In the modern days of burger talk, the patty, the bun and the extra oily sauce, Blue Elephant seems lost in translation. But for those who knows its secret beyond those shabby doors, it’s the closest you’ll find to a holiday resort in Thailand. Tropical trees, fresh flowers everywhere and even a waterfall at the centre of the restaurant.
After 25 years at Fulham Broadway, this long standing Thai restaurant transformed their old waterfall into a beautiful river view by moving to Imperial Wharf. Not drastically different from its old venue but a few positive changes. A beautiful bar with a full view of the river while offering exotic cocktails from a dragon boat. A new menu that highlighted new dishes from the old, and a new cookery school. All this required a large space and the three floor restaurant was the biggest restaurant I’ve been in London.
The new menu was very confusing and took us over 15 minutes to study. Dishes were strangely separated into meat or vegetarian, then further divided by Thai cooking of past, today and tomorrow. As a result, tom yum koong (a traditional Thai soup) took 10 minutes to find because it belonged to dishes of today, not past.
Tom yam koong
If you like bold flavours, this soup had plenty. Very sour, very spicy and incredibly appetising.
Som tam salad
I only noticed how good this salad was after the next day visit to Busaba Eathai. The sharp flavours from each ingredient felt fresher and more vibrant.
Crab curry betel
The spicy rating at Blue Elephant ranged from 1 to 4 stars and this received a solid 4. It’s also spicier with cold food or drinks, so avoid coke and salad. Instead of eating chunks of meat like in a chicken curry, the crab was broken down and thoroughly mixed with the curry sauce. Each spoonful of curry was a spoonful of crab meat and vice versa. It was a brilliant curry, very spicy, full of flavour and a lot of rice was needed.
I love Thai desserts, mung bean flour replaced the usual plain flour and coconut sweetness replaced the usual icing sugar.
Such a cute teapot.
Verdict - 3/5
Food (authentic) - 25 years in service and still one of the best Thai restaurants in London. In terms of authentic flavour, every dish was spot on.
Service (friendly) - it’s still in the soft opening stage so the restaurant was very empty. Our food came fast, the longest wait was to decipher the overcomplicated menu.
Cost (£48pp) - not a cheap place, the crab curry was £28 and two of us billed £97 without any wine or cocktail.
The Boulevard, Imperial Wharf,
Townmead Road, London, SW6 2UB
020 7751 3111, Website