Phat Elephant restaurant in ANZAC Square is hugely popular. It is busy every lunchtime and seems to have a good number of evening clientele as well. Nestled amid the many nearby office blocks and shops and close to Central Station, it has a prime location. It is big, airy and spacious and the huge windows overlook Adelaide Street. Its decor is modern Thai fusion with plants, lots of glass and wood. The restaurant is celebrating Australia Day with a special dish: Pad Thai Pie.
The Phat Elephant manager said that they, "Pride themselves on delivering authentic Thai dishes that are tailored to the local taste. So what better way to celebrate the National holiday than by creating a culinary masterpiece that blends Thai favourite with the old iconic Aussie meat pie?" The limited edition dish features Phat Elephant's signature Pad Thai baked inside a peanut crusted pastry, creating a combination of flavours and fusion of culture you never knew you needed.
Phat Elephant at Night (May Cross)
I love Pad Thai and I commend the restaurant for trying something new. I think it is important for restaurants to be creative and update their menus to give variety and keep it fresh. The prawn Pad Thai Pie ($16.90) was beautifully presented on a banana leaf on an on-trend wooden platter.
The pie looked golden with crisp flaky pastry. It was served with crunchy bean sprouts and lemon with spices and crushed peanuts on the side, so that you can add your own quantities. The noodles were sweet but there were only four prawns in the pie. They also have a limited edition chicken Pad Thai Pie ($15.90). This special is available for one week only over the Australia Day long weekend.
Prawn Pad Thai Pie (May Cross)
My friend ordered the Green Papaya Salad with soft-shell crab. I thought it was a good choice as Brisbane is home to the lucrative soft-shell crab market. Again, the food was beautifully presented.
Thai Salad (May Cross)
Cold water was offered immediately and placed on the table when we entered and I loved the little Thai metal drinking vessels. A nice touch! Orange juice was prettily presented in a tall glass like a mocktail with a glittery Phat Elephant swizzle stick. The fresh coconut drinks looked good too. My only complaint about the drinks is that they are still using plastic straws.
The place was packed this particular lunchtime and obviously caters for the big office-worker crowd. The other diners were noisily happy and all the other meals I observed looked lovely. There was one large group of 14, so the restaurant is big enough to cater for larger parties.
Phat Elephant Kitchen (May Cross)
Lunchtime Crowd (May Cross)
Sampling Thai street food is a popular activity for visitors (like me) in Thailand. It offers a taste of delectable Thai cooking traditions. But there is a fine line between street food and sit-down dining in Thailand. Thai food culture is communal and lively. It rewards those who are willing to take risks with new dishes (for the cooks as well as the consumers). The cuisine is a blend of old Eastern traditions and more modern Western influences. The ingredients are then harmoniously combined into something that is uniquely Thai. Enjoy!