Newest Review: ... I frequent (it normally comes to around £100 for dinner for two) so this is generally a special occasion restaurant but I believe that th... more
Best Thai restaurant I've been to!
The Blue Elephant (London)
Member Name: voodoolondon
The Blue Elephant (London)
Advantages: Great food, extensive veg menu, great service, lovely atmosphere
Disadvantages: Quite expensive
The Blue Elephant is an upmarket Thai restaurant situated near Fulham Broadway tube (about a 5 mins walk away). Inside it's part jungle, part restaurant - a cavernous location with a large koi pond, a bridge and foliage everywhere. I really like the atmosphere which is tropical rainforest style, but I've seen it described elsewhere as tacky (it's not your average dark wood and leather sofas joint).
I've been here on several occasions and have always found the service to be impeccable. Very friendly but unobtrusive and the food is served with helpful suggestions sich as which sauce to eat with which dish (if there's more than one sauce). The prices are higher than the average restaurant I frequent (it normally comes to around £100 for dinner for two) so this is generally a special occasion restaurant but I believe that the price reflects the quality of food and level of service and atmosphere in the restaurant.
So, onto the food! As a vegetarian, this is a great place to go. They actually have a separate menu for vegetarians! The choice is amazing and varied (not just the usual veg green curry). I've had the tasting menu a couple of times and was completely stuffed by the end of it. You get a full tray of various fried starters such as spring rolls, some kind of fried rice cake, a little cup of spicy salad and a couple more. For main you get a big tray of little pots with various yummy veggie dishes, including tofu, various curries and veggies.
I've also tried the mango salad which was tangy but slightly spicy and some succulently cooked aubergine with great flavour. The boyfriend had crocodile on our last visit. It was recommended by the waiter (and we suspected it was not too popular which was why they were pushing it!) but he said it was very good. There are also of course the usual pad thai and noodle dishes, and the mains are divided into fish/seafood, meat dishes with lots of choice in every area. I'm sure you would find something you would like and they have a little key on the menu to tell you how spicy things are so you don't get a nasty surprise if you don't like your food too hot.
For dessert I've had some lovely tropical fruit, sorbets and dinky little sweet cakes. You can also get various teas in a cute elephant teapot and exotic cocktails. My favourite; pink: guava, passionfruit and coconut which tastes just like a fruity milkshake!
We have been to the Sunday buffet on one occasion but felt this represented less value for money. There was a lot of fried food which wasn't to our taste and we felt the focus was more on quantity not quality (although given how much some people were eating this is not surprising). The food was still good but we preferred to choose exactly what we wanted.
As an added thankyou you get handed a little branch of thai orchids after picking up your coat if you eat here for dinner. This is indicative of the high service and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this restaurant for a special occasion (or any occasion if you're feeling flush!)
Summary: A great location for a special occasion