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You’re nothing without a moustache!?

In Elephant review - 26 August 2023

Mooch Nahi Toh Kuch Nahi, as the saying goes - you’re nothing without a moustache. If that’s true, with with its waiters sporting some of the best lip foliage this side of the Khyber Pass, recently (re)opened In Elephant need not worry.

Elephants – much like members of the OCC – are associated with peace, mental strength, and elegance. Known for their hair-covered bodies, voracious appetites and excellent knowledge of watering holes, males don’t reach full size until 35-40 years of age. Neither do elephants.

An apt setting for August’s meet then.

This was not the OCC’s first time in In Elephant. Our maiden visit, back in 2019, was followed by an impressive performance in 2021 that led to a decent but frustrating second place in the race for the CHOTY. Disappointed but not forgotten, we’re sure. No issue for the thick skinned though. As soon as the OCC herd about the reopening we made sure to visit.

So, how did they fare in 2023? And how many elephant puns can we fit into one review?

Pretty well, and quite a few, it turns out.

Warm welcomes and cold beers were waiting for us as we filed in on a sticky August evening. The restaurant is nestled in the complex on the corner of Changde Rd and Kangding Rd, and while the area isn’t quite as bustling a pre-covid times, there was a good Saturday night buzz about the place. The restaurant is decked out nicely, with Elephant paraphernalia dotted around the place.

Alex, proudly sporting his OCC badge after receiving the nod, was given responsibility for ordering. The menu, while slightly more trunkated than some restaurants, had a decent selection of meat and veggie options.

Starters began with poppadoms (conical) which, while decent on their own, were disappointingly light on accompanying sauces. The issue was quickly remedied by two chutney offerings, courtesy of James, delivered in his absence: a kiwi and apple combination labeled ‘James’ Freedom’, and a lemon pickle number called ‘Sour Sammy’. The poppadom situation was thus resolved (unlike the sexual tension between Sammy and James), but punters who don’t usually go out with tupperwares full of their own chutneys be warned.

The food continued to arrive, with some beautifully crafted aloo tikki chaat and plates of crisp, spicy prawns.

Onto the main dishes, and it emerged that Alex had made the surprising and somewhat controversial decision to order a korma. Ballsy move for the new boy, still wet behind his OCC ears. Could go one of two ways. Did it go down well? Not on your Nellie…the insipid, creamy concoction of beef and mushrooms wasn’t to the taste of the OCC talent on hand, and while not actively unpleasant, it felt incongruous with the rest of the meal - an elephant in a room full of elephants.

And what a meal it was. Korma stroganoff aside, there was nothing but praise for everything else. Stars of the show were undoubtedly the fall-of-the-bone-tender lamb shanks. We tried the tandoori and rogan josh variants, both well-spiced and slow cooked to perfection. Worth a visit back for these dishes alone.

Other mains included big, fat chicken tikka skewers, and a creamy, indulgent chicken tikka masala. These were accompanied by mammoth portions of Kashmiri rice and baskets of warm, fluffy bread.

Never ones to neglect the all-important ruffage, a punchy little bindi masala and plates of broccoli rounded out the meal.

Throughout the evening the moustachioed staff were both patient and attentive. Come chili fines time they furnished us with pineapple and lychee lassis, and when those ran dry magicked up a big bowl spice-soothing desert. Great hosts even long after we’d outstayed all other patrons, along with our welcome.

So, what’s the verdict? Did In Elephant not just fly but soar? Did they deliver on the holy trinity of crispy popadoms, tasty sauces and spicy curries? A solid yes based on votes from the evening, with scores as follows:

Customer care: 8.7

Service: 7.3

Value 7.7

Quality 7.7

Atmosphere 7.3

Total = 7.7


OCC Core Competencies








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