Blue Elephant, an established restaurant brand, has branches all over the world in 12 different countries. The group specialises in Royal Thai cuisine – a rich and exotic combination of flavours once uniquely created for the Royal Palace that has recently grown popular because of the global spread of Thai cooking.
The Phuket branch is based in a splendid, old Chinese-colonial style mansion set in sprawling grounds near the heart of the old quarter of Phuket Town. Fine dining set in opulent surroundings are the order of the day at Blue Elephant, Phuket branch.
Interested in this tour? Book it here.
Where Is Blue Elephant?
Situated on Krabi Road, in the centre of Phuket, Blue Elephant is not the easiest restaurant to find but if you head towards Thalang Road, it cedes into Krabi Road (see map) and the mansion is to be found at the corner of the two thoroughfares.
It is well signposted with ample parking space under the huge banyan tree in the gardens.
This is one of a rare breed of restaurants where the décor is well and truly centre stage, and deservedly so. Built in 1903, the mansion was at one time the governor’s residence.
Blue Elephant have lovingly renovated the impressive building, leaving the original green-and-white chequered tiled flooring that counterpoints neo-classical teakwood fittings and quasi-Chinese/ Thai/European decorations such as a spot-lit ‘hoon krabok’ puppet, lots of potted plants, Doric columns supporting white twin arches, a sweeping teak stairway and clever lighting throughout the mansion.
The attention to detail extends right down to fabulous brass cutlery and hand-beaten plates.
In such lavish, colonial-Chinese surroundings it’s easy to get transported into another, more genteel era. Piped-in Glen Miller-style music lends an ‘another-world’ feel while potted plants and palms more than help the other-epoch atmosphere along. Diners can choose between al-fresco fan-cooled dining or indoors, air-conditioned comfort.
In sharp contrast, an L-shaped 35-seater bar at the entrance with its fluorescent under-lit bar, white modernistic seating and blue-and-white theme is a complete flip of the coin.
In keeping with the setting, the three house reds are from Thailand while a broad range of old world and new world labels keep the options open from basic French table wine to more adventurous fare.
Special mention should be made of the bar at the front doors of the mansion. It not only looks good but the award-winning barman mixes a mean cocktail and our vodka martinis were very professionally done.
Classic Royal Thai Cuisine is a richly-flavoured arrangement, each dish contrasting its companions yet it intermeshes easily and can even share the same plate.
Some dishes at Blue Elephant are prefixed by ‘forgotten’, such as the ‘forgotten beef curry’ and this is to signify that they have long been in disuse and subsequently resurrected by the restaurant’s Executive Chef Nooror.
A foie gras in tamarind sauce and startlingly fresh eggplant salad with grilled scallops and a hint of truffle oil both shine while buffalo satay with peanut sauce is also a great starter. The retro theme with modern execution continues with a rich chicken and cashew mix accompanied by steamed bass in lemon sauce and a classic green curry. This is all served with a welcome choice of red or white organic jasmine rice.
The concept of looking up old recipes and rehashing them is a clever idea and, what with the palatial surroundings, dining at Blue Elephant, Phuket, is certainly an impressive dining experience.
Marriages and Cooking School
Blue Elephant ‘Governor Mansion’ is an ideal location for marriage celebrations. The grounds and spacious rooms allow for any number of marriage arrangements – all this with great food, too.
If you appreciate the fine art of Thai Royal Cuisine you may want to learn how to cook it at home and Blue Elephant is just the place for you to learn the intricacies and tricks of the trade.
Exemplary; the vodka martini aperitif was a perfect mix, staff members have a confident level of English, dishes were served correctly and promptly disposed of.
Blue Elephant also organises special gastronomic events such as Mekhong Elite Table, that shows that ‘the Spirit of Thailand’ can be the perfect accompaniment to the national cuisine.
Blue Elephant Restaurant
- Opening Hours: Open daily 11:30 – 14:30 and 18:30 – 22:30
- Location: 96 Krabi Road, Phuket Town.
- Tel: +66 (0)76 354 355 - +66 (0)76 354 357