The Elephant Walk’s décor, at least at the Boston location we were at, reminded me of one of those elegant restaurants you’d find in the middle of a random Vermont town. It was as if you had stepped into someone’s (really nice) living room.
I was first won over by my spicy martini—but you know me and spicy drinks… so I'm biased.But on to the important part: the food. The idea of the restaurant is that there are three categories you can choose from: Traditional Cambodian dishes, original Cambodian dishes (e.g. Elephant Walk original dishes), and original French dishes (also Elephant Walk original dishes, but French). We mixed it up and tried a bit of everything.
First we started with the vegetarian rouleaux (which was also vegan) - Cambodian spring rolls with shiitake mushroom, carrot, onion, bean sprout, peanut, and beanthread, served with fresh greens and vegetarian tuk trey. This was a traditional Cambodian dish. I really liked the sauce you dunked it in. Plus, the spring rolls were perfectly fried-- yum.
We also sampled the Crêpe de Canard aux Poires --you guessed it, an original French dish-- a savory crêpe filled with braised duck, pear, scallion, and crème fraîche. This sounds like the most delicious thing in the world, but it was kinda mushy and could've been executed better, IMHO.Next up, I pretty much forced everyone in to getting a tofu dish, so we tried the organic tofu amrita (also vegan) - "tofu, flash-fried and sautéed in a lightly sweet Cambodian satay sauce with coriander, cumin, cardamom, galangal, cinnamon, ginger, peanuts, star anis, and lemongrass; with button mushroom, onion, and scallions" (description straight from the menu).I really enjoyed this-- and wish I had known about its existence during my short period as a vegan. Finally, we also shared this original Cambodian dish--grilled pork tenderloin served with a caramelized sauce of black pepper, garlic, mushroom soy sauce and coconut milk. Despite my love of bacon, I really don't like pork all that much, but this sauce was so yummy I didn't really mind.Looking back, I enjoyed the Cambodian dishes the most. While The Elephant walk doesn't offer the most cutting edge cuisine, or the best meal you'll have in Boston, I'd still recommend The Elephant Walk for nights when you're craving Asian-- but don't feel like sitting in one of those empty restaurants, with the plastic tablecloths and the soft muzak, where you're thinking, "Why didn't I just take this home and sit on my couch?" You know you've been there... =)