A Culinary Tour At 7 Elephants
It’s not hard to find 7 Elephants, the new bar and lounge that opened up in Emirates Financial Towers a few weeks ago: just look for the multicolored elephant statue. It offers multiple cuisines (7, to be exact) and has a unique drink ordering system. Taking a cue from its DIFC location, 7 Elephants follows a ‘stock market’ concept for its drinks – prices vary based on how much a demand a particular drink has. The bar even has LED ticker boards like you would find in the stock market.
The rest of the space doesn’t really follow that same path, going instead with a more jungle-like theme that’s appropriate for a place with ‘elephants’ in the name. The space extends further than I had expected when first walking in, and has a range of seating options, from couches to dining tables to a raised lounge area at the back. Floor-to-ceiling windows afford a lovely view of the Burj Khalifa and the surrounding area, and metal elephant heads mounted on the pillars in the lounge reinforce the restaurant’s theme.
Multi-cuisine restaurants are usually a tricky proposition. Either one or two of the cuisines are executed well, or all of them are fairly average. It’s rare (impossible, perhaps?) for a restaurant to hit perfection with each cuisine. With a lineup that includes Indian, Middle Eastern, British, Spanish, Mexican, Italian and Balinese, can 7 Elephants break that streak? Sadly, not quite.
The Indian menu only has vegetable pakora, or fritters as far as vegetarian dishes go. There were definitely more options that could have been put out there, especially drawing from Indian street food. To their credit, the pakora are crisp and not too greasy, but I wish they had been cut into more bite-sized pieces and that multiple fritters weren’t stuck together.
The British menu has an apple and celery salad that doesn’t sound too exciting, so we skip it, and there are no vegetarian dishes on the Mexican menu at all (not even the quesadillas). From the Spanish menu, we have marinated olives and Pan Multi Semilla – slices of multi grain bread with a romesco dip. I have had some really amazing bread at Mediterranean restaurants, the kind of bread that makes the rest of the meal seem bland by comparison. That’s not the kind of bread available here.
From the Italian menu, there’s Margarita Pizza, which is alright. The crust isn’t quite as crisp as I’d like, and there’s a lot of dried oregano sprinkled on top – some fresh herbs would have made a significant difference. Hummus and Burak Bil Jibneh (cheese puffs), the Middle Eastern offerings, are delightful. The hummus is subtle but tasty and the burak are perfectly gooey and have a nice crisp shell.
The big surprise of the night is the Balinese menu. The vegetarian options are Bean Sprout Salad and Kale Quinoa Salad (which is vegan). Both dishes combine textures and flavors seamlessly, and each salad is far heartier than any of the preceding dishes. They’re the highlights of the evening for sure.
For dessert, we have a mixed platter that includes three scoops of ice cream, chocolate fondant with green tea ice cream, cinnamon rolls, mini custard-filled donuts, chocolate hazelnut cookies and a fruit salad. The cinnamon rolls and the ice cream (including the green tea) are the picks of the lot. As a dessert lover, I'm not overly thrilled.
The best part of 7 Elephants really is the atmosphere. It’s a fun, casual lounge with a great view, some funky décor and foot-tapping music. The drink concept is quite unique and I’m curious to see how it pans out. The food on its own is a bit hit or miss, but if you’re grabbing a few bites over drinks after work, I doubt you’ll find too much reason to complain.
Veggie Friendly: ✔ Vegan Friendly: ✔
Pros: Great atmosphere, unique bar concept, friendly service
Cons: Not that much in terms of vegetarian food, flavors are hit and miss
Price: $$ (50 - 200 AED)
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