Perfect from start-to-finish, my first experience at The Elephant Walk on Beacon Street in Boston was one that we delayed for far too long. I don’t know why had never eaten there before, but the Altos Las Hormigas wine tasting that was held there earlier in the evening was an ideal excuse for dinner for two.
My husband met me at the restaurant, and we were quickly taken to a table overlooking Beacon Street. The dining room by the front windows was mostly full, but the tables are spaced far enough apart that the conversations of others aren’t intermingling with your own.
Continuing with my love for cocktails that incorporate ginger, I ordered the perfect Lemon Ginger Martini. Cold, tart, with a hit of ginger spice, this cocktail was refreshing and also really delightful with all of the flavorful food we ordered.
The extensive menu at The Elephant Walk features Cambodian and French cuisine and offers many vegan and gluten-free options, making it an ideal place for groups with mixed eating styles. We had a really hard time deciding on what to order, even though we had checked out the menu online at home. There are still so many things on The Elephant Walk menu that I want to try.
I was pretty hungry, so we decided on four appetizers and an entrée to share.
Rouleaux (We had the vegan version.)
Cambodian spring rolls filled with pork, peanut, noodles, carrot and onion; served with greens and herbs for wrapping and tuk trey for dipping
These were crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and perfect for nestling inside a bit of lettuce with crunchy sprouts and the slightly salty dipping sauce. Yum.
A timbale of diced raw tuna, avocado, lemongrass, shallot and “French” mint; tossed in a dressing of Asian spices and peanuts; with baby greens
This was pure tuna tartare bliss with so many flavors and textures going on. I am crazy about a well-made tuna tartare, and this was it. The tuna was so fresh and balanced perfectly with the avocado, and was seated atop a ripe tomato disk. The dressing was out of this world, and we ate every single bit of the greens that accompanied it.
The lighting was not great for photos, and since I was in date mode, decided to put the camera away. We also ordered the following:
Ground pork simmered in coconut milk with sliced garlic, peanuts and chili pods; served with crispy rice
I don’t eat a lot of pork, but the Nataing sounded interesting. It was incredible. Poured over beds of crunchy rice, it was creamy and coconutty.
Shredded cabbage, carrot and chicken with red bell pepper, onion, crushed peanut, mint, Asian basil and tuk trey
The salad provided a crunchy, light contrast to the Nataing and would be a dish that I would order every time for its freshness and added nutrition to the meal.
A Cambodian signature dish – a spicy, steamed, custard-like preparation of fresh crab, shellfish and Asian grouper with coconut milk and complex Khmer seasonings and garnished with cilantro and red bell pepper
The Amok Royal was my least favorite, and I probably would not order it again. It had a slightly fishy taste, and some of the seasonings were slightly overpowering in an almost floral way. This was the entrée portion, and by the time it arrived, I was pretty full, so I let the hubby dig in.
Our server was fantastic, swooping in and out, somehow noticing that our drinks were empty even though our glasses were hidden from view by a candle and salt/pepper shakers. She was friendly, helpful, and provided the perfect level of service.
As you can tell, we were incredibly pleased with The Elephant Walk. I had some high expectations based on the ambitious menu, and I was delighted that it lived up to those expectations. The Elephant Walk gets five stars in my book, and I can not wait to return for dinner and to try their brunch. They also offer cooking classes which I would love to check out this year.
Have you ever been to The Elephant Walk or eaten somewhere with cuisine from several different cultures?