For a restaurant that has been around for decades and still thriving such as ‘Blue Elephant,’ the word ‘heritage’ comes along as naturally as it is suitably. This tried-and-true Thai restaurant has become somehow a destination for visitors interested in Thai cuisine as well as for locals who go there for a trusty and beautiful place to treat their guests. And from April 2018 onwards, the restaurant is serving a special ‘heritage’ menu with option for wine-pairing. The wines are from GranMonte – a truly Thai vineyard with wine reserves made from the grapes all grown on the Thai soils.
The Heritage menu has 6 courses and is priced at Bt2,400++ without wine and Bt3,200++ with pairing of four wines. Soup and desserts are the only courses served on their owns. Blue Elephant is known for an innovative kitchen that gives the traditional Thai recipes some interesting twists. In their menu, things not-so-traditional Thai such as foie gras and lamb are also included into otherwise a very Thai classic repertoire. For example, the foie gras is served slightly seared with their homemade signature tamarind sauce while the lamb, in juicy chunks, is stewed to a full flavour in the thick and luscious massamun curry. Mussamun curry, as you might have already known, is a Muslim dish, hence lamb is in fact quite an appropriate ingredient.
Also very Blue Elephant is their ‘add-on’ tastes sometimes by juxtaposing one common dish with another. For example, the grilled river prawn below is served in ‘Srang Wa’ (แสร้งว่า) style which is a type of Thai herbal salad special for having kaffir lime juice and insanely thinly sliced lemongrass. A very refreshing (and perhaps body-chakra balancing and blood-circulation boosting) salad if you ask me. Usually done with slightly grilled or cooked prawns, but in this case, the already scrumptious topping comes with the aromatic shredded pieces of grilled natural-caught catfish. Great texture. Delicious.
In many occasions that I visited Blue Elephant, I had seen their attempts to recreate some rare old Thai dishes. This is not an easy task because most of the classic Thai dishes, if they are able to outlive the times and trends, are usually already perfect. Hence, nothing much can be done. But below are the side dishes, served with the classic and rare curry of ‘Keang Kelek Nua Yang,’ (thick curry made from crushed Senna Siamea or Cassod leaves) that include duck stew done like pork stew (moo hong, Peranakan style, a popular dish in Phuket), and nam prik goong siep (chili dip with crispy shrimp, souther style) done in an ‘aspic’ style with the spicy + savoury tastes of the dip all together in each jelly bite. These sides are supposed to provide some tangy breaks from the luscious curry and rice which is always a Thai staple.
GranMonte is one of Thailand’s leading wineries and four of their award-winning wines are selected to go along with this special menu. For example, the 2017 GranMonte Viognier with the appetizers, the 2017 GranMonte Sakuna Rose with the river prawn, the 2014 Heritage GranMonte with the main dishes of lamb massamun and “Keang Kelek Nua Yang” – an ancient dish comprising locally-bred Wagyu from Korat, popular during
the reign of King Rama V.
Below is Blue Elephant’s beautiful desserts. Heritage till the finale. On the plate is their signature fresh mango, jasmine sorbet on fios de ovos + Belgian cracker (for owners have mix Belgian heritage), look choop (massapa’es), Thai custard or kanom mor gaeng which is also an ancient Thai dessert on aquamarine sugar spun basket and Thong yip (golden nugget).
Blue Elephant Bangkok’s Heritage Menu + GranMonte wine pairing is available for lunch and dinner. Lunch: 11.30 – 14.30, dinner: 18.00 – 22.30. For more information, www.blueelephant.com. T: +(66) 02-673-9353-8.