Foodies visiting Bangkok or Phuket are spoiled for choice. The Thai capital has long been regarded as one of the best food destinations in Asia while Phuket has been nicknamed the ‘Island of Gastronomy’. And with so many incredible food experiences waiting to be enjoyed, it’s an almost impossible task to pick out the best restaurants to visit. But whichever criteria you use, Blue Elephant would have to be high up on the list of must-visit restaurants in Bangkok and Phuket. Both venues are listed in the Michelin Food Guide and commended for serving authentic Thai food with premium local ingredients. And not only is the food superb, the setting is sublime too. If all that isn’t enough to tempt you, Blue Elephant also hosts two of the best cooking schools in Thailand.
The creative force behind Blue Elephant is Chef Nooror. Born in Chachoengsao province east of Bangkok, she has always enjoyed a close connection with food. As a youngster, her family owned a small restaurant where she learnt classic Thai recipes from her mother. When she was older, Chef Nooror moved to Europe to broaden her food knowledge and learn about French cuisine.
Chef Nooror helped to pioneer Thai cuisine in Europe when she opened the first Blue Elephant restaurant in Brussels in 1980. From the start, Chef Nooror focused on high quality food and a fine-dining experience. That same commitment to quality was maintained when Chef Nooror and her husband opened Blue Elephant in Bangkok in 2002 followed by the sister restaurant in Phuket in 2010. The charismatic celebrity chef can still be seen at local markets in Bangkok and Phuket sourcing quality local ingredients for her dishes. Recognised as an ambassador for Thai food, Chef Nooror helps pass on her knowledge to new generations through the Blue Elephant cooking schools.
Quality Thai food
Blue Elephant is notable for using fresh, premium local ingredients. In many cases, the fruit and vegetables used are organic and sourced from Thailand’s Royal Projects. Diners at the restaurant can look forward to a menu that covers a range of classic Thai dishes together with some contemporary additions. The Blue Elephant’s ‘Forgotten Recipes’ pay homage to the cuisine of old Siam while the ‘Thai Classics’ feature the likes of red curry and pad Thai. And adding a modern twist to the menu are the ‘Chef’s Creations’ which include a host of creative recipes some of which reflect the Thai Taste Therapy concept and extols the health benefits of Thai food. The restaurants in Bangkok and Phuket also sell their own range of premium curry pastes and seasonings for you to take home.
Bangkok Blue Elephant restaurant and cooking school
Listed in the Michelin Guide, Blue Elephant Bangkok is housed in a classic heritage building. Conveniently located in the Sathorn area of Bangkok adjacent to the Surasak BTS Skytrain station, the restaurant provides a wonderful dining experience. Order the tasting menu to sample a range of regal recipes or enjoy a variety of Thai favourites including tom yum kung, giant prawn pad Thai, and tod mun banana blossom. During the day, Blue Elephant Bangkok also hosts a popular cooking school.
Phuket Blue Elephant restaurant and cooking school
Like its sister restaurant in the Thai capital, Blue Elephant Phuket is located in an elegant heritage building. The Sino-Portuguese mansion, known locally as Phra Pitak Chinpracha, is located in the historic heart of Phuket Town and was the former residence of the Governor of Phuket. The photogenic building and manicured grounds provide the setting for a memorable dining experience. Highly recommended are the classic Southern Thai dishes such as moo hong, massaman curry, and Phuketian fish cakes. As with the sister restaurant in Bangkok, Blue Elephant Phuket is listed in the Michelin Guide and also hosts a hand-on cooking school where you can learn more about Thai food. As Chef Nooror herself says, “Just remember, cooking is an art, so be your own artist”.
Visit Blue Elephant
Blue Elephant Bangkok is open Monday-Sunday from 11.30am-9pm. To see the menu or book a table, visit the website here:
Blue Elephant Phuket is open Monday-Sunday from 11.30am-9pm. To see the menu or book a table, visit the website here:
Photos: Blue Elephant Facebook page
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