‘Why did they make fish so difficult to hug?’ my friend pondered as almost every koi in the manmade stream gathered right next to her chair 6 Reviews
‘Why did they make fish so difficult to hug?’ my friend pondered as almost every koi in the manmade stream gathered right next to her chair. The only creatures that eschewed membership of this fishy fraternity were a golden-skinned misanthrope and a half-dead fish sinking on its side. I spent a large part of the meal marvelling at my friend’s magnetic ways with the city’s piscine population. The fish, evidently, spent a large part of our meal regretting not being able to hug a human.
Occasionally we leave restaurants wanting to hug the chef, the kitchen staff and all the waiters who made our meal so memorable, but sadly this was not one of those occasions. The set menu appeared to include a diverse range of dishes from the à la carte offerings yet we left Blue Elephant yearning for those typical Thai flavours – lemongrass, lime, coriander, galangal, chilli – to tingle on our tongues. The set menu just didn’t seem to offer the right balance of sweet, sour and spicy flavours.
The appetiser platter featured two tiny portions of vermicelli salad with chicken in a lemony dressing, two skewers of chicken satay with a great peanut sauce and a couple of tasty deep-fried spring rolls. The subsequent tom yam koong was fearsomely spicy and proudly prawn-laden but served in tiny portions. The main courses disappointed. The meat in the massamam – a curry from the south of Thailand featuring braised lamb and potatoes in a dark brown sauce – was a little too chewy. We fished two pieces of deep-fried hammour out of a thick and sticky garlic and chilli sauce and didn’t think much of a very straightforward curry, stir-fried chicken with ginger and mushroom. The pad thai was fine, if rather lukewarm, but the dessert was pathetic, a fruit salad (90 per cent melon) with a scoop of generic vanilla ice cream – the sort of dessert you get in prison, my friend (who hasn’t been to prison) stated.
Service wasn’t particularly good either; our meal was disturbed by a woman from Oxygen handing out flyers for the hotel’s nightclub, and when we tried to pay the bill, a staff member practically begged us to fill out voting forms nominating Blue Elephant as the city’s best Thai restaurant. If you can stay away from the lobby end it’s a pretty restaurant and while they’re not busy electioneering the staff are very sweet. But ultimately neither of us were very impressed by the set menu’s offerings.
The bill (for two)
Thai ice tea Dhs21
Fruit fantasy mocktail Dhs21
Large water Dhs12
2x Symphony set menu Dhs298
Total (including service) Dhs352
By Matthew Lee
- Previous reviews
- 22 March,2012- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 07 April,2010- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 26 March,2008- reviewed by Jeremy Lawrence
- 12 March,2007- reviewed by Time Out Dubai Staff
- 30 April,2006- reviewed by Time Out Dubai
- 01 July,2004- reviewed by Rob Orchard
- 01 July,2003- reviewed by Rob Orchard
- 01 September,2001- reviewed by Time Out Dubai Staff
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