Blue Elephant Bangkok - Savour The Bite of History

Blue Elephant Bangkok epitomes the passion that is characterised by its unique and nostalgic Thai flavours mainly from the childhood memories with a contemporary touch founded by celebrity chef Nooror Somany Steppe, who is still proud to continue to deliver her Thai inspired culinary gems with every bite of the history from bygone years to the table to delight your palate. After all, Thai cooking has not stopped evolving. mylifestylenews writes.

Eating authentic food is always an imperative when travelling to exotic locations and Thailand is no exception.
 A perennial favourite with foodies, the Blue Elephant Bangkok Restaurant is a classic establishment that is everlastingly gaining insight to a nation’s cuisine and its culture by delivering a depth of flavour that positions it further into the menu with most recipes derived from centuries old recipes that were faithfully handed down through generations.

Elegantly lodged in a historical building dating back to more than a century and centrally situated in the heart on Sathorn Road that is easily accessed by all means of transport, the Blue Elephant Restaurant Bangkok story began with Chachoengsao province born Chef Nooror Somany Steppe who was ingrained in her deep connection with the culinary world since childhood by her mother who had a vast knowledge in making fresh, fragrant curries such as her famous heirloom Massaman curry paste. Chef Nooror became married to a Belgian art dealer, Karl steppe, who has always been passionate about Thai culture and Thai cuisine. The founding of Blue Elephant Restaurants was prompted by her preparations of homemade Thai meals for her husband’s guests who were enchanted with her cooking skills.

Housed in the colonial era architecture, the Thai-Chine Building of the Thai Chinese Chamber of Commerce is a well-established landmark with high ceilings and floorboards. It is simply so eye-catching and cannot be missed when you are passing on the local BTS sky train or driving along Sathorn Road especially when it is fully illuminated after dark. It is a standout amongst all the new apartments and office blocks that have sprung up over the years along the same neighbourhood.

The first Blue Elephant Restaurant opened in 1980 in Brussels, Belgium and continuously expanded throughout major cities in the world and later returned to its homeland and established Blue Elephant Restaurant and Cooking School Bangkok in 2002, and opened a Phuket branch in 2010. 
The century old maison prides themselves on serving an elevated experience in Royal Thai cuisine and some novelties using the highest quality ingredients from Thailand as well as a few other carefully picked ingredients from around the globe and a few other new, creative and unique variations on traditional themes together with a culinary school to enlighten your Thai cooking skills.

On entering the reception area, you are immediately taken aback by the interiors that unfold before your eyes, as this gives you a feel for yesteryear and transports you away from the buzz of modern Bangkok. We were quickly assisted by the host and it appears that our name hadn’t been put into the booking, but rather just a table for two despite a prior reservation was made and being reconfirmed by our hotel concierge on the same morning before arrival. The hostess was not as warm nor welcoming, rather unfriendly without any greetings as we expected over the course of resolving where our booking was but willing to take us in as walk-in diners even the booking that evening was nearly fully occupied including a big corporate group booking to be arrived within an hour. We were puzzled and escorted without further explanation why our reservation was not found straight to the upstairs dining room by skipping the ground floor main dining area.

The up-stairs dining room is dimmed and intimate and right away you are immersed into yesteryear charm and invited to dine in a stunning surroundings in a seemingly hosted private maison dinner.  The chic tabletops reflect the colonial style of the building, setting the scene in a very classic way for a special evening.

Artistic decorative ornamental Thai art on the walls root you in the country of old heritage, illuminated by small hanging chandeliers to add a touch of elegance, along with a wooden screen at one end that adds a regal gravitas. All the colonial architecture has been lovingly looked after, so everything feels as though it is meant to be there adorned with tasteful fresh flower arrangements at every corner graciously enlightening the entire Sino-Portugese colonial cozy ambience with a hint of art decor touches juxtaposed against the already classy and inviting interior.

Choosing your journey of Thai food for the evening is not an easy task, as there are so many favourites that caught our attention. While part of the menu remains mostly seasonally driven and is full of confident merges with the traditional Thai cooking technique finishes with a contemporary touch, the menu is unrestricted by its heritage or culture that includes a variety of dishes to please your palate with the breadth of cooking styles and cuisine that is paying homage to its very own tradition.

