‘Sawadee Ka’, welcome to Blue Elephant Restaurant Phuket. From the moment we arrived at this grand, one hundred and five year old, former Governor’s mansion we were extremely impressed. The exquisite Sino-Portuguese building is beautifully lit and set in spacious grounds. The fashionable Blue Bar is the entry point to the restaurant. This ele gant space with a classic black and white tiled floor is lit in shades of blue with two elephant statues gracing either end of the bar. If you arrive early for dinner this is a the perfect place for a pre-dinner cocktail.
We were given the choice of dining alfresco on the magnificent terrace or inside with the air conditioning. With the evening being so hot and sultry we chose the latter. Tables were set exquisitely with signature blue and white fine china and traditional Thai bronze forks and spoons. Around the dining room fresh white orchids sat poised, adding a touch of oriental elegance. Traditional Thai artefacts like the life-sized marionette puppet appeared to orchestrate the dining room.
You don’t only visit Blue Elephant to admire the building and the decor but to relish the delectable cuisine. The menu is extensive allowing diners a choice from a la carte, two set menus or degustation indulgence. At the suggestion of our waiter who said, “a la carte better, more to choose”, we decided to design our own sumptuous feast. Dishes on offer ranged from traditional Thai satays to the more novel and creative options like a duck salad with a lychee and tangerine dressing.
We chose the steamed, purple, bird-shaped dumplings stuffed with minced prawn and chicken served with a caramelised soya sauce which was delightful for the eye and even better to eat. The Doi Kham salad comprised pieces of lightly fried eggplant mixed with chopped grilled scallops, herbs, shallots and, the secret to creating heaven on a plate, a splash of truffle oil. This combination of flavours and textures was both fresh and flavoursome and the perfect introduction to a most memorable meal.
Our mains were equally delicious. Duck, grilled medium rare and topped with golden tamarind sauce accompanied with fried shallots and crispy kale, was tender and delightfully tangy. The Tumee Curry with Black Fish is an old style Phuket curry with fenugreek and okra served in coconut cream. It was well balanced, fresh, not too spicy and the curry sauce was mouthwatering.
Our perennial Thai favourite ‘morning glory’ came as a side of green vegetable that was a perfect accompaniment to the duck and fish curry. Of course what is Thai food without rice? We had a choice of white or red rice served by our waiter from a traditional woven serving bowl. All our food was prepared with the freshest of ingredients and by expert chefs. The service was friendly and we felt very relaxed and comfortable in this five star setting.
Eating at Blue Elephant Phuket is on the pricey side but no more than you would expect to pay in an equivalent western restaurant of the same calibre, combining outstanding food with excellent service in a sensational setting.
If you are wanting to try your hand at Thai cooking, Blue Elephant Phuket offers cooking classes in the mornings and afternoons, five days a week. You will get to cook and eat your own creations.
While visiting this restaurant we asked to see the cooking school set up. We were amazed by the size and design of the modern facilities, comprising a demonstration theatre adjoining a cooking classroom with about 30 individual workstations.
The Blue Elephant Group has eight stunning restaurants in seven countries so if you are in either Phuket, Bangkok, London, Paris, Brussels, Malta, Jakarta or Copenhagen you have an opportunity to eat divine Thai food and enjoy this exceptional dining experience.