Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My (Thai) Elephant

We were in this little Thai restaurant for dinner one weekend. The place was recommended by my brother who wanted us to be there early for fear of a long wait for a table. Sure enough, arriving shortly after 7 pm, the place was already packed, but we were lucky to get a table after only a short wait.

The place we went to was My Elephant in Section 17 PJ. It is located at the bottom of a block of flats at Happy Mansion in Jalan 17/13. It is incidentally in the same vicinity as Choon Yien char siew place which I had blogged earlier.

The place was small and humble but nicely furnished with soft lights that offer a very cozy dining environment. I was pleasantly surprised to find such a fine little place in the rather old apartment block.

The menu was distinctly Thai. The dishes had Thai names but were clearly translated in English. Their website provides a full list of their servings.

The drinks arrived first. There were 2 refreshing drinks that merit my mention. One was a Pandan Cooler. It was a simple iced drink  made with our local popular pandan leaves. A most unique drink which I had never tried before. The other was KraChiap Cooler, also an iced drink from Thai roselle. Both were very refreshing.

We started our dinner with a "teaser" - an 'myElephant Platter'. It had an assortment of fresh and fried Thai popiah, fish cake, prawn wanton and one other kind. The platter was pleasant and I enjoyed it.

Next was 'Gaeng Keow Wan' - green curry chicken. It was rich and thick - obviously with a generous amount of santan (coconut milk). It wasn't too spicy and was delicious. The serving was not very big, but you don't need a lot of it to enjoy its rich flavor with rice.

The 'Snow Fish' was baked in salt with basil leaves, lemon grass and other herbs and spices stuffed in its belly. Surprisingly, it was not too salty. The skin of the fish was sliced off revealing a beautifully baked fish that tasted very fresh and yummy.

The seafood tom yam soup was rather spicy for me. It looked very appetizing, topped with some coriander and fresh basil leaves. It had very strong flavors. Tom yam lovers will definitely love this soup.

Next was 'Gai Phad Grapow' - a minced chicken dish cooked in "Thai holy basil". It was a generous portion of minced chicken cooked with various diced vegetables and herbs. It was rather spicy but tasted good.

For greens, we had the 'Jungle Vegetable of the Day', which happened to be sayor paku. Paku is a popular local vege. It was fried with sambal, and looked and tasted great.

And of course, the rice which I have to mention. It was a mixture of jasmine (Hom Malee in Thai) and brown rice. It was fabulous. The mixture was really done right. Like the pandan cooler, this was another first timer for me.

This Thai meal was very sumptuous indeed. The dishes we ordered would generally be too much for 5 people. But we cleaned up the lot.

Our dinner ended at about 9.30 pm. As we walked out, I was astonished to find a large number of people outside still waiting for their tables. The popularity of this little Thai place bear testimony to the good food they dish out.

I am generally no big fan of Thai cuisines. I find Thai cooking too spicy and strong. I would normally only opt for Thai if I am devoid of ideas on what to eat.  However My Elephant would perhaps make me want to make exceptions.

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