Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Royal Cambodian Cuisine at The Elephant Walk (Cambridge, MA)

One of the restaurants I kept hearing about before moving to Boston was the high end Cambodian restaurant, Elephant Walk. It serves "royal" Cambodian cuisine along with French (which was traditionally served to the Cambodian royalties).

I started dinner with a strong appetizer, the Nataing ($8.50): Ground pork simmered in coconut milk with sliced garlic, peanuts and chili pods; served with crispy rice


Rouleaux ($7.50): Cambodian spring rolls filled with pork, peanut, noodles, carrot and onion; served with greens and herbs for wrapping and tuk trey for dipping.
Elephant Walk
They were good spring rolls but on the smaller side and seems mighty expensive for $7.50 for two small pieces.

The entree I loved most is the Amok Royal ($19.50): A cambodian signature dish - a spicy, steamed, custard-like preparation of fresh crab, shellfish and asian grouper with coconut milk khmer seasonings; garnished with cilantro and red bell pepper
amok royal 
This is the only place I've had this dish, so I cannot compare it to others, but this version is a soft, creamy custard filled with seafood. It's not really spicy but I love the flavors combined with white rice. It's also a harder to find Cambodian dish, so I'd return here for this.

Crevettes Amrita ($18.50) Natural shrimp sautéed in a lightly sweet and spicy Cambodian satay sauce with coriander, cumin, cardamom, galangal, cinnamon, ginger, peanuts, star anise and lemon grass; with button mushroom, onion and scallion
I like the shrimp dishes here, which are cooked nicely. The flavors at Elephant Walk is more subdued but still there.

Khar Saiko Kroeung ($19.50): Braised boneless short ribs, jasmine rice with scallion oil; garnished with daikon, cucumber and scallion
 The short ribs are tender, since the chef's French cooking techniques help here, but there weren't a lot of meat in this almost-$20 dish.

A typical Cambodian dish that you'd find at other restaurants (and also some Vietnamese restaurants): Loc Lac ($19.50): Cubed beef tenderloin lightly caramelized in black pepper, garlic and mushroom soy and served over lettuce with a lime dipping sauce

Overall, the food at Elephant Walk is good, but it's pretty expensive and a bit overpriced. Yes, the decor is certainly much better than the typical Asian restaurant, but for the most part the food wasn't that much better. There are some dishes that I did really like and would come back for, though: Nataing and Amok Royal.

Elephant Walk

Elephant Walk
2067 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140
(617) 492-6900
Elephant Walk on Urbanspoon


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