own plus a wood-fired pizza oven, Nikita's is a formidable competitor for round-the-clock trade. And the island charm is still there, under the tamarinds, with a sea eagle circling and the Rawai tide lapping at the table legs. There are few finer locations anywhere on Phuket. However, at these prices, Nikita's move to be the real deal as a restaurant should really be accompanied by less quirky service. Sadly, it hasn't happened. An order of a late-breakfast ham and eggs arrived with the Thai meal, so two of our party of four were able to complete their lunch together. Then it was their turn to look on as the remaining two ate their lasagnas, which arrived just as the first meals were being finished. More significantly, for some reason - perhaps it was just a mite early in the day - the waitresses declined to smile, even in exchange for one. It was as though they'd all just been told they couldn't eat som tam for a year. True, Nikita's own food was tasty, even at prices that no longer quite represent top value, and the seaside setting remains as beguiling as ever. Even eating in shifts we are prepared to accept as part of Nikita's quirky charm. But service without a smile? On Phuket? That's exceptional. Please, please, let them have their som tam.

How to find it: The Rawai pier end of Rawai beach.

Parking: A small area directly outside the restaurant.

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Comments

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Well, as a local I couldn't agree more. The staff rarely smile and the food is overpriced and nothing flash at all. We simply go there for the location. It has a lot of potential but it seriously lacking and you always leave there with a distinct sense of disappointment.

Posted by Anonymous on April 13, 2011 15:36

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Overpriced and now somewhat lacking in charm. Only go there still through a vague sense of loyalty and memories of times when the place was a-buzzin' and a-happenin'.

Posted by Tanya Millibank on April 13, 2011 16:56

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It is not the same without Lionel holding court there, but then Phuket will never be the same without Lionel.

Posted by Treelover on April 13, 2011 19:14

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The service without a smile is enforced upon all with few exceptions. There is however one extremely hot chick working there.

Posted by JingJing on April 16, 2011 04:03

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Agree and sort of disagree. Those girls put in an incredible amount of legwork and the quality of food is nothing short of excellent. If good food means higher prices then so be it, and you won't find a better vegetarian pizza on the island - I should know...

Posted by Sam Wilko on April 16, 2011 17:30

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Maybe try reviewing a place called Something Different, in Rawai. Her desserts & pastries, along with her unique, tasty, inventive cooking style, and good service, actually live up to the name of the place. They need a bigger location, though.

Posted by JingJing on April 18, 2011 03:12

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I went to something different and it was closed !!!!

Posted by joe ninty on April 19, 2011 16:30

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Joe, I'd say by the photo, the place you are at is fine!

Posted by JingJing on April 20, 2011 02:53


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