20° & CLOUDY ON MONDAY 27 MARCH IN AUCKLAND
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I set out on a quest to find the duck’s nuts of Thai. My selection method? Google + number of top reviews = Blue Elephant.

Thai food seems to be the hallmark of a social night out with friends.  The BYO nature (Bernadino or Aquila – the choices are endless, my friends' classiness - limitless), tasty, yet safe food and a generally congenial atmosphere.  You can’t go wrong.  Where you can go wrong however is the location - Auckland has an abundance of Thai restaurants, and I’ve sampled many fantastic ones. But on St Patrick's Day I set out on a quest to find the duck’s nuts of Thai.  My selection method?  Google + number of top reviews = Blue Elephant.

“I hear you’re the best Thai in Auckland, how do you respond to that?” was my opening line when I called to make a booking.  “Well, I can’t speak for others, but we have the most top reviews on Google,” replied the waitress/owner aka Karen. She had me cold, booking made, we were locked in.

As it turns out, Blue Elephant is nestled just down the road from a few other Thai places in Parnell, but my God, this place was exceptional.  My group consisted of two hot, yet timid, women (“the mild dishes, thanks”), myself, and one hard-ass with a penchant for crippling pain-inducing spice levels.

The result was a range of meals, and in all honesty, they were all exceptional.  Hard-ass selected the chef’s special elephant ribs in thermonuclear sauce, resulting in much crying and sweating.  The girls’ dishes were both delicious, another chef’s special and the fried rice, while I tackled a yellow curry – pure goodness.  All meals are of generous proportions, and exquisitely made.

The service was good, with the owners providing a great atmosphere (they did make make a few slip-ups, but repented with free entrees), the BYO a little pricey at $10 per bottle corkage, but if you’re looking for a standout Thai meal and a good time with friends, Blue Elephant would rank as my top recommendation in Auckland.

The best bit however, was when my friends ripped on my Jewish upbringing, they were slapped down by an old American couple from Florida at the next table, who were also children of Israel. Sassed.

Published on March 19, 2012 by Vivian Huynh

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