The Blue Elephant is not somewhere you’d stumble upon, but rather, is a destination worth traveling to. It has been brought over from Thailand and tucked away against the water in Imperial Wharf.
You enter the restaurant away from the modern glass buildings and bustling London streets to be transported to Thailand. Patterned tiles, elephant covered fabrics and towering plants fill the entrance, preparing you for your trip through Thailand. We were seated by the window looking out onto the River Thames and began to take in our surroundings of the vibrant environment with relaxing Thai music playing in the background.
Our darling waitress, dressed in a traditional outfit greeted us and told us that the buffet was at the top of the stairs. We settled into our cushioned wooden chairs, surrounded by decorative plaques and statues and ordered fruity drinks to start off our brunch. I ordered the Pink, which consisted of guava, passion fruit and coconut cream. It was incredibly sweet but refreshing nonetheless. My dining partner ordered the Chiang Mai, which was made from longan, lychee juice and grenadine.
After settling in with our drinks, we became enticed by the smell wafting down the stairs from the brunch buffet. We ascended towards Thai food heaven, our mouths watering. The room was divided into three separate sections of starters, mains and desserts, each with a beautiful, overflowing spread.
We made our way around the starters, filling our plates with salads, dumplings and spicy sauces. Each bite had delicious flavour and very different textures. Besides a dumpling and fish cake being a bit too soggy for my liking, the rest of the starters were great.
Soon after finishing our first course, we were ready for more. We made our way upstairs and began wandering around the selection of mains. Fragrant curries, steaming jasmine rice and mounds of noodles sat invitingly in great bowls resembling Thai cauldrons, bubbling with enchanting foods ready to be piled onto our plates. After each getting our fill, we returned to our seats to taste. Yellow chicken curry with pineapple sauce was divine on a bed of jasmine rice. Stir fried beef with young chilli was tender and spicy. Green vegetable curry was flavoured with Thai basil leaves offering a sweet, peppery bite with each crunchy vegetable.
We chatted away, observing other diners’ plates passing by and admired the river views with the occasional sailboat. It was then time to make our way back to the buffet for our third and final time. A beautifully decorated dessert table was covered with colorful fruits and traditional Thai sweets.
I ordered a fresh mint tea to have with my dessert and was delighted to find it was served in a darling blue elephant teapot. After deciding it was too big to slip into my bag, as I know it would look fabulous in my kitchen, I began to sample the desserts. Sweet flavours and textures unlike anything I had ever had filled my mouth. Coconut candies and date filled sweets were all pleasantly surprising. A very different dish of kidney beans in warm coconut milk was interesting to try, but not particularly my new favourite. There was also a lovely selection of fresh fruit for a lighter end to such a filling, comforting meal.
Making our way through the restaurant, up the stairs to brunch, wandering around the buffet and eating our way through filled plates was all part of our journey through Thailand and its incredible cuisine. The brunch was delectable, ambiance enjoyable and service was impeccable. Take your family or a group of friends and enjoy a delicious Thai brunch with tastes that are sure to please any palate.