Mayuree means peacock in hindi. It’s also the name of restaurant-owner Pensiri Rungrujiphaisal’s mother. Despite the colorful name, Mayuree Thai Tavern hardly stands out from the surrounding row houses on this residential block of Fleet Street in Canton. In fact, if you stumbled in off the street, you might mistake the place for a laid-back neighborhood watering hole—until, that is, you perused the menu, which is loaded with Thai standards, as well as some true originals.
The “Bites” section of the menu tempts with the usual suspects—chicken satay, papaya salad, and wings—but we decided to go for the more inventive larb gai ($6), a starter, which pops with taste and texture highlighting minced chicken with mint and a spicy lime dressing over mesclun greens. The fried calamari ($6), which features large rings of squid, delicately deep-fried in a light tempura coating with a sweet-sour dipping sauce on the side, was also a great way to whet our appetites.
Entrees are classified under “Curry Bowls,” “Wok Noodle Bowls,” “Wok Rice Bowls,” or “M.Y.A.T. Originals” and many offer your choice of protein—chicken, beef, or shrimp, as well as tofu. We ordered the “Drunken Noodle” with chicken ($10), which comes with crunchy green beans, onions, red peppers, and tomatoes. The wide, chewy rice noodles nicely absorb the umami flavor of the sauce, with hints of oyster sauce, soy sauce, and chili garlic.
We also recommend trying the fried squid with chili paste ($13), which is augmented by sliced red and green peppers, carrots, and peppercorns that add a subtle accent while the flavors of kaffir lime leaf are pronounced and the Thai chili paste provides a noticeable kick. The mound of Thai red rice that accompanies the dish is a welcome change from the usual Jasmine rice.
For dessert, we had to taste a Thai classic: sticky rice with mango ($6). Flavored with pandan leaf, which imparts a savory flavor, the rice is slightly salty, and has a good chew to it. It provides a great counterpoint to the sweet slices of mango and the rich coconut cream. The taro custard pudding ($4) also includes a savory element—taro root—that gives it added body as well as a nice contrast to the sweetness of the custard.
A friendly, family-run joint, Mayuree Thai Tavern is a welcome addition to the culinary landscape, which, until now, has had a shortage of Thai standouts.
›› Mayuree Thai Tavern: 2318 Fleet St., 667-212-5509. Hours: Tues.-Fri. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 12-10 p.m. Prices: appetizers: $5-7; bowls: $10-15; desserts: $4-6.