The Eloquent Elephant Friday Crunch Brunch, The Taj Hotel
Brunch Reviews | In Unspecified on June 26th, 2018
We must admit, we did have to google the Eloquent Elephant before our visit, both in terms of what to expect and in fact where to go… Set under the imposing shadow of the Burj Khalifa, at the base of the Executive Towers in Business Bay and somewhere just off to the left and around the corner is nestled what can truly be called a hidden little gem! THE FOOD We entered the venue through the back entrance through the main reception of the Taj Hotel (unintentionally) and were immediately immersed into the story of traditional British gastropub which had clearly been given a contemporary facelift that was in stark contrast to the bright regal façade of the hotel lobby we had just recently walked through. With dark wooden panels, light fittings inspired by glass vessels used in wine making, vintage style decorations made from repurposed wooden drinks crates, classic Hendricks Gin black boards and a feature wall depicting historically comical portraits of distinguished looking gentleman with elephant heads. With no buffet in sight, we took our seats at a small table with comfy green leather chairs near to the clouded glass windows and had the manager come over and introduce the concept to us, whilst delivering some pink and purple prawn crackers which were cleverly shaped into an elephants head. He jovially remarked that because it was relatively quiet in the restaurant, he would be acting as Manager, Barman, Waiter and everything else in between. He wasn't lying. The menu is helpfully divided into sections and we sampled a few dishes from each, starting with the eggs Florentine with truffle hollandaise, the grilled chicken with mixed leaves and a honey dressing, and finally, some of the finest scrambled eggs we have ever tasted (sorry mum!). They were creamy, rich, seasoned to perfection and served with smoked salmon, avocado and farmhouse Bread. The starters were all substantially portioned and presented wonderfully with golden truffle hollandaise oozing serenely from the top of the poached eggs and the thin crispy waves of the farmhouse bread stacked with impeccable dexterity. The bar had been set, and we were excited to see what was next on our "gourmet gastropub" experience. Teased by the good-humour of the pubs menu, we nearly ordered the Elephant Curry, which in brackets exclaims that it does not contain actual Elephant! The menu contains a selection of staple pub grub items such as beer battered fish & chips with mushy peas, a roast and a fish choice of the day, a homemade pie, gnocchi with mushroom, spinach and truffle oil and a homemade pie & mash. Eventually, Mrs Brunch chose the Eloquent wagyu burger with secret eloquent cheese which was a little cold in the centre, even though she had asked for it to be cooked medium rare. I fared a lot better with my main of Beef Cheek which was so tender I could eat it with my spoon. This was served with a sweet potato puree and delicately placed parsnips. For dessert, or something sweet as it is called on the menu, the choices were either a sticky toffee pudding, cheese & crackers, an apple tart tatin with custard ice cream, and finally a lemon meringue pie. We eventually decided on the cheese board and the novel additional option to create your own sundae with a choice of ice cream flavours and toppings such as pick n mix, popcorn, chocolate or toffee sauce and a berry compote, served neatly in a quirky jam jar.