Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Elephant, Section 17, PJ - A Whiff Of Lemongrass Like No Other

IMG_2896 "Where's the party?" she asked for the 249th time.

"Wait and see lah," I said.

"You mean it's a surprise? Your surprises normally backfire, don't they?" she sniggered.

Pretty Pui was right. It is not human nature to keep secrets. As Sam and I toiled on the floral arrangements for the party that afternoon (a pre-wedding party of sorts and a bon voyage party to a certain extent), someone out there, in all naivety, was spilling the beans to Pretty Pui. SIGH.

IMG_2378 My Elephant, a Thai restaurant in the middle of a residential area in Section 17, was the chosen location. It was perhaps an unlikely place, but I was drawn to the relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere at this simple and cozy restaurant. The term "less is more" is personified here. Sharp lines and stark walls in the wrong hands can easily spell disaster, but in this case, personal touches like candles and multicoloured cushions, a handful of quirky looking elephants, and personable employees tipped the scale, effectively turning it into a place akin to a home. Also, having tried the food here before, I could vouch for the tasty fare. The staff of the restaurant had done a great job in translating my requirements. We provided the floral arrangements and the candles, and they did the rest. From the circular pieces of fragrant banana leaves on the plates to the leaf-wrapped glasses with stems of chrysanthemum attached to each glass, the final result was a contrast of cemented walls and exposed bricks against the muted colours of the flowers and the mellow light from the pillar candles. IMG_2893

IMG_2890 The Nam Prik Kapi came out first to quell the hunger pangs while waiting for the last guests to arrive. I'm not sure if it succeeded in suppressing anything as the first thing I did was to reach for my refreshing pandan (screwpine leaf)cooler. The prawn paste chili dip for the long strips of vegetables was very good and also VERY HOT. And that's the thing about me. I love spicy food, but I cry buckets of tears because of my low tolerance for chili. A case of my roots gone wrong? (Mum, Dad, why why??)

Deep fried popiah

The deep fried popiah was stuffed with braised glass noodles, dried shrimp and an assortment of vegetables. This, I like, because of the thin and very crisp skin which meant that it was freshly made. Trust me, I can write volumes about tough soggy fried popiahs that would make War and Peace look like child's play. Ok, maybe not.

Tom Som What's Thai food without a soup? The Tom Som seafood soup infused with galangal, lemongrass and lime was a lesson in deception. Who would have thought a clear soup such as that could pack a punch in a tiny bowl. My pandan cooler came to the rescue again. But masochist that I am, no one could stop me from taking a second, and third, refill of the delicious soup.

Snow Fish

One of the house specialties is the Snow fish which is essentially a salt-baked fish served with a green chili sauce. Remove the hardened baked skin and see the very moist flesh revealed beneath. Just be careful not to let any of the salt fall into the fish or you'll have to reach for the pandan cooler (again). Also, instead of turning the fish over to reach the flesh beneath, gently pry away the centre bone to get to the part below. This is to prevent the salt from getting into the fish. There's only so much pandan cooler that one can consume.

Plah Nung Manow

We also got to try Plah Nung Manow, steamed fish in lime, garlic and chili padi dressing. I liked the sauce with shredded mango bits which added much needed texture. Very nice. Only a sense of decorum prevented me from sucking on the bones.

Gai Tod The Gai Tod was a bit puzzling as I couldn't quite figure out the meat inside. But then again, it was coated in flour so it could have just as easily been fried squid or fried prawns or fried chicken. Anyway, it was chicken. Chicken nuggets, to be specific. Fried with kaffir lime leaf, garlic and crushed peppercorn.

mixed vegetables The mixed vegetables with lotus roots made up the requisite quota for green stuff.

Yum Woon Sen I enjoyed eating the Yum Woon Sen (glass noodles with seafood). The noodles were springy and went wonderfully with the seafood in the slightly tangy sauce. The dish was rich with the flavours from the prawns, lime juice, fish sauce and chopped coriander. This is undoubtedly one of my favourite salads and it feels so healthy...almost like diet food! (Unfortunately, I can't vouch for the nutritional value of this dish, although it certainly passes the taste test.)

Duck curry

What I thought was effectively the best dish that night was the Duck Curry. Roast duck is used in this dish which is cooked in a red curry together with slices of avocado and whole rambutans. This was, not surprisingly, a good combination. The tender duck meat provided a contrast to the smooth and creamy texture of the avocado while the rambutans added a natural sweetness to the curry. If you'd like to try this dish, do call in advance to order it (preferably a day's notice) as preparing this dish is a time-consuming affair.


Was the party a success? I'd like to think that it was. Looking at the happy faces and how they talked about it (food and fun) for days on end, I suppose we achieved our objective. The smiles say it all. :-)

There is a Part 2. Look out for it. ;-)

If you'd like to know what others have been saying about My Elephant, click HERE and HERE and HERE. Note that prices are very VERY reasonable.



