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By Dave DeWitt
Recipes in this article:
Kae Phad Prik (Chillied Lamb)
Laab Ped (Duck Salad with Chillies)
Tow-hu Paew Wan (Sweet & Sour Tofu)
Kanom Kluai (Banana-Coconut Cones)
Another London restaurant recommended by Pat Chapman was Blue Elephant, sister restaurant to La Porte des Indes, and owned by the same restaurant group. Pat and Dominique couldn't join us because they were traveling to—of all places—Thailand to check out the new Blue Elephant in Phuket, but they assured us that our meal would be a great as theirs. And I'm sure it was!
Blue Elephant began in 1980 when Khun Nooror Somany, living in Brussels, convinced her husband, Karl Steppe to back her idea for a fine dining Thai restaurant. It was a huge success and the pair opened restaurants of the same name in London, Paris, and Copenhagen. Now, in addition to the above locations, there are Blue Elephants in Bangkok, Lyon, Dubai, Bahrain, Malta, Beirut, Jakarta, and Phuket. The name originated from blue, the royal color of the Thai flag, and the national animal of Thailand, the elephant. There is also a saying, “if you see a blue elephant, you will never forget it.”
It will be very difficult for us to forget the Blue Elephant in London. Their promotional brochure enthusiastically describes it: “Walking into a blue Elephant restaurant dazzles the senses. It is a world of lush plants and trickling fountains. The scent of tropical flowers mingles with the heady aroma of exotic herbs and spices flown in fresh from the Far East.
Blue Elephant is a total sensory concept based on the very best of traditional Thai Beauty, charm and courtesy.”
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