My brother and his girlfriend were interested in trying White Elephant Thai Cuisine and invited me to join them since they knew I wanted to try it as well. We ended up booking our reservations about 2 weeks out because they were so booked up. I had to look around upon stepping foot into the Pointe Inn hotel cause I didn’t see any signs for the restaurant itself. I ventured down the hallway and began to hear the clanging of dishes and chatter. The restaurant itself isn’t the nicest to look at and honestly could use a makeover and some decluttering. I had requested for a high chair when we made our reservations and to my surprise they don’t carry your typical wooden chairs that most restaurants carry. Instead, they have the style of high chair that one would have at home like this. It really wasn’t an issue except that it was super filthy, sticky and covered with grim. I wiped down the tray with a wet napkin and it turned black so I was really hesitant to put my baby in it. I tried anyways but he must’ve known it was filthy because he cried and and refused to sit in it. A warning for all those moms out there cause you know how it difficult it can be to try to eat with one hand while holding a very active baby with your other arm.
Well, on to the food. The menu is huge and we really had a difficult time trying to decide what to order. There were so many dishes that we wanted to try but not enough stomach space for it all.
We settled on two appetizers; the first to arrive was the Papaya Salad ($9.50). It was refreshing and had the salty, sweet and sour taste combination. I did wish it was a bit spicier though.
Shortly after, the Thai Chicken Satay ($12.50) arrived. 6 chicken skewers served with a peanut and cucumber sauce. This dish was a winner and really really good. The chicken was moist, flavorful and I loved the drizzle of coconut milk on it. The peanut sauce was peanutty and had a good depth of flavor. The cucumber sauce was refreshing and helped to cleanse our palates.
The Tom Yum Goong ($10.95 for large) with shrimp was flavorful but a bit too sour for our tastes. It was so sour it actually made our mouths pucker and by far the most sour Tom Yum soup I’ve ever had. The soup was loaded with lots of ingredients and the shrimp was not overcooked.
The Pineapple Fried Rice with Chicken ($13.95) was really good and we could clearly taste a nice sweetness from the pineapple. We loved the taste of this but wished all the ingredients in the fried rice were more uniformly cut. The carrots were thinly sliced and diced, the cabbage in large pieces and the chicken sliced and diced. I understand that fried rice is usually made to use up odds and ends sitting in your refrigerator but when dining in a restaurant I expect the fried rice to be of a higher quality.
The Peanut Sauce Stir Fried with Mix Vegetables and Beef ($12.95) was our least favorite dish. The peanut sauce was the same as the one served with our Chicken Satay and actually tasted quite good with the vegetables. However, the beef slices were so tough and chewy that it was nearly impossible for us to break it down enough to swallow. What a shame!
We couldn’t leave without trying one of their curries and decided on the Red Curry with Bamboo and Beef ($13.95). The curry was filled with beef slices, bamboo shoots and and bell peppers. The curry tasted great over rice but the beef was a bit chewy. I was hoping the curry base had more depth to it – perhaps next time I’ll try ordering it hot and with chicken to avoid the chewy beef.
The restaurant was really busy and they were turning away lots of walk-ins. Service was poor and practically non-existent. We sat there for a really long time looking for someone to flag down to take our order. When we finally did flag down one of the servers, she couldn’t take our order and had to grab a gentlemen to do it. Food was brought to our table and no one returned to ask how the food was. When we finished our meal, no one came by to clear the dishes so we had to flag someone down as well. Overall, the food was good but we had really high expectations based on all of the incredible reviews so we were left a bit disappointed.
1808 19 Street N.E
Calgary, AB T2E 4Y3