A running bar, reasonable prices, great ambience and delicious food makes White Elephant the perfect hotspot
Flourishing on the second floor, by neatly replacing the short-lived High on Thai, White Elephant is a refreshing changefrom the spate of Indian-Oriental restaurants in the city. Nicely divided between a breezy al fresco terrace and an indoor dining space with a cozy bar, there is still plenty of room even at extra busy meal times. We advise reservations on weekends and business lunches though.
The neat menu card carries just enough dining options at this no-nonsense place, so on cue, we too got to work. Little toques indicate the chef’s special so that is what we opted for. Kai hor bai taey, delicately marinated chicken in pandana leaves, was an interesting dish bursting with flavour and the spiced, skewered pieces of fresh basa fish, called pla yang, was intriguing too. Vegetarians, we highly recommend the khao pod tod nam prik pow — sinfully fried babycorn in crunchy rice tartlets. Do try the koonk phat prik horm sab which are delicious prawns tossed with chilli, onion and garlic in a sweet and spicy tamarind sauce. Keep the shrimp for the mains if the starters get too much though. The tom yum and tom kha soups are laden with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal and crushed chilli peppers hitting all the right notes as Thai soups are expected to do.
Thai green curry, redolent with spices, was served with a choice of steamed rice or sticky Jasmine rice. And we loved that they toss in plenty of meat in all the curries (and vegetables and tofu for veggies) so you’re not left swimming in gravy after the first helping.
Fish steamed with lemongrass in a coriander sauce, pla nung manow, is a simple but striking option if you want something lighter than lamb and are bored with chicken. A dose of phak phatbai graprow, or vegetables stir fried with chilli and basil, balances the meal nicely, especially with garlic flavoured soft noodles. Usual suspects such as pad Thai, fried rice and khao phat are also on the menu in meat and vegetarian options.
Finish with water chestnuts served with sweetened jasmine in coconut milk or opt for banana fritters with honey and sesame seed — only if you are not expected to be awake at work after! If you visit on a weekday, then the table d’hôte menu makes for an easy option with their specials all donning the section. This is one white elephant we certainly don’t want to dispose off!
`1,500 for two including alcohol.
At 100 Feet Road, Indiranagar. Details: 49652895
— Aakanksha Devi