If you’re in the mood for Thai food head on over to the Thai Elephant, located at 21-09 31st street.
Immediately, you walk into a quiet, comfortable dining room with smooth jazz, playing in the background.
It is the perfect little place to take an hour to relax by yourself or with a crowd, transporting you out of the stress of the real world while somehow keeping you in the hustle and bustle.
The décor draws Asian inspiration as it revolves mostly around elephant statuettes. The large storefront windows open up fully to allow you to enjoy the street while dining under a dim, but not too low, light.
The Thai iced tea comes to the table unmixed so you must remember to mix it slowly, as it could spill. Take a sip and you enjoy the amazing burst of flavor that coats your palate and cools you down. It is the perfect drink for a hot day. The orange color is intriguing and the flavor exceeds expectation.
When you order a lunch special, available from 11 a.m. To 3:30 p.m., it comes with a soup, a salad, and a crispy little spring roll. The salad is fresh and is topped with crispy noodles acting as croutons. There is also a great orange ginger dressing that is wonderfully refreshing, and what we have come to expect from Asian restaurants.
The spring roll is a small and crisp little roll. It is filled with soft vegetables and served with a sweet dipping sauce that pairs beautifully.
The soup that comes with the lunch special changes every day, and one not to miss out on is tom yum, a chicken and mushroom soup.
A bit salty and decently spicy, this soup is sure to cure any sore throat. The chicken is very tender and there is a great freshness of cilantro. The button mushrooms are soft but still retain a bit of a bite. If the soup is too spicy for you, two sips of that Thai iced tea will sooth your palate, but not your lips.
The red beef curry is delicious and served with a side of white rice. The beef is tender and has out-of-this-world flavor with a slight sweetness from the coconut milk. It is almost too good to stop eating. And note, the curry comes with a spicy scale from 1 to 10 so that you don’t get overloaded with a flaming taste.
The vegetables are tender but still hold a bit of a crisp creating a great textural balance in the dish. The rice is sweet and tender, and a great contrast to the spicy curry.
The chicken fried rice has a great presentation. It is wonderfully cooked and flavorful, it nearly melts in your mouth. The chicken is tender, the rice is cooked to perfection, and the flavors are just as good as the rest of the meal.
A place like this sounds like it would be packed at all times but the lunch rush is not that bad; it doesn’t start until after 1:00 p.m.
The food is filling and delicious. Dessert was not an option only because lunch was so filling. Two lunch specials, a Thai iced tea, and a soda costs $17.96. This place is definitely a must go.
To find out more about Thai Elephant, visit their website at thaielephant-astoria.com or call (718) 204-8827.
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