This post was last updated June 24, 2017 to reflect minor menu changes. A big thank you to Blog & Tweet Boston who invited me.
Sunday’s are for late mornings, drinking your entire coffee before it gets cold and brunch becomes the most important meal of the day. In Boston’s South End, Sunday’s can be quite hectic! SOWA Market is in full swing and considering it’s foodie central and the hottest place to be over there, foot traffic is at an all-time high. On this Sunday morning, after taking my own little walk around SOWA I took a quick walk over to Washington Street to meet some fellow bloggers for a brunch at The Elephant Walk and check out their Boston location.
A menu that’s half Cambodian and half French isn’t one you immediately think of when “brunch” comes to mind but that’s what made this meal an exciting one.
Executive Chef Nadsa de Monteiro
The restaurant is painted in warm tones with high ceilings and exposed brick – more of a casual feel than the previous Brookline location where I had dinner as a recommendation from a friend. Executive chef Nadsa de Monteiro came out to greet us and told us the inspiration behind her menu.
Nadsa was born in Cambodia but raised in Yugoslavia. She lived in many different parts of the world including southern France where her family moved when Khmer Rouge took over the Cambodian government in 1975. She really shared a fascinating back story with us and it was clear this was a huge part of the bi-cultural menu we were presented with. It’s a truly innovative and rich menu that features dishes such as Trey Tuk K’gney, which is a crispy Asian catfish dish and Omelette, Ragout De Tomatoes Au Chevre which is closer to your traditional omelet with cage-free eggs, tomato chick pea ragout and goat cheese from nearby Vermont.
Rouleaux ($5 for small portion)
To start us off we took a food trip to Cambodia and ordered a couple plates of Rouleaux. These are crispy Cambodian spring rolls served with lettuce and a tuk trey dipping sauce. Our waitress had instructed us to wrap the lettuce around the roll and then dip it into the tuk trey. And although I stuck with the pork ones we also had a vegetarian set with a Shiitake mushroom that others at our table were absolutely raving about. For those who aren’t familiar with tuk trey it’s a Cambodian dipping sauce, primarily fish sauce with mixed seasonings.
Crepe Au Canard ($12)
As for the entrée, I went back to France and tried the “Crepe Au Canard” which is exactly what it sounds like – a duck crepe. I picked this off the “savory” section on the menu. It was filled with duck braised in soy-tamarind juices, portabella, creme fraiche, scallion, and served with a side of greens. The duck was shredded and cooked really well! I absolutely love duck but I’m also very picky about it so I’m really happy to say this was delicious. The sauce on the side is like a thin gravy and the portabella really stood out but was never too salty.
Mousse aux Fruits de la Passion ($8.50)
Gateau Choco-Caramel – no longer on the menu.
And last but certainly not least…dessert! The popular choice for the table seemed to be the Gateau Choco-Caramel, a chocolate caramel génoise with Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla gelato, creme Anglaise, and ganache. I didn’t have any issues with my meal but for those who had some mishaps (apparently they had run out of eggs so some guests who had ordered egg dishes weren’t so happy) said that this cake made up for all of it. UPDATE: They no longer seem to offer the Gateau Choco-Caramel. The most similar option on the current menu is Le Peche Au Chocolat, a gluten-free chocolate truffle cake.
And if you follow me on Instagram you got a peek at my treat! – Mousse aux Fruits de la Passion. It’s a passion fruit mousse tucked in an almond lace cup. It was then garnished with fresh pineapple crushed in dark rum, sugar, and lemon juice. It’s super tart which I was warned about but so delicious. I think next time I would order without the almond lace cup – it seemed more for presentation than anything else and I’m not sure if it contributed much to the actual taste of the dessert.
If you can’t make it to Boston to try Chef Nadsa’s menu yourself, you’re in luck! The Elephant Walk does have a cookbook (Amazon) that goes in depth about the stories behind the cuisine and recipes for you to try at home. Do you have a favorite brunch place or unique brunch dish? Please share it with me in the comments!! xo, Rebecca
The Elephant Walk – Boston
1415 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02118 // 617.247.1500 // elephantwalk.com