Latest Restaurant Review (The Blue Elephant)

The former Elephant and Castle in Ketley has fond memories for me, seeing in the New Year with large plasma screens, loud music and a great atmosphere, I may be going back a few years but it is good to see that the well known venue in the heart of Ketley continues to be a popular restaurant.

I have to admit I am a keen fan of fine Indian Cuisine but my wife Ann tends to find it difficult to find mild dishes that agree with her taste buds, she was soon put at ease when owner Ali Ahmed sat us down in the lounge area and asked what flavours we liked, an impressive start.  Ali took time to go through the menu and identified dishes that he felt had all the necessary ingredients to create the perfect dish for us.  Ali has owned the restaurant since the conversion three years ago and has been in the industry all of his life, his family own four restaurants in total and is also a chef.  Ali’s co-owner Masuk Miah is also head chef.

Ali’s passion for food was so apparent, and of course his customer service skills, customers were arriving and being greeted on first name terms, regulars it seemed who came back for the Blue Elephant experience, Ali informed me that one regular moved to Wales and often collects a takeaway while passing through Telford!

We didn’t examine the extensive menu, we didn’t need to. We trusted Ali with his recommendations.  The restaurant is large and has many different sections to be seated, ideal for parties and business meetings.   Popadoms to begin, with a selection of dips which were delicious, in fact I finished one of the dips completely; it was so moorish!

Now to see if Ali’s recommendations were correct, our starters arrived and they looked incredible, presentation was also top of the list for the Blue Elephant.  I had decided on Tawa Kebab, succulent chicken fillets seasoned with light spices and cooked on a traditional Indian Tawa priced at £3.50, outstanding value, the sweet and sour taste was fantastic, a generous portion.

Ann’s dish was equally as good King Prawn Asanok priced at £3.95, usually fairly spicy with battered potatoes, however Ali made it mild for her, and she wasn’t disappointed, plenty of flavours and perfectly cooked King Prawns with delicious potatoes.  Value for money on the starters was exceptional.

We were excited to see what mains Ali had recommended to suit our taste requirements, I had chosen Ali’s special, a new sizzling fusion dish, which consists of boneless chicken cooked with strips of onion, pepper, green chillies, fresh palok and cloves of garlic priced at £9.95 and served with rice.  Once again the dish looked incredible, and the taste didn’t disappoint, by far my favourite Indian dish to date, Ali had listened to my requirements and had delivered!  I felt almost embarrassed to ask but I had to request a side portion of chips, it had to be done!  The chillies were perfect not too hot but just enough kick to enjoy my meal.

Ann a keen fan of Korma’s and Masala, had chosen the Murgh Amdani, succulent chicken Tikka prepared in Tandoor then exclusively cooked with Mango in a fresh cream sauce, a fruity mild creamy dish also served with rice priced at £10.95.  Ali had told us that this was a popular dish for those who prefer a milder dish.  Presentation again was fantastic and the taste equally as good, Ann thoroughly enjoyed the rich creamy flavours more so than her usual choice of Korma, finally I have found an Indian dish that Ann thoroughly enjoyed!!

Normally on food reviews we sample three courses, but neither of us could manage a dessert, although a large selection to choose from, this was a first, well done Ali!

The Blue Elephant offer a Banquet menu every Tuesday, four courses for only £9.95, amazing value, and also offer 20% discount on all collection orders and are open 7 days a week including bank holidays and even Christmas Day 5.30pm to 11.30pm.

The restaurant was voted by readers of the Shropshire Star first place for finest cuisine in Shropshire.  They also have a five star hygiene rating from Telford & Wrekin Council and a Quality food award.

If you haven’t already tried the Blue Elephant and you enjoy fine Indian Cuisine then you must pay a visit I am confident you will not be disappointed with the warm welcome from Ali and his team and the high quality food, and don’t forget to ask for help on choosing the perfect dish for you, it is well worth it!

By Michael and Ann Haines

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