Where: The Elephant Walk – 2067 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, MA 02140
When: April, 2012
With the Elephant Walk just a few blocks from where I live its a wonder why I haven’t been there more than once in the last 5 years. My last experience wasn’t particularly uplifting (company, not the food or service) so had to give it another go. We had just gotten one of those groupons (what are they called when they are not from Groupon?) from Google Offers for the Elephant Walk so chose to go there the same night for dinner. Of course we forgot the actual groupon so knew we would have to go back again soon. The pressure was on to like it, knowing we’d be eating there again.
We were seated quickly and the service was excellent. Our server was really knowledgeable about traditional Cambodian food as well as French. She was able to answer Libby’s questions without missing a beat (Libby having lived in Vietnam is a lot more knowledgeable about this cuisine than I am). The space is airy and open with high ceilings. It was busy but didn’t feel chaotic. We also had the added benefit of sitting next to two ladies maybe 10 years older than us who were discussing past relationships, especially one that was particularly narcissistic. I am sure we often make our dining neighbors try to eavesdrop as well.
Libby got the Amok Royal: A Cambodian signature dish – a spicy, steamed, custard-like preparation of fresh crab, shellfish and Southeast Asian catfish with coconut milk and complex Khmer seasonings; garnished with cilantro and red bell pepper. She loved it.
I got the Crevettes Amrita: Natural shrimp sautéed in a lightly sweet and spicy Cambodian satay sauce with coriander, cumin, cardamom, galangal, cinnamon, ginger, peanuts, star anise and lemongrass; with button mushroom, onion and scallion. I barely stopped to talk during dinner, it was delicious. The portions are generous and flavors worked really well together. I’ve actually since considered getting this dish for take away as I have still been thinking about it.
Overall, the service and atmosphere were great and our meals were both delicious. The menu is extensive so you may be in trouble if you have a hard time making decisions. We did think the prices were a little steep for a the meals. Both were excellent, as I said, but we were surprised that most dishes were close to $20 for the area and ingredients.
I was also excited to find that The Elephant Walk has a bar downstairs, I had no idea! Porter Sq doesn’t have a ton of bars that I like to go to so this is on my list as places to go for a drink or two when in the neighborhood.