Blue Elephant Preview
Thai food is hot? Well it all doesn’t have to be. This is coming from the only chef and executive owner of the Blue Elephant in Murrells Inlet, Dr. Paul Byington. I’ve known Dr. Paul for a few years, but I never knew that he was more than just a doctor. Once I was able to speak with Dr. Paul I realized he was full of surprises. He is head chef and owner of the Blue Elephant franchise. There are 4 Blue Elephant restaurants in the world. There is only one in the US and another one located in London.
Dr. Paul also has a company that exports beautiful, hand-carved hardwood teak furniture from Thailand. Dr. Paul was also a Buddhist monk and has many photos of his life in the temples in Thailand. Once a year, Dr. Paul gives a self-guided tour of Thailand to a handful of people willing to go on an adventure though the country.
The Blue Elephant in Murrells Inlet is a unique place with a great atmosphere. The exterior doesn’t speak for the interior at all, except the cool blue elephant statue outside the restaurant. Inside is what blows people away which is the real empire of Dr. Paul’s world and his country. Hand-carved furniture and frames by his company, very interesting pictures that each has a story and meaning from his life. The restaurant just happens to even be a favorite stop by the world famous golfer, Tiger Woods.
Even the fine china is imported, hand-crafted and painted for the Blue Elephant. It looks too good to eat on, but customers actually do get to eat off it. The overall décor and atmosphere inside is excellent and makes you feel like you’re possibly in a restaurant that is located in Thailand. Every night (except Tuesday) a woman plays a musical instrument called a Khim on a small stage next to two blue elephant statues. If you can’t recall the sounds of a Khim being played, it’s a beautiful experience. The Blue Elephant is not your average restaurant. What is served here is possibly one of the best fine-dining experiences of Thai food in South Carolina. This is not fast food, this is gourmet cooking and it’s all done by one chef: Dr. Paul.
Each meal is cooked, decorated, and presented by Dr. Paul. Food is prepped by another member of his staff and a third staff member is there to wash dishes. There is also anywhere from 1 to 2 waitresses/waiters to serve the food, take orders, refill drinks, and check on customers. All the dishes on the menu are cooked to its true traditional way. Just remember, Thai food doesn’t have to be hot, don’t be afraid, I wasn’t. Please read the review of the Blue Elephant.