Sunday, 3 April 2011

Blue Elephant 3rd April 2011

 The scent of lemongrass, a cascading waterfall and dozens of exotic plants. These are all things that we were familiar with when we entered the Blue Elephant restaurant. The restaurant is situated in West London and serves mostly Thai cuisine. Though it lacks a Michelin Star, our previous experiences of this restaurant were very pleasant and we have fond memories of this place.

Since it is Mother’s Day, I feel obliged to say that my mum looked great today. Sadly, I would be lying. It was in fact the restaurant’s interior that looked and smelt amazing. The floor of the restaurant is mostly wood with several bridges crossing the tiny stream that runs through the Blue Elephant.  Several varieties of carp swim in this stream and this has always been the case. There was a vague smell of lemongrass in the air and exotic plants could be seen throughout the entire building.

We had come for the Sunday buffet and were conveniently seated directly next to the starter buffet area. A bit further on was the main course and dessert area. The starters were extremely varied, ranging from salads to soups. First were the prawn crackers. I immediately noticed that they were much browner than the usual ones and had a much stronger flavour. There was then a rather odd salad, which consisted of a variety of crunchy, pickled vegetables. The flavours and textures were good, although nothing spectacular. Then there was the noodles and soup. This option had a little corner of it’s own with a lady asking what you wanted in your soup and then serving it to you in a matter of seconds. There were a variety of meats and noodles and you could choose whether to have yours with or without spring onions and bean sprouts. I found the soup luscious with a perfect balance of flavours. Next to the soup bar was the marinated pork salad. Although it was not something I was familiar with, I tried some and was pleasantly surprised. The textures of the onions and pork worked very well and the same could be said for the flavours. Something I do know and love is chicken satay. However, we all agreed that this take on it was very poor. The taste of coconut milk was overpowering, the peanut sauce was too runny and not flavoursome enough. A poor and rather disappointing effort. My mum and dad’s favourite starter was the betel leaf parcel. This was a crunchy betel leaf, which wrapped up an incredible combination of nuts, chilli and herbs. It worked brilliantly, although it was very chewy and you had to put it all in your mouth in one go to realise the brilliance of it. The paper prawns were very good with the sauce inside going extremely well with the fishy taste of the prawn and the crunch of the outer layer. The last of the starters were the spring rolls. They were packed with crunchy vegetables and went very well with the chilli sauce. 

Fresh young coconut



Noodle section

Unlike the starters and desserts, the main courses were very limited. There was Jasmine and wild rice, vegetable stir-fry, chilli beef, duck with vegetables and roast lamb. The vegetable stir-fry was average with no real punch or standout flavours. I did not try the beef myself although my brother said it was very good. The duck was cooked very well and the sauce complimented the pak choi nicely. I did not try the lamb, which my brother said was unspectacular and cooked in an English way rather than a Thai one. 


The dessert table was an wonderful sight to behold. There were piles of fresh fruit, jelly and rolls, which were placed next to intricately carved out watermelons. The variety of fruit was immense ranging from the familiar strawberry to a prickly fruit that we did not even know the name of. The jelly was an exotic version, which I have seen before. It is made of seaweed instead of pectin, giving it a subtle crunch and had chunks of fruit embedded in it. I prefer this to the pectin version, as I enjoy the texture better. The rose rolls were very odd. Whilst similar to a Swiss roll, it had a much richer flavour and a smoother texture and I thought it worked very well. Further on were mini deep fried breadsticks. These were slightly different to the Chinese breadsticks that I know, as their texture was more like that of a doughnut, and lacked a salty flavour. Overall, the desserts were a great success. 

Fresh mini doughnuts



Beautifully carved watermelon

Thai and Oriental Desserts


Food quality 7/10
Presentation 7/10
Ambience 10/10
Service 8/10
Value for money 9/10


A wonderful experience. The restaurant has great ambience and delivered good food that was presented well.  The waiters and waitresses provided good service and they were extremely efficient in taking away our used plates. An impressive meal.

Blue Elephant on Urbanspoon

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