I've visited the Blue Elephant once before about five years ago, when they were in their old location on Fulham Broadway. The food was absolutely fantastic, but the surroundings were becoming a little dated. Fast forward to the other night, when I had the pleasure of dining in their new location not too far away on Imperial Wharf. The restaurant had a new lease of life, and the food even surpassed the excellent standards set previously.
As opposed to the 80s Thai restaurant feel the old location had (complete with miniature waterfall and koi pond!) the new location was a brilliant blend of contemporary and traditional. Lime green walls were balanced with authentic Thai furniture, Jasmine flowers and low level lighting.
On to the important part - the food! Last time we visited, we went for a set menu - which was great, but I felt the choice a little limited for the money we paid. This time, we decided it would be best to pick a few items from the menu (starters, mains and sides) and share them across the table. For me, this is the best way to eat Thai food, as you get to revel in all the different flavours and textures the menu has to offer rather than being limited to one or two dishes yourself. We chose from the A La Carte menu - there were so many options it was so hard to choose!
I can't remember the names of all the dishes we had, but I've listed my favourites below!
Starter - Catfish and mango salad - The crispy catfish was balanced beautifully with ripe, juicy mango, and topped with toasted cashew nuts.
Starter - Thai Pumpkin Soup - can't remember the name, but the flavours were just divine. Think pumpkin soup laced with fragrant Thai flavours, with a bit of a kick to it too!
Main - Lamb Shanks Yellow Curry - Earthy flavours of turmeric resonated through this dish, which was delightfully think and creamy. The lamb shanks were tender and perfectly cooked.
Main - Green Chicken Curry - Made with free range chicken, and the best 'green curry' I have ever had
Main - Organic Red Rice - not sure how they cooked this, but it had such a delicious nutty flavour!
The staff had absolutely no problem catering for my dietary requirements. They produced a gluten free menu at my request, and informed me that the majority of their food is also dairy free due to the general absence of dairy in authentic Thai Cuisine (bar a couple of exceptions). This meant sharing food a breeze - something that can often be a nightmare in other restaurants!
Although a little pricey, the Blue Elephant is great for special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries. It is the best Thai food I have ever eaten, and I'm already looking forward to my next visit!