Trumpeting united flavours

Trumpeting united flavours

7 Elephants, the newest addition to DIFC, serves seven different cuisines in a relaxed setting with pops of greenery. We take a bite to find out if too many cooks spoil the broth

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Janice Rodrigues

Published: Fri 19 May 2017, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 19 May 2017, 2:00 AM

You know you're in the right place when you spot a brightly-coloured life-size baby elephant occupying pride of place by the entrance. Painted by Dubai-based graffiti artist Steffi Bow, the elephant is just the beginning of the rather unusual displays you'll find at 7 Elephants, the newest addition to DIFC, which includes everything from busts and silver elephant heads to coloured orbs hanging from the ceiling. It all sets the scene for a rather unusual ambience - part lounge where you can order shisha for a laid-back time, and part restaurant, where you can sit at a dining table under a conch-shaped chandelier. Either way, you know you won't run out of things to order because 7 Elephants offers seven different cuisines - Indian, Mexican, Italian, Arabic, Spanish, British and Balinese.
We tried a bit of everything, which is how we ended up with Sliders (British), Tandoori Skewers (Indian), Short Ribs (Balinese), Beef Chili (Mexican) and Beef Kibbeh (Arabic). Every dish is creatively presented, but some are significantly better than others. The Sliders, for example, came in three variations, which were all great, while the Beef Chili failed to make an impression. We couldn't do justice to the Italian and Spanish menus, but that's another reason to return.
It's pretty obvious that 7 Elephants is going out of its way to be inclusive - so, if you can't decide between a formal and laid-back dinner, this is just the place to be! It is also a great spot for groups with different nationalities and food preferences. How's that for international?

Bit of a hit or miss. We loved the British Sliders and the Tandoori Chicken Skewers, but the Beef Kibbeh and Mexican Chili were rather forgettable. Extra points for the Balinese Braised Short Ribs which came served in lettuce, with chickpea purée for extra flavour.

Everything about the place is swanky and, yes, quirky. You get a gorgeous view of the Burj Khalifa from the floor-to-ceiling windows in the lounge area. We also like how the formal dining area rests under oddly-shaped chandeliers. However, it can come across as a bit confused.

Our waiter was absolutely lovely, and went out of his way to explain dishes and give his recommendations. However, some of the other wait staff seemed a bit unprepared. Surely, that is nothing a bit of fine tuning can't fix.

The tandoori skewers were brought to our table with much aplomb, over charcoal that was still smoking, while the Beef Chili was served in a black dish with a candle underneath to keep it warm. Even the plates - oddly-shaped and black - were Instagram-worthy.  

We were surprised to see dishes as cheap as Dh25 on the menu, with Dh99 for most platters! The portions fit the costs, which means that a standard order of Dh25 will get you about three skewers of meat. It's value for money and you get to try different things.

7 Elephants, Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC, Dubai
Cost for 2: Dh300-400 (incl. beverages)

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