<Chaowang Tom Yum Koong>
This delectable Chaowang Tom Yum Koong is one of everyone’s all-time favorites listed on the Thai Cooking of The Past section of the menu. The right spicy and sour palate is complex and delectable, serves with giant river prawn and straw mushroom, straight away immersed and get hooked on to the aromas and flavours - as served during the period of King Rama V whilst receiving French Dignitaries.

<Pomelo Salad with Crispy Prawn Cake>
Pomelo segments are removed from the fresh pomelo and tossed with caramelized palm sugar, tamarind juice and signature Blue Elephant roasted chili paste, desiccated coconut, roasted peanuts and mangrove forest Chakram serves alongside with the light and tasty, sizable bite crispy prawn cake, which are the best compliment to each other and is quite an enjoyable starter dish.

<Pickled Charcoal Bun Satay> (Pork and/or Chicken) 
Free range chicken thighs and Sloanes butchered pork stripes are used and marinated with fresh turmeric and dry spices. Each juicy and meaty pork and chicken satay skewer lay in between a black sesame bun and was very tasty despite the accompanied homemade peanut sauce being overly salty rather, the sour rice vinegar cucumber shallots pickles on the side helps to bring down the sweet savory notes. So less is more.

<Prawns in Tamarind Sauce>
The prawns are deep-fried to a thin crust and served with the sourness tamarind sauce which was just right, otherwise it can be overpowering for the prawns. This was perfectly balanced and judged to create a heavenly texture and flavour.

<Wild Kra-Paow Beef Cheek>
Kra-Paow literally means “holy basil stir fry with chili”. The holy Thai basil leaves is the soul ingredient here as it gives a completely different dimension to the succulent premium cut beef cheek with enhanced flavours of the use of Thai chili and aromatic Chiang Rai garlic that is spot on.

<Blue Elephant Giant Prawn Phad Thai>
A classic dish which can easily disappoint but this one was quintessential on all fronts served with small prawns as well as big river prawns and had such gorgeous flavours. This second world war historic Phad Thai noodles were expertly cooked with giant Ayutthaya river prawn together with Chantaburi rice noodle and tribe organic egg in homemade tamarind sauce, tossed well with the ground roasted peanuts to give that complex taste and texture yet harmony that it should have – many chefs take the easy way out and make it innocuously sweet – but this one really scored!

<Wagyu Green Curry>
Another must-try signature dish is the Wagyu Green Curry from its Rainy Season Menu that is so original and tasty of the paste and spices used. Creamy and thick and with the right level of heat letting the premium tender Thai Ribeye Wagyu soak up the intense flavour from the bouillon with other condiments such as Lesser ginger, kaffir lime leaves, Thai sweet basil leaves, bird eye chili and young bamboo shoots is simply sensational.

<Blue Elephant’s Famous Grilled Spare Ribs>
Blue Elephant uses the artisan Sloane’ butchered prime organic ribs for its high quality in taste and flavour. The generous served portion was perfectly char-grilled for its smoky flavour and marinated at least 24 hours in a unique 40 year old recipe with Royal Project farmed honey, I-Sarn region chili dip, served with sticky rice and coriander and dill salad that create a perfect accompaniment to the meaty ribs.

<Belgium Coconut Flan>
This was redolent of the coconut in taste, but just didn’t seem to hit the mark as all the previous dishes had, but a safe dessert without any stand out notes.

We probably over ordered, but you can never be sure about portion size and we were pleasantly surprised at some portions, so some good value is to be had. Our server Khun Noi was a good communicator, quite attentive and switched on the whole evening and his service was very well appreciated.

Traditional Thai food has to have a voice for every ingredient and Thai local food can be incredibly memorable with touches of spices and piquant flavours that are not always spicy, but really hit the mark. Elevated local food and street level food can leave you wanting more. Blue Elephant’s gastronomy is consistently at a high level and there are no risky dishes but just focusing on serving classic dishes with the right flavours and textures and they are to be commended for this. We left with wonderful tastes and memories of their culinary expertise that were singing to us the whole evening.

Tried & Tested:
Location: 4.5/5
Design & Decor: 5/5
Food & Beverage: 4/5
Service: 3.5/5
Value For Money: 4/5
Experience: 4.5/5

233, South Sathorn Road,
Khwaeng Yan Nawa,
Krung Thep Maha Nakhon
Bangkok, Thaialand
Tel: +66 2 673 9353

Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated. 


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