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“Great lunch”
Review of The White Elephant

The White Elephant
Ranked #19 of 104 Restaurants in Parksville
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Thai
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed July 29, 2014

Our experience at the White Elephant was excellent. The service was incredibly fast and courteous.Decor seemed authentic and was well placed around the room. It is not a big room but overall spacious. We had a green tea and hot and sour soup. Amazing. Overall a 4 and would definitely go back

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Thank Wendy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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95 - 99 of 147 reviews

Reviewed July 12, 2014

The food was a shocking and disappointing surprise. I felt like we had been taken! We have encountered a variety of Thai food over the last 30 years or so, and some you love, some less so - but the meals are always tasty, with some fresh ingredients. Tasty and fresh are not words that can be used to describe our two entrees and appetizer. If you are considering this restaurant - RUN. Anything, even fast food is better. Here is our experience:

Wanting to try a new Parksville restaurant, we headed to the White Elephant, as we LOVE Thai food and eat it everywhere, always happy to try a new place. We ordered vegetable spring roles to start. They had not been drained after taking them out of the oil, so below each one there was a great deal of oil on the plate (easily a teaspoon). I got a small stack of paper napkins and let the roles drain. The, maybe 6, napkins were heavily soaked in oil (i don't mind some oil - we are big fish and chip eaters! so not fussy - but this was brutal). The spring roles were very light on veggies, heavy on rice noodles in side. Not appalling, just boring, and in need of more veggies. The bottled dipping sauce was nice.

For my main course I had a (rated as 2 chilies out of 3 for spiciness) red chicken curry. It was truly nothing like any red thai curry I or my spouce have ever encountered. There was no spiciness, and the flavour was bland. But what hit us was that you could stand a spoon in the bowl of the curry! It was VERY thick and stodgy. Chicken was not easily found (it may have been the tiny little bits in the goop - which may have been because it had been cooked for hours and hours..)and vegetables were almost non-existent. There was a piece of tomato buried (buried truly is the right word - as this was a thick, starchy mass of a curry) in the blob, along with a few pieces of mushy, horrifically overcooked, possibly, red and yellow pepper. None of these vegetables were easily identified as they had been cooked down so long that the skin was separating or separated from the mushy flesh! Truly total mush. There were large pieces of potato in the curry (identified only by texture as the starchy mass was heavily coating these items)- also very well cooked, and starchy - but still holding some shape. There was an odd small piece of canned pineapple. That was it! A bowl presented on a plate, garnished with lettuce and carrot shavings, and rice (which was fine). The curry portion was generous - and I was exceptionally hungry - but after no more than about a fifth of the bowl I gave up eating this starchy, stodgy, flavourless garbage. This dish was absolutely amazingly bad! Likely the worst thing I have ever come across in 50 years of eating at a restaurant. McDonalds food is far preferable - as having taste, colour, you can tell what things are etc.!

My husband ordered the cashew chicken stir fry. This did not resemble a stir fry at all. Again, the very few pieces ( 2 or 3) of peppers were cooked to absolute mush. There were some skinny uniform cuttings of chicken and some cashews, but everything swam in, what tasted like, a bbq sauce (would have been good on ribs). There was no freshness of a stir fry, and did not appear to be a stir fry. Portion size was fine, but was not something like any stir fry or Thai stir we have ever encountered before. It was unattractive, and not tasty - unless you like to eat BBQ sauce.

I said I felt like I was taken - because the food was wannaby Thai food - there were hints of Thai - but this is the sort of thing that might be brought to the table at a truck stop where someone is trying to give some variety to the menu - but cannot cook, and has no idea what goes into Thai food. At least at a truck stop you have no aspirations of getting Thai food! And the mush might be appropriately priced.

I think this might even be the worst restaurant we have ever been to. As I say, run, save your money. There are some good and even mediocre restaurants in the area to eat at - but even the latter are preferable to this place!

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3  Thank Jennifer E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2014

Dinner was excellent. Food fresh, hot, nicely spiced, large servings. Service was very good. I read the other reviews and wondered if they were at the same restaurant. We too have been in Thailand and this was as good as ones we tried there. We will be back

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1  Thank zanzourga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2014

Absolutely horrendous! Went for a take out, ordered Pad Thai and Panang curry, it was all awful. I have been to Thailand so many times and have never seen anything like this! The curry was not even pure coconut milk, from my guess is that they put some sort of corn starch or flour to thicken the curry! How horrible is that?! Pad Thai lacked everything. I couldn't even find chicken in my food or any flavors other than sweet. This was absolutely a disappointment. The menu is not even REAL Thai, it's all fusion... ConFUSION by having wraps in the menu also.
I will absolutely not return or recommend this place to anyone! There are other better Thai food restaurants out there.

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Thank Girlease C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2014

the food here is good and the portions are a nice size. It is a nice restaurant in the way of decor and the service was good.

Thank theo j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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