Taking its name from the Thai word for Airavata, the mythological white elephant, this latest addition to Wynberg’s Wolfe Street is anything but a white elephant. A friendly neighbourhood restaurant, Erawan is already proving to be popular with suburban locals and city slickers alike.
Meals are traditional and delicious, and with such reasonable prices, it’s easy to eat multiple courses. The enormous selection is not for those who struggle with decision making, however. Start with dim sum (fried or steamed, with a variety of traditional fillings), spring rolls, wontons or prawn toast. Throw in a crunchy salad or spicy soup – they have all the tom kha and tom yum you could wish for.
For mains, choose from a plethora of curries (the duck red curry is sublime), noodle dishes like chicken pad Thai, or go for a seafood stir-fry like the delectable prawns cooked out of the shell in a light curry sauce with garlic, coriander, roasted cashew nuts and fresh vegetables.
If, by some miracle, you still have space for dessert, order the chocolate spring rolls, banana or pineapple fritter or sa ku (Thai-style jelly with coconut milk).
If there is something such as contemporary Thai, this is probably it. The décor is classic with the odd flash of Thai kitsch. Inoffensive and calm, it makes for a pleasant experience.
The wine list is insanely limited, but apparently they are working on it. Fortunately there is also a variety of beer on offer.
When considering the service, you might as well be in Thailand. Staff are super friendly and efficient from the moment you enter the restaurant. The bulk of the waiting staff is of Eastern descent, but even the locals are friendly.
This is bound to be a regular hangout for the neighbourhood’s eclectic crowd. As for the ex-city dwellers now living in the suburbs: it’s an excellent replacement for Chef Pon’s Asian Kitchen.
Go to www.eatout.co.za for more restaurant listings and reviews.