Tuesday, May 27

Food Review: Blue Elephant

Cuisine: Thai
Price: $30 a main course
Location: 237 Parnell Road, Parnell, Auckland
Website: http://www.blueelephant.co.nz/

Blue Elephant ranks as one of TripAdvisors best restaurants in Auckland, so looking for an Asian treat, I went there with friends. The restaurant is located in trendy Parnell and the d├ęcor of Blue Elephant matches; simple yet refined. The restaurant had a cosy atmosphere and the staff were extremely friendly.

We decided to order four dishes; the beef green curry, chicken cashew nuts, sweet chilli fish and Blue Elephant spicy crispy pork. Rice is ordered per person and is unlimited. We also considered the set menu for $45 per person, which also sounded great. The dishes came promptly and we dug in with glee.

The beef green curry was presented beautifully. However it was obvious that it wasn't truly authentic Thai with native vegetables, such as carrot and broccoli, making up the bulk of the dish. The curry itself tasted great and was extremely moorish, some of us enjoying just the curry sauce with rice. The sauce was rich, with a nice subtlety of flavours.

The chicken cashew nuts tasted generic. It had a sweet tone and was certainly pleasant, but was nothing you couldn't get at any middle range Chinese restaurant.

The sweet spicy fish was beautiful. It's orderable fried whole, or just the fillet, we chose the later. The blend of spicy and sweet was perfect, and the fish was tender and moist. It was a rather small portion though. Definitely recommended.

The final dish was certainly the best, the crispy spicy pork being delicious. The pork was cooked to perfection with succulent flesh and crispy skin. The sauce was slightly sweet and spicy, complimenting the meat and vegetables well.

While we certainly enjoyed the meal, and the great ambience, there was a noticeable short coming at Blue Elephant. The food, while good, was not remarkable. It was also certainly not authentic Thai cuisine. Dishes are pricey, with a small sized main dish setting you back $30. 
If you are looking for good quality Thai food, with a great ambience, then Blue Elephant will delight you. For purists or those who want value for money, Blue Elephant isn't for you.