Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Elephant Walk

LOVE LOVE LOVE this place!

Elephant Walk is one of my favorite restaurants in Boston. I have been here 6 times in the past 18 months (once at the Cambridge location.) I absolutely love their gluten free menu. This most recent visit, I noticed the menu was slightly different from the last time I was there in October 2011.

The décor is amazing and very authentic. Walking into the restaurant you feel like you are in a whole different world, somewhere foreign and captivating, almost like time traveling. The restaurant is inviting and full of warmth, contrasting colors and lighting. The two rooms are quite big and open and really nicely light with candles once it get dark.

The French-Cambodian menu is dynamic. It does not combine the two into one, rather separates the menu into sections; traditional Cambodian, Original Cambodian and Original French. Cambodian food is a combination of strong and vibrant spices and flavors, while the French is , well typical French food.  The menu is great for the adventurous foodies and the more conservative eaters. The best part for us, there is an extensive gluten free [and vegan/vegetarian] menu.

The food is fabulous.  During my most recent visit I had the Tofu Curry – pan seared organic tofu topped with grilled zucchini, butternut squash, asparagus, portabella mushrooms and eggplant in a lightly spiced green ginger curry sauce, with white rice. It was amazing. I’m glad my meal wasn’t drenched in the sauce but I do wish there was a little more of it. If I was at home, I would have licked my plate clean jut to get every last drop of it. And it wasn’t too spicy, this is one of the less spicy curry dishes on the menu (I made sure of this before ordering).

My favorite appetizer (which I’ve ordered 4 times) is the mouth watering Avocat Kanthhor – raw tuna, avocado, lemongrass and fresh mint tossed in an Asian dressing. I always order this without the peanuts.  The tuna just melted in my mouth and the avocado was ripened to perfection. The combination of flavors- galangal, garlic, fish sauce, shallot and rice vinegar -in the dressing blended so well.
The one and only time I ordered off the French menu I was a little disappointed. Not to say I didn’t enjoy my meal, the Grilled Flat Iron Steak was cooked exactly how I wanted it. What I did not like about it was the Roquefort sauce, which, thank god, I ordered on the side. I was never a fan of cheese sauces anyways and this one was just not good, even my boyfriend didn’t like it. The side of brown rice and edamame, was simple yet delicious, and what a great idea, I never thought of combining the two – definitely one going into the recipe book.

(**note, I didn't take a picture of my dish but found this one of the dish on 
the non-gluten free menu. The fries are not gluten free.**)

For dessert we had the flourless chocolate cake. It was good but not homemade, I have seen this exact cake at many other restaurants  (we even ordered this pre-made frozen dessert where I worked during college).  I’m not saying it’s not worth trying, but it is it very rich. I also loved the raspberry coulis that came on the side.
 I’ve also had the Shrimp Curry, which is served inside a red bell pepper and is EXTREMELY spicy, and the S’gnao Mouan, which is a Cambodian chicken soup with chicken breast, lime juice and lemongrass garnished with scallion and Asian basil with gluten-free crispy rice for dipping. The crispy rice was like a bad rice cake. The soup was so light and refreshing. 

No longer on the menu, but so delicious I just have to mention was the a chicken dish infused with fresh basil leaves, Asian mint served with asparagus, pea pods and red peppers light curry sauce (I can’t remember what else was in the sauce, as this was my first dish I ever had here and that was over 1.5 years ago). But I do remember it was delicious, with the fine balance of firey hot and savory. I just loved it.

They also have an extensive wine list, with great wines from all over the world. I highly recommend the Elephant Walk. I prefer the one in Fenway over Cambridge, the atmosphere is much more inviting, maybe that has to do with the light colors and openness in Fenway, or maybe it’s just my personal preference.

It’s great if you are in the mood to try something new and different, like one of their exotic assortments of authentic soups or salads or if you are daring enough, which I hope you are, one of the entrees.  I can’t say enough about the food here. The only this they are missing is gluten free bread!
Location: 900 Beacon Street Boston, MA. 02215 (C Green Line - St. Mary’s t stop)
       Other locations: 2067 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge
                                   66 Main Street Waltham, MA.

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