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What do you think of Blue Elephant in Bangkok?

andycolombia Sep 15, 2008 03:00 PM

Ill be doing a gastronomical tour through Thailand and want to know if its worth to include this on my Bangkok list.

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  1. Curt the Soi Hound RE: andycolombia Sep 15, 2008 04:18 PM

    My sister-in-law, Thai, worked in the Thai CC building, directly behind it, for an American company. Her American bosses ate there often. She didn't care for it much and has never recommended it.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Curt the Soi Hound
      andycolombia RE: Curt the Soi Hound Sep 15, 2008 04:22 PM

      Yes, I was afraid it was more of a tourist place. I haver heard great things about it, but not from a Thai person. Thanks a lot for your reply. Are you Thai by the way?

      1. re: andycolombia
        Curt the Soi Hound RE: andycolombia Sep 15, 2008 06:13 PM

        I'm not Thai, but my wife is.

        I'm not really sure of it's general clientele, but the Blue Elephant probably wouldn't be considered a tourist haunt. I believe it's used more by businessmen and others with expense accounts.

        1. re: Curt the Soi Hound
          klyeoh RE: Curt the Soi Hound Sep 15, 2008 08:44 PM

          I agree with Curt - The Blue Elephant is popular amongst those with expense accounts, but not amongst cost-conscious Thai diners/tourists. But I think it's definitely worth a visit: the food's pretty good, I really loved the sumptious decor, and the service is efficient & ever so polite.

          I went to the very first Blue Elephant in Brussels more than a decade ago, and also the Parisian branch later on. But I think the Bangkok outlet is the best by far, in terms of the quality of cooking/ingredients.

    2. whs RE: andycolombia Sep 16, 2008 05:54 PM

      Bangkok dining for farangs consists of two varieties: the point and squat variety--the street food snobs who will only eat off carts made famous by Lonely Planet. And then, there are the rest of us. You will enjoy BE. Bangkok prides itself on being a gastronomic destination, and Thais love luxury. Whether you eat at the Oriental hotel or some street cart enveloped in diesel exhaust in Yaowarat, you will enjoy the experience.

      2 Replies
      1. re: whs
        Curt the Soi Hound RE: whs Sep 16, 2008 08:34 PM

        From time to time, some of us street food snobs actually do wash up and eat at restaurants with walls and doors.

        My dining doesn't often involve "farangs". Except when I hit the trendy, upscale, popular, written to death eateries, I rarely see another foreigner.

        My brother-in-law, the one with the expense account, constantly entertains clients. He also points us to some of his better finds, none of which have I heard of before his rec. This doesn't mean they aren't nice restaurants, it just means they aren't written up in English.

        I have given "BE" a pass simply because I haven't heard anything that would make me want to go there. In fact, from people I know and trust, I get nothing but negatives.

        Anyone can read any number of press releases and reviews of the trendy spots in Bangkok. No one needs my input; I leave that to the rest of you.

        For the most part, I simply try to recommend places that might get tourists out of the hotel and corporate eateries, and into the small, family owned businesses. They don't get the press (at least not the English language press).

        1. re: Curt the Soi Hound
          klyeoh RE: Curt the Soi Hound Sep 17, 2008 01:21 AM

          Curt, can you share with us some of your brother-in-law's favorite restaurants, please? I'd love to try some posh "new" places the next time I'm in Bangkok.

      2. lulubelle RE: andycolombia Oct 12, 2008 12:03 AM

        I took a cooking class at the Blue Elephant last Spring and I had a wonderful experience. We toured the market and then came back and made a variety of dishes which we then ate for lunch in the restaurant. I loved the class, and the restaurant is pretty spectacular looking, but I wouldn't bother going for dinner, I would just take one of the classes and have the whole experience.

        1. whs RE: andycolombia Oct 18, 2008 06:40 PM

          Review in Bangkok Post: http://www.bangkokpost.com/171008_Rea...

          1 Reply
          1. re: whs
            CPla RE: whs Oct 18, 2008 10:18 PM

            Have you ever seen a less than glowing restaurant review in the Bangkok Post?

            Prisna Boonsinsukh who writes the weekly "The Pleasure of Eating" wrote two or three weeks ago that she has consistently declined offers from several publications to do restaurant reviews, because she is unwilling to make the compromises required.

            I think that says a lot about the 'business' of restaurant reviews in Bangkok.

          2. b
            brady60611 RE: andycolombia Oct 28, 2008 08:51 PM

            Hi - there are *sooo* many little great places to eat in Bangkok. With that said, about 5-6 years ago I took 5 days of cooking classes at the Bangkok cooking class and well, I've been eating thai food at home since then. Its probably one of the more useful ways I've spent five days of my life. I would highly recommend taking an afternoon of classes - lots of hands on fun.

            I also dined there once and it was ok - a bit overdone for my tastes and you do feel foolish spending that type of money knowing you could get amazing street food. Actually, maybe I've been lucky, but just about everytihng I've ate in Bangkok has been delicious.

            2 Replies
            1. re: brady60611
              klyeoh RE: brady60611 Oct 29, 2008 10:40 PM

              I can't agree more with you, brady60611. Thai food is pretty standard and, when done properly, tastes pretty much the same whether you're having a particular dish in a street-side stall or a 5-star hotel outlet in Bangkok, or even a casual Thai eatery in Thaitown, Los Angeles.

              1. re: klyeoh
                brady60611 RE: klyeoh Oct 30, 2008 09:50 AM

                I wouldn't so much characterize thai food as pretty standard - some of those pushcarts serve pretty awesome food. I would say there is great food just about anywhere in bangkok. The 5 star hotels also serve some amazing food.

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