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Jan 24, 2014 10:49 AM

Thailand Cafe in Central (RIP)-- any news on future plans?

I was inconsolable when Thailand Café closed in Central Sq a few months back... I still wake up screaming. Their fish offerings (which included multiple variations on "water-boiled fish," the Szechuan classic much beloved by 'Hounds) were among my favorite seafood dishes anywhere. Also, the fact that the best Chinese restaurant in Cambridge was indifferently masquerading as a Thai restaurant added some charm & mystique.
The question in the subject-heading above was asked a while ago in another thread, but has not yet been answered, so I thought it couldn't hurt to send up a flare. Does anyone have any news about Thailand Cafe's owners and/or chefs? Do they have any plans to relocate or open a new restaurant in the Boston area? I'm sure at least one 'Hound must be acquainted with this near-legendary restaurant's proprietors, or with others in-the-know... I would be profoundly grateful for any news!

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  1. I am an acquaintance of the owner of Thailand Cafe. Unfortunately, the Thai/Sichuan concept was only feasible in that Cambridge location due it's proximity to a large Asian student population customer base. The owner is now operating another Thai restaurant called Cafe Asiana in Braintree, MA. There are no plans for opening a new restaurant in Cambridge.

    11 Replies
    1. re: HDawg

      Thai only -- no more sneaky Sichuan menu? Braintree is close enough to Quincy and a growing Asian population, and there is certainly some creep from into Braintree for some Asian families. If it's got some Sichuan, I wouldn't mind taking the quick drive down to support their business.

      1. re: kobuta

        But the whole point of the Sichuan menu was that it was conveniently located (well, and ridiculously cheap and the food came out in like 90 seconds after you ordered). There's way better Sichuan all over the area if that's what you want.

        1. re: Luther

          Right. I used to live right down the street (ok, it's a long street - ~12min walk) and it wasn't my go-to sichuan joint. Rather, it was the place I went when I really wanted sichuan but couldn't go to one of my faves.

          1. re: Luther

            Braintree would be way closer than any of the others. Quincy is packed with Asian restaurants, but none offering Sichuan. I don't think a closer option would be a bad thing.

        2. re: HDawg

          Thank you for this update!! I'm glad to hear the owner is still living in the area, at least; maybe he/she might be persuaded or inclined to run another Sichuan spot some day...!

          1. re: eatinjeff

            I spoke to the owner of Thailand Cafe a number of times. He hired a chef who had worked at Sichuan Gourmet; his chef knew his way around Chinese food but had no idea what he was doing with the Thai food. That said, he went with a Sichuan menu in addition to the mediocre Thai food.

            Good Sichuanese food is available at Sichuan Gourmet which is about equidistant from Harvard Square as was Thailand Cafe. Parking was no fun at either location.

            1. re: cambridgedoctpr

              This is great info, thank you!! I'm gonna head down to Sichuan Gourmet today or tomorrow if I can (I'm embarrassed to admit I've never tried it...). Would you happen to have heard where that chef ended up after TC closed?

              1. re: eatinjeff

                sorry, i do not know; perhaps HDawg can help out with that information.

                1. re: eatinjeff

                  Did you go? What did you get? I'm thinking of a trip there tonight...

                  1. re: KWagle

                    Nearly every day I've had an inkling to head down there, but have been re-routed each time... Still planning to head down soon! Did you end up making the trip?

                    1. re: KWagle

                      I didn't. We ended up going to Jo Jo Taipei for some of their New Year's menu, which was a good choice. SG Brookline did have some NY specials as well, but only a few.

            2. Sorry, I don't know where the chef went after TC closed.