My Elephant

My Elephant
Block C-G4 Happy Mansion
Jalan 17/13, Section 17
46400 Petaling Jaya
Business Hours: Tuesday to Sunday (except Sunday lunch)
Lunch: 12.00 p.m. - 2.30 p.m.
Dinner: 6.00 p.m. - 10.00 p.m.
Tel: Patrick 012 328 5028


Kenny said...

Great friends sharing Great foods, nothing will be better than that.

team bsg said...

a great sophisticated post with tender subtle passion cleverly laced with multiflavored multidimensional tastes which will take plenty time for our simple palates to savor , but we will

Nic (KHKL) said...

wow! definitely a "living" and "breathing" post (hehehe)...those pics are good! and who would have thought duck, avocado, rambutan and curry could blend in so well? nice.

daphne said...

How did u manage to keep it a surprise is amazing. Great arrangement!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

wow..what an impressive party..i really want to try all those thai food but i think i need a couple of pitchers of pandan cooler by my sides..

Kenny Mah said...

Very nice. I was so looking forward to a blog on this surprise party you were telling me about. You did a GREAT job! I can see all the love and care that went into the planning...

...lucky for you the pandan coolers weren't alcoholic, else by the end of the party, the way you appear to be pounding them away, hehe...

Ooh and the roast duck/avocado/rambutan curry sounds like a crazycool fusion idea! :)

Big Boys Oven said...

Looks incredible!!! OMG!!!! Lovely, lovely & lovely!!!

gRaCe said...

hmm... after looking at the photos u took and the review u wrote, i think i shud pay the restaurant another visit. i went there when they newly open.. and it wasnt a very good experience but my friend did told me that they changed the chef.

JOjo said...

The food looks good and it's so wonderful to have so many friends gather together!

My Elephant, will make my way there the next time im in SS17.

Btw, i've linked you up in my blog(cos i enjoy reading your blog, Malaysian just love food~)
Hope you can link me up too.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

kenny: You got that right. :-)

team bsg: U have simple palates?? ROFL.

nic: I see you've been doing your toilet reading. ;-)

daphne: it's a lot of hard work...very stressful indeed! But the rewards are worth it. :-) Ummmm....u need a florist for ur wedding? :-P

Joe: Trust me, it's worth the pandan coolers!!

Kenny Mah: Oh, what I didn't mention in the post was that we were spiking our drinks with whisky! hehehe.

BBO: The food not only looks good, it tastes good too! That's their winning formula.

Grace: They have a Thai chef. Not sure if they changed chefs though. The thing is, try not to go to a restaurant when it's just opened. Let them get it right first, then visit in a couple of months after their opening. :-)

Jojo: Section 17 PJ, not SS17 yar. I'll check out your blog. Thanks. :-)

Precious Pea said...

What a great party and congrats to the bride! Lovely food and great companies, what else to ask for. Good job sista!

msiagirl said...

I'm sure that if you planned this, that all the details would have been carefully thought out and beautifully executed. Looking gorgeous as usual xx

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Precious Pea: You're right. It was a wonderful evening!

Msiagirl: You're too kind. When you come down, we'll plan a party for you too, k. :-D

Sze said...

don't know how you do it - your pictures are always excellent. how do you get the light like that? i say quit the day job and do this full time!

Cynthia said...

Well from the look on everyone's face, I'd say the party was more than a huge success! Looking forward to part 2.

The food - OMG!!!

Imbi & Itchy said...

went searching for this place one day without its address but ended up in food foundry. thanks for the map provided, will definately make it this time ...

barbie said...

LL dear, good job done as usual. Almost made me wished I was there. Almost. BTW, I'm seeing the "bean spiller" tonite. U want me to chew her out??? ;-)

k.t.x said...

now, i m thinking should i reveal my birthday to just kinda...expect something...hehehe!

very diva like kinda party huh??? niceeeeeeeeeee.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Sze: Aiyoh girl, you're too kind lar. I tried joining a photography outfit a few years back, but they never called me back after my first session. hahaha.

cynthia: yes, everyone had a great time! I'm so happy! Part 2 is coming up real soon. :-)

lianne: glad to be of help. I got a more detailed map if you want.

barbie: I already saw her, and decided not to chew her out. She's just naive lar. hehehe. (next time, i'm telling the bean spiller the plan just 20 minutes before the actual event!)

ktx: so when is it? :-P (not promising anything tho. hahahhaha)

MeiyeN said...

Wow.... very nice pictures, especially da steamed fish, so gorgeous! :D would love to try this place.. and that's of course i after i am fully recovered since i can't take spicy food now! :D

yammylicious said...

i really in love wif ur snaps.. ao amaze..

elephat oh elephat.. i'm lost while finiding it.. sakit kepala!
impressive party~ enjoy ..

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Meiyen: Good idea to recover first. A lot of the dishes are quite spicy. I'm sure u're gonna enjoy the food!

yammylicious: If you need a more detailed map, lemme know. But this map is pretty good too. Don't get lost yar.

Jason said...

One word. Gorgeous. :)

gRaCe said...

i went there when they newly opened cuz one of the partners of My Elephant is my friend.. but of cuz ther're hiccups here n there... ;o)

MamaBoK said...

Nice..! what a big group... ;)