Saturday, 24 May 2008

Good food hunting @ My Elephant, Happy Mansion

It’s a Friday night. One by one they arrived, weary from the rigours of the work week. As heavy notebooks and work accoutrements were cast aside in a pile at the end of the table, sighs of relief were almost audible. Having unburdened the week’s worries to a corner, symbolically at least; countenance brightened, cheered, by the prospect of spending the next couple of hours just hanging out with old friends.

Chatters ensued. Seven voices competing for attention… pouring out the latest gossips, work frustrations et. al. Interspersed with “Have you heard from so and so…..?” “You know ah.. that day ah…“ were comments of ..… “How on earth did you find out about this place?" …… "Oh, I remember this place used to be a shop selling 'chap fun' (economy rice)"

Indeed, how on earth did we find out about a restaurant called ‘My Elephant’? This place has earned many accolades amongst the food blogging community. For the longest time A and I wanted to try it but didn’t get round to it. What better time to introduce our Chee Muis (and Di Di) to it then when we celebrate May birthdays?

The restaurant is located at the ground floor of Happy Mansion flats in Section 17. Tucked between the old shop lots is the elegantly renovated ‘My Elephant’ Hmmm… Elegant Elephant! Is that what you call a fashionable pachyderm..? :) Now, that is quite an apt description of the restaurant, simple quiet elegance.

My Elephant serves Thai cuisine. Perennial favourites like Tom Yam, fish cakes, green curry makes its appearance on the menu, but also dishes with interesting names and combinations like snow fish, roast duck curry with seasonal fruit piqued our interest.

For drinks, we had the Pandan cooler, which is pandan flavoured syrup with some seeds which name escapes me but it resembles frog spawns and KraChiap cooler, a refreshing roselle tea.

(Pandan cooler with frog spawns :)

Making an entrance to our table that night was Plah Meuk Chup Peng Tod – tempura squid served with semi sweet thai chilli sauce, Tod Man Piah – deep fried thai fish cakes. The squid was fried in tempura batter and curry leaves fried with gives it a fragrant curry smell.The fish cakes were nice but quite ordinary, can’t go much wrong there. (Tod Man Piah – deep fried Thai fish cakes)

The menu described Yum Hed as a mushroom, mint leaves and purple onion salad. But the salad that arrived had prawns, squids, shredded mango, carrots amongst other stuff, nary a shred of purple onion to be seen. It was only after we polished it off that A remarked, ‘Hey… didn’t we order mushroom and onion salad… that didn’t seem like it, did the kitchen get our order wrong?’ So we called the waiter over and showed him the picture of the dish! Hah! We got evidence! Turns out that WAS the mushroom and onion salad. So what is the difference between that and Yum Mamuang, the mango and assorted seafood salad? Oh well, we enjoyed the dish so we weren’t going to quibble over it.
(Yum Hed - mushroom, mint leaves and purple onion salad) seriously does it look like a mushroom and onion salad?

Brown rice mixed with white was served. It makes a nice change from the white rice. The fluffy rice was an excellent accompaniment to the Choo Chee Goong, a semi dry Thai yellow curry with prawns. The prawns were fried in batter then cooked in the curry sauce. Coconut cream was drizzled over it when served. The sauce was delicious, thick and creamy and we loved it so much that when the waiter wanted to clear the plate when the prawns were all gone, we stopped him. We wanted to mop up the sauce with more rice :) (Choo Chee Goong – semi dry Thai yellow curry with prawns)

The Snow Fish was the restaurant’s best seller and came highly recommended. The sea bass was baked encased in a layer of snowy white coarse salt. Scrap off the salt and skin the fish. You’ll find a treasure of wonderfully moist and succulent flesh underneath infused with the flavours of galangal and lemongrass stuffed into the belly cavity. (Snow Fish – salt baked fish)

The Thai curry is usually the signature dish of a Thai restaurant. We opted for the Gaeng Phed, Thai red curry with chicken. It did not disappoint. Tender chicken cubes and vegetables soaked in the creamy curry. My only grouse was that there was too little vegetables in the curry. (Gaeng Phed – Thai red curry with chicken)

Instead of Tom Yam, we settled for Tom Som. It is a clear galangal, lemongrass and lime soup boiled with onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, coriander and slices of starfruit! The clear soup can be deceptive. One sip and you feel the kickback of the fiery bird's eye chillies and eye wincing sourness all the way down your throat. While I can handle the spiciness, I found the soup too sour for my liking. (Tom som – clear galangal lemongrass – lime soup with aromatic Thai herbs)

I liked the assorted vegetables we ordered, didn’t note down the Thai name. It is has snow peas ,capsicum, cabbage, cauliflower, mushrooms and interestingly, lotus roots. (Pan Fried Assorted Vegetables)

The jungle vegetables – Paku leaves was an after thought. We ordered it after we finished the rest of the dishes, much to our regret. The vegetables left a slimy aftertaste in the mouth due to the sap. According to the boss, it is normal of paku leaves, but my friends who eat it often enough to taste the difference beg to differ. That dish was left untouched. (Jungle vegetables – paku leaves fried with dried prawns and belacan)

We were disappointed when informed that the restaurant does not serve any dessert. I thought any Thai restaurant worth its salt will at least have Tub Tim Krob – red ruby water chestnut in coconut milk. Ah well… an excuse to adjourn elsewhere for dessert and conversation.

The entire meal for seven costed RM182.60. The most expensive dish we ordered was the Snow Fish which costs RM36. The rest ranges for RM9-RM15 and only RM2.50 each for the drinks. You won’t break a bank dining at My Elephant.

My Elephant
Address: Block C-G4 Happy Mansion Section 17/1346400 Petaling Jaya
Tel : 012 328 5028 ~ Patrick
Business Hours: Tuesday to Sunday (except Sunday lunch)
Lunch: 12.00 p.m. - 2.30 p.m.Dinner: 6.00 p.m. - 10.00 p.m.

No comments: