Sadly one of my best friends in Malta is leaving the rock and moving back to her native Germany. I am incredibly sad and have been wanting the days to plod by so slowly but it seems to be finally upon us and she boards her plane tomorrow. I have pledged to visit her as often as is possible and really wish her the best of luck in this new chapter, whichever part of the world she ends up in!
We decided to have a farewell dinner at the Blue Elephant in the Portomaso marina and as I photograph pretty much everything anyway I figured I may as well do a lil review for you guys. It’s part of the Hilton Hotel so of course the location is lovely. It’s right on the harbour and there is outdoor seating where you can look over all the expensive apartments and boats, or there is indoor seating.
Indoors is decorated to the point of perfection. I’ve never been to Thailand but it honestly feels like you’ve left Malta and walked into Asia. No corner is left untouched, it’s really well thought out.
At one end is a waterfall feature that flows into a little lake that runs the length of the restaurant, complete with a bridge to get you to the other sections and enormous koi fish. The water from the fountain is quite loud, but we were sitting on a raised platform right next to it. It wasn’t really disruptive, just very noticeable. But the Blue Elephant is big enough that if the noise did irritate you could choose a table further away and not hear a thing.
My colleague Antonia (hey girl!) recently opened my eyes to the world of apéritifs and digestifs. She suggested I try martini bianco before a meal and I loved it. It may be psychological but I find myself able to eat slightly more and I find that the food just sits better. So I started with my martini bianco (on the rocks with a slice of lemon, no less), followed by a pomegranate cosmo which was so fruity and fresh and I couldn’t taste a drop of alcohol, which I prefer- I hate it when cocktails are so strong that you cringe as you drink them.
The presentation of everything is lovely. The drinks are pretty, adorned with fruit and flowers. The food is presented beautifully on gorgeous platters, wicker bowls and animal shapes. Most of the items you can even buy from the giftshop on the way out!
For food I went for;
CRISPY STUFFED CRAB SHELL / POO JA
Crispy crab shell stuffed with minced chicken and crab meat, accompanied by chilli sauce.
KAI HIMMAPAN & STICKY RICE
Stir-fried chicken suprema with pineapple, taro and onion; topped with cashew nuts and fried chilli.
BLUE ELEPHANT CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
A light white and dark chocolate mousse, flavoured with coconut flakes.
The service was great. We never had less than 3 staff members attending to us, and usually more. They’d have a number of people bringing our drinks and meals so there was never one person left without drink/food whilst everyone else had theirs. I hate in restaurants when the servers are bringing the meal out and call out the name of the dish and you have to tell them who is having what. In the Blue Elephant they obviously made a note of which seat ordered which dish so they just brought it straight to you and served. Our wine and water glasses never emptied and we experienced no long waits for food or refreshments.
The food itself… Blue Elephant isn’t cheap, but it’s not “cry as you look at the menu” expensive either. The dessert was amazing, by far the best course of the entire meal. But the rest of the food is OK, its nice, it’s good. I don’t think it’s quite outstanding or breathtaking. I would definitely go again for a gathering or occasion, as the overall experience- the setting, the service, the decor- is wonderful and it definitely is somewhere you should try at least once whilst on the island.