The Blue Elephant Restaurant
It’s cold in February. Where can you go to feel like you are in Bangkok or Phuket? The Blue Elephant restaurant, of Thai Cuisine in Novinsky 31 shopping centre at Smolensky.
Walking in to a Blue Elephant restaurant dazzles the senses. It is a world of lush plants and trickling fountains. The scent of tropical flowers mingles with the heady aroma of exotic herbs and spices flown in fresh from the Far East. Blue Elephant first opened in Brussels back in 1980, and today has franchised restaurants all over the world, including Bangkok, London, Paris, Brussels and, Cophenhagen. The company has its own Blue Elephant Cooking School in Bangkok, located in the heart of Bangkok.
To make sure their food tastes like it comes straight from Koh Samui Island, they brought all their top staff to open the Moscow restaurant. Take Natjongkol Prasopwong (we call her Niki), she’s the award-winning, head chef, a graduate from the cooking school in Bangkok and Blue Elephant in London, and knows well how to put out a mean Pattaya noodle dish. When it comes to running the front of the store they brought in Tham Prawattree as General Manager. Milka Kresoja and her son Slobodan are the Yugoslavian owners of this new restaurant; Milka knows Moscow as she has been a diplomat here for 15 years and her son ran clubs and restaurants back in Belgrade. Both of them are constantly roaming the floor to shake hands with guests and make them comfortable in this floral garden.
Now the food. If you are trying Thai for the first time, then I suggest starting out with a set menu called the Royal Thai Banquet. This is a combination of all their best dishes on platters, and comes in three degrees of ‘elephant’ hotness..
For starters you get five succulent taste treats, here they are:
Chicken Satay which is strips of grilled marinated chicken served with cucumber and peanut sauce. Spring Rolls made with a special recipe of minced chicken and vegetable stuffing, served with red sweet and sour sauce. Dim Sim: a parcel of minced pork, shrimps and crab meat steamed in a bamboo basket accompanied by soy sauce. Vermicelli Salad: a salad of clear bean noodles chicken and prawns tossed in a lemon and fish sauce dressing and Paper Prawns wrapped in rice paper with peanut and exotic stuffing accompanied by a plum sauce.
After all that, they cleared the table once more for the five main courses. Here’s what you get:
Massaman, which is a typical dish from South Thailand, of slowly braised New Zealand lamb in a medium spicy sauce; Prawn Curry; Bangkok Fish, a deep-fried fish fillet flavored with ginger and garlic in a chili sauce; Emerald chicken: jewels of marinated chicken wrapped in Toey leaves and accompanied by a sweet and sour sauce; Tamarind Duck Slices of grilled, marinated magret of duck "saignant" and served on a bed of seaweed, topped with exotic sweet and sour tamarind sauce. With these you get Phad Thai – typical Thai fried noodles with shrimps, peanuts, eggs and vegetables.
For deserts we had the Star of Siam which is an exotic variety of Thai Fruits with Thai dessert.
The price for all this is 53.00 Euros per person without soup and 58.00 Euros per person with soup – you can choose from Tom Yam Koong or Menam Chicken Soup.
The wine list has the who’s who of France, but also contains some reasonably priced New World wines like the Millamans Estate Zinfandel from Chile for 48 Euros. But if you want to impress there is a 1990 Chateau Cheval Blanc Saint Emilion Grand Cru AOC, Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux for a mere $3,215. They have every conceivable wine, cocktails, or beer available.
As far as price goes, it’s not a fast food chain, but tell me a good place in Moscow with a good location that’s giving it away and I will be there. I put my money on the newest Thai on the block!