Thai Elephant: Decent Thai Food at Decent Prices in Zamalek
Nile Zamalek Hotel
The most peculiar thing about the Zamalek restaurant is that it looks more like a tapas restaurant or saloon bar than it does an establishment offering fine cuisine and complex dishes. Old wood flooring, painfully basic seating, high ceilings and the occasional flamenco song over the speakers all add up something just a little bit strange. There’s even a bar at the back that would look great with a few colourful margaritas lined across it.
Despite an array of interesting starters, few were available. The nue yang ta khrai (39LE) – better known as grilled beef marinated in lemon grass – makes for a decent starter. Slender squares of beef come served in a dish with a garnishing of vegetables and a mysterious brown dressing in a small bowl. Said brown dressing is a dilution of soy sauce, vinegar and red pepper. It’s a welcome addition, as the lemongrass marinade is indiscernible. The beef itself is a mixed bag. Some pieces were overcooked, while the smaller, thinner pieces had a great charcoal crisp.
There’s little to criticise about Thai Elephant. There’s no flash or aesthetic flair, but it doesn’t need it. With excellent prices, the kitchen delivers; that’s all you can really ask of a restaurant.