Please note, Blue Elephant has now closed. Time Out Food editors, August 2017.
The international Blue Elephant chain, set up to ‘bring the best of Thai cuisine and culture to the world’, has been wowing diners with impeccable service and innovative dishes since the 1980s. The London branch (which was previously in Fulham Broadway) has all the grandeur of an imperial palace, and riverside views to boot.
Rich with ornate wood carving, orchids and silk cushions, the interior wouldn’t look out of place in one of Bangkok’s smartest establishments. The food is beautifully presented on a range of bespoke tableware: weaved bamboo containers, heavy ceramics. The menu is divided into ‘past’ (traditional), ‘present’ (contemporary), and ‘future’ (innovative) dishes. Of the latter, a Japanese-inspired raw salmon laab didn’t quite gel – the oil-rich fish in need of a stronger citrus kick.
A more classic starter of DIY betel leaf wraps with coconut, chilli, peanuts and dried shrimps was more successful, and fun. A kindly waitress demonstrated how to fold them properly. The lamb shank yellow curry was another mixed bag: the meat tender, but the sauce overly sweet. Though dishes are pricey, portions are generous, and the setting and staff are first-rate.
|Venue name:||Blue Elephant||Contact:|
Imperial Wharf, Townmead Road
|Cross street:||The Boulevard|
|Opening hours:||Lunch served noon-2.30pm Tues-Sat. Brunch noon-3.30pm Sun. Dinner 7-10.30pm Mon-Thurs; 6.30-11pm Fri, Sat; 6-10.30pm Sun|
|Transport:||Tube: Fulham Broadway tube then bus 391 or Imperial Wharf rail|
|Price:||Main courses £18-£30. Set meal £37-£55 4 courses. Buffet (Sun) £30|
|Do you own this business?|
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Average User Rating
4 / 5
- 5 star:3
- 4 star:1
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- 1 star:1
You may not always get what you paid for in life, and sometimes it's tempting to cut corners and hope. But for those days when only the best will do there's The Blue Elephant at Imperial Wharf. For the evenings where you want to treat yourself of someone special this may possibly be the best place in London to go. Quite frankly if you get taken out on a date here you should probably just go ahead and marry the guy/girl. Honestly, I could write page after page on why The Blue Elephant was the best Thai food we've had outside of Thailand but we'll try to keep it short and sweet so you don't get bored and wander off. Oh, and talking of sweet, don't fill up on the delicious main courses because there are some great desserts (unusual for an Asian cuisine restaurant) waiting at the end of the meal. If you can take the gorgeous-ness overload then order some cocktails instead of the wine, before your meal arrives.
Absolutely wonderful restaurant, excellent service, fantastic food and just brilliantly flamboyant and fun. Incredibly child friendly, the staff could not have been more helpful or kinder to a very boisterous 8 and 4 year old. Could eat the Royal Thai Banquet over and over again. Must commend staff for being very accommodating to the picky eaters in our group. Can't wait to see them in their new venue.
Unfortunately I had a very bad experience here. I went online to book a table for my husband's birthday and found that only a 10.30 table was available. I called to check that we would have enough time to complete our meal in a relaxed way and was reassured there would be no problem. At 11.30, whilst we were still having our main course, a waiter arrived at our table asking us to order any more drinks we would like as the bar was closing. At 11.50, the moment we had finished our dessert, all the lights were turned on. To add insult to injury, the waiter who brought our bill told us that we should have come earlier. I was on the point of refusing to pay I was so furious, but I didn't want to make a scene on my husband's birthday. The food is pretty good, but not worth the rude and inconsiderate service.