Blue Elephant Wayne Is a New Kind of Fusion Restaurant

Photos by Ed Williams

The Blue Elephant is a mammoth culinary addition to Wayne, bringing Italian, Japanese and Thai flavors with it.

Tom Yum Koong—squid ink creste di gallo pasta topped with jumbo shrimp.
Tom Yum Koong—squid ink creste di gallo pasta topped with jumbo shrimp.

In early spring, as we witnessed the delivery and installation of the one-of-a-kind awning over the North Wayne Avenue entrance to the Blue Elephant Wayne, we knew we were in for something unique.

It was worth the wait.

A colorful selection of sushi and nigiri.
A colorful selection of sushi and nigiri.

WIN Signature Restaurants’ Pearl Somboonsong already presides over a successful slew of Asian-themed dining destinations throughout the Main Line region, including Teikoku, Azie on Main, Azie Media, Mikado Thai Pepper and the Blue Elephant Pottstown. Simply put, Wayne was a no-brainer. “I grew up around here. I love the diversity of the people in this area, and I thought we could bring a blended cuisine that was different—elevated,” Somboonsong says. “Our company already co-owned the building, so things evolved from there.”

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The signature Blue Elephant cocktail.
The signature Blue Elephant cocktail.
Edamame truffle tortellini topped with yuzu foam
Edamame truffle tortellini topped with yuzu foam.

The former Matador restaurant’s Spanish theme is long gone, replaced by pachyderms everywhere—from the handles on the front doors to the sculpted lamps at the reception desk to the nostalgic circus-like framed prints throughout the bilevel space. The interior is sleek, intimate and grounded by peaceful blue hues. The first floor’s white marble-topped bar accommodates 12 comfy black leather stools, the space augmented by a smattering of high-tops. Overhead art deco lighting and metallic gold accents bring warmth to the surrounding tables and banquettes, encouraging conversation and making it easy to read a menu.

Green tea tiramisu.
Green tea tiramisu.
Front awning.
Front awning.

Executive chef Lek Punsuk has been with Somboonsong for over 19 years, and he continues to work wonders at her newest location. The menu leans toward Italian, with classic Japanese and Thai touches. We started with the Kobe Beef Hot Rock, several thin slices cooked on a sizzling stone rectangle. Ponzu dipping sauce enhanced the hands-on experience.

Blue Elephant interior
The stunning interior wall art.

Chunks of grilled pineapple added a sweet hit to the tender massaman curry short rib, with charred onions, roasted potatoes and a vibrant yellow curry sauce. The edamame truffle tortellini’s showstopping presentation made the most of yuzu foam and a flavorful herb cream sauce. As expected, the sushi rolls and nigiri were exceptional—and the green tea tiramisu is a must for dessert.

Blue elephant dessert
Tuna bruschetta.

Craft cocktails benefit from provocative presentations. The signature Blue Elephant combines butterfly pea flower, tea-infused vodka, ginger syrup and sparkling water for a colorfully refreshing spectacle. Or opt for the Silk Road, with tequila and Aleppo pepper. Its subtle heat is perfect for cooler summer evenings.

Blue Elephant dessert
Dessert, anyone?

Cost: $6–$35.
Atmosphere: Refreshingly vibrant.
Hours: 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Monday–Thursday, 11:30 a.m.–9:30 p.m. Friday, 10:30 a.m.–9:30 p.m. Saturday, 10:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Sunday.
Attire: Casual to business casual.
Extras: Happy hour 3–5 p.m. Monday–Friday. Every Wednesday, get a flight of Japanese whiskeys for $20.

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Blue Elephant Wayne
110 N. Wayne Ave., Wayne
(484) 580-6142
blueelephantwayne.com

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