First impressions of Blue Elephant in Tsim Sha Tsui
Elegant decor, with few of the signature dishes from the Bangkok outlet, and the spiciness has been toned down for local tastes
The famed Blue Elephant restaurant in Bangkok has finally made it to our shores, opening its doors in Harbour City. It’s past City’super, wedged between Mannings and Watson’s.
Diners are seated in an elegant dining space with dark wood and indigo blue plates and glasses, but the pachyderm motif is scarce.
We mentally compared the menu to the one in Bangkok, and could only find a few signature items here.The spice has been toned down several notches for Hong Kong palates.
After we ordered, our dishes arrived in quick succession, which made us feel rushed. A starter of blue swimmer crab fresh spring roll (HK$98) was light and refreshing, the crabmeat wrapped in lots of lettuce, carrots and vermicelli.
Next came the free-range chicken tom kha (HK$78) that was presented in a blue elephant ceramic pot. There was a candle underneath to keep the soup hot, but we found this unnecessary as we ate it quickly. It was mildly spicy, with tender chicken and pieces of crisp coconut in a coconut cream sauce flavoured with galangal.
The deep-fried chicken with pandanus leaf (HK$72) soon came to the table, and the leaves were dried out as they crumbled when we tried to extract the chicken meat. This was the most pedestrian dish we sampled.
We also ordered the grilled premium M8 beef salad (HK$118). It was a small portion of tender beef withvegetables such as onions, cherry tomatoes and greens in a delicious spicy sweet-and-sour sauce.
Another small dish was the main of massaman lamb (HK$218). It arrived in a terracotta pot, also with a candle, but the candle barely heated the bowl. The sauce was on the oily side, although we liked the tasty lamb chunks and purple sweet potato. There were also cashews in the nutty-flavoured curry that went well with Thai rice (HK$20).
For dessert, the black and white glutinous rice with fresh mango (HK$88) had fruit slices that were slightly brown on the edges – they had been prepared much earlier. Nevertheless, the sweet fruit was delicious with the dessert, the black rice having much more flavour than the white.
Blue Elephant, Shop 3303, Level 3, Harbour City, 3-27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2328 2328
While you’re in the area: