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Friday, February 22, 2013

Valentine's day review at Blue Elephant, Bangkok

Blue Elephant - Special Valentine Set Menu

Blue Elephant - Premium Thai Restaurant on BumRes.com (For more pictures and menu)

The Blue Elephant Bangkok is a premium grade Thai restaurant located on Sathorn road.  In the classic Thai house ambiance that is perfect for setting the romantic mood, the Blue Elephant is preparing to serve the Valentine set menu for all spicy and sweet couples.   Restaurants creating special menu for this special day are mostly western ones, not many Thai restaurants are doing it.  For couples who feel like Thai food this Valentine’s day, the Blue Elephant is serving a full course set, sophisticated Thai style, a distinctive approach that leaps away from the usual Thai you ever find.  The theme is “Spice Your Love” – the menu is inspired by the famous love story of Kwan&Ream reflecting the everlasting love. 

See more details about the Valentine’s day aphrodisiac menu of the Blue Elephant in this review.

As we all know that Thai food is traditionally not served in courses, the dinner experience on this coming Valentine’s day at the Blue Elephant will blow your mind away as it is served one course at a time.  From my knowledge, one other Thai restaurant serving in courses is the Sra Bua @ Siam Kempinski, which is a very unique place to experience Thai cuisine.  The press-day for Valentine’s menu was extraordinary.  It was more than I could imagine for what Thai food can become, for how extravagance it really was.  

In this review of the Blue Elephant, I will cover only the Valentine’s day set menu.  To count the number of dishes coming out, there would be a total of 19 creations.  This may shock you, some are served in one bite.  It was quite diverse and overall filling by the time of the desserts.  Madame Nuro Sohmanee, the master chef and owner of the Blue Elephant particularly crafted this menu for the celebration of Valentine’s day at the Blue Elephant Bangkok, as well as Phuket.  She really did an amazing job.

Let’s begin with the first course.  There are three items here.

The slowly braised aphrodisiac consommé of “Black Chicken” with Angelica Dong Quai from the Royal Project Farm and wolfberry.  This rare menu was served in a small bowl, a really rich soup full of Chinese and Thai herbs aroma.  It almost felt like a medicine that can power me up.  Good start! 

Thai spirit made from coconut flower accompanied by some Thai preserved fruits.  In fact, the alcohol is from the Thai brand from northern region, Maa Jai Dum.  I have had it before, a friend of mine brought it to me as a gift and honestly it was the only time I ever had because I hated the strong smell of it.  But there are many flavors of it, so I gave it a try and it was intense.  A couple of sour fruits are on the side to compliment with this hardcore shot; star goose berry and sour plum of some kind.  Well, after the shot, thing really got heated up a bit, perfect for a couple to loosen up. 

Ancient gently poached oyster salad flavored from lime, chili, garlic, mimosa leaves wrapped in iceberg lettuce from the Royal Project Farm.  This one was interesting.  I could sense a hint of herb.  It tasted spicy.  I believe Oysters is a source of aphrodisiac, a thoughtful ingredient for Valentine’s Day.     

This first set was an exciting start, consider how exotic it was.  It couldn’t really be called an appetizer, could it? All seemed to contrast each other, like a roller coaster.  Mellow and healthy from the Chinese soup, the blood rush from the Maa Jai Dum, and then the spice from the oyster.  Strange combination but fun in a way.  

The second dish comes alone.  It was the Steamed egg custard with foie gras topped with homemade sauce of strawberry from the Royal Project Farm topped with caramelized ginger.  It was sweet and delicious.  I have never had the steamed egg so sweet before, while mixing with rich and savory flavor of the foie gras, it was quite a fusion – so exotic. 

The third dish came with three items, which were on the edge of being more Thai and more spicy. 

Heart shaped jelly flavored of “Tom Yum Goong” accompanied by Thai roasted chili paste mousse.  This one was a bite size, quite tasty. I really felt the seafood aroma in this menu. 

Grilled chicken tossed with roasted garlic, chili and shallot paste, Humming bird, Sesbania, banana flowers and Thai anchovy from Supanburi Province.  This dish has an unusual long description but the dish itself was a basic Yum chicken, quite ordinary.  

Steamed mussels prepared in the Thai Northeastern Style flavored from chilies, garlic, wild black ginger, roasted sticky rice, dills and lime basil leaves.  This is a delicious one, taste much like the Hor Mok Thai, good texture, and slightly spicy.  I would love to have more of this creation.

The forth course is plate with two bowls of soup. 

A soup of crab meat, bird's nest and Ginkgo braised in tiny taro – This soup is covered with the flour like a soufflé style.  Once the cover is opened, the nice appetizing aroma of the soup is presented.  The mixture of crabmeat and bird’s nest was delicious, mild with well balanced soy flavor.  Not to mention the Ginkgo, my favorite.  Yes, I like it a lot.

A refreshing herbal soup from beef and sweet potatoes with flowers from bird's eye chillies, shallots and mix Thai basil leaves – An old fashioned Thai soup of this type is rarely found in typical Thai restaurants nowadays.  The broth is much like the tom yum soup with clear broth.  Contrast to the other soup, this one is hot and sour.  Potatoes in it is a plus, awesome addition. 

Gently spicy rich "Mutton Curry" braised with various Thai herbs – A very Thai curry, thick sauce like panang style.  The mutton is delicious.  I personally had never had it before.  Since it was braised, the meat was quite tender.  I believe mutton usually has the strong scent than beef, similar to lamb but this case it wasn’t a problem because the spices in the curry disguised it perfectly.  Of course, this curry was served with rice.  We had the Baked soft "Hom Mali" Jasmine rice with celery and Lingshi mushrooms.  A special rice for the Valentine’s day occasion.  So, with this rice, the curry was lip smacking good. 

The sixth dish was the Grilled snow fish marinated with Korean ginseng wrapped with ginger leaves accompanied by caramelized golden tamarind and crispy shallot dip.  Large fillet of the snow fish was perfectly cooked.  One side has the gently crispy skin and the fish had amazing texture.  Then the sweetened tamarind sauce and the fried shallots made this dish very Thai.  Again, it was superb over the special mushroom rice. 

The seventh dish was the Stir-fried giant prawns with homemade paste from bird's eye chilies, shrimp paste, black wild ginger with aroma from kaffir lime, sweet basil leaves and a hint of rice whisky.  Great size prawn was fresh and firm, smothered in the heavily spiced sauce, I couldn’t be any happier.  With its intense flavor like the ChooChee, the rice was a wonderful compliment.   

The eighth dish was the Sauteed spinach from the Royal Project Farm with oyster sauce and light soya sauce flavored and aromatic from Thai garlic and chilies.  A basic stir fried spinach was to complete the aspect of a Thai meal and to be healthy additional to the set.  It was done well, not too salty. 

The nineth course was the dessert, which was comprised of four selected variety of Thai old fashioned sweets.   

-   The Blue Elephant specialty: Belgian Chocolate Mousse with a hint of "Royal Jelly"
- Steamed sticky rice with butterfly pea flowers accompanied with caramelized pandanus custard sauce

-  -  Classic Thai dessert with two layers of young coconut jelly and flavor from red rose of Thai Royal Project Farm
-  - Thai dessert made from tiny black sesame dumplings and fresh coconut with quail eggs served in young coconut shell
-  - Thai dessert made from tiny black sesame dumplings and fresh coconut with quail eggs served in young coconut shell

The Thai sweet combination was delightfully presented.  Especially the last one in the list, served in the coconut shell, it was the best one of all.  I loved the dumpling and the refreshing light coconut cream.  The Belgian chocolate mousse with the jelly was also lovely.  The other two kinds were just a prop to me.  They are simple desserts for the local Thai people.  I am sure for non Thai people will love it.

There you go, the Valentine’s day Set menu by Chef Nuro of the Blue Elephant.  The concept of this love celebration is “Spice Your Love” – the menu is inspired by the famous love story of Kwan&Ream reflecting the everlasting love.  The exotic journey of Traditional Thai flavors presented in western fashion will absolutely capture the heart of your Valentine.  With the aphrodisiac ingredients, you could imagine what this dinner could lead you to.   I hope you enjoy a wonder night with your special someone wherever you go.  

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