The Elephant Room

Beach Flower Bloom  - The Elephant Room

Beach Flower Bloom – The Elephant Room

In Rhode Island’s wild and lawless latte landscape, there exists an evolving community of Chá devotees. Whether placing the blame on British merchants for purposefully reducing tea imports sailing into Boston Harbor in 1773 had anything to do with the bitter taste left in our mouths, New Englanders can sure hold a grudge!

I am happy to report however that tea drinker lineage dates back to 10th century BC, thus kicking some “perk posterior” by centuries – just ask the Chinese, they’ll confirm the whole thing!

The Elephant Room

The Elephant Room

Now we can talk about the “elephant in the room,” a.k.a. The Elephant Room. This absolute gem is nestled in the heart of historic Pawtuxet Village. In a neighborhood that prides itself on quaint, The Elephant Room stands as the welcomed missing puzzle piece in the community.

 

Menu Board - The Elephant Room

Menu Board – The Elephant Room

The Elephant Room emanates serenity in its minimalist décor and simplicity in its menu board. The overall feel is warm and inviting. Lingering is encouraged as evidenced by the available magazines and Wi-Fi for perusing, and comfortable couches to appreciate both.

Beach Flower Bloom - The Elephant Room

Beach Flower Bloom – The Elephant Room

The Tea menu is well laid out and not complicated, but varied and exciting. There are well described White, Green, Black, Tisane/Fusion (herbal) and Oolong tea varieties for which to select. The menu also provides individual caffeine strengths, and a Premium/Exotic/Rare rating scale. Additionally, there are Pu-erh teas (pǔ’ěr chá) which is a variety of fermented dark tea produced in the Yunnan province, named after the trading post for dark tea during imperial China. In some Chinese cultures, this tea is believed to counteract the unpleasant effects of heavy alcohol consumption – did someone say hang-over cure!

Chandalier - The Elephant Room

Chandalier – The Elephant Room

The tea menu also offers several Ayurveda teas that are rumored to remove toxins in our bodies as a result of improper diet, chronic stress and impurities from the environment. My suggestion is a cup of the Pu-erh and Ayurveda the morning after you’ve “tied-one-on” – just sayin…

My tea selection was a blooming flower tea – Beach Flower, infused in a large glass pot. This light and flavorful green tea tasted of lychee and cantaloupe. Tasting notes that include fruit and floral are excellent choices for this time of year.

Bunutty Crepe - The Elephant Room

Bunutty Crepe – The Elephant Room

A visit to The Elephant Room cannot be concluded without Crêpes – it should be a rule!  I ordered the Bunutty Crêpe (banana, peanut butter, honey & Autocrat coffee syrup glaze) and it was superb. The crêpe was perfectly prepared, and the fresh ingredients added in perfect combination and quantity.

Crepe  - The Elephant Room

Crepe – The Elephant Room

I was especially impressed that the peanut butter was not overpowering in contrast to the delicate taste and texture of a crêpe. Additionally, the coffee syrup was a creative and delicious alternative to maple – not to mention a nice “nod” to a hometown favorite!

The Elephant Room - Signage

The Elephant Room – Signage

It’s natural to feel the allure when drinking tea. There’s something satisfying and mysterious about enjoying a natural drink with healing qualities that are produced in exotic regions around the world. There just has to be truth in that which has been used for thousands of years to sustain life. But even at the very least, tea just makes me feel warm, relaxed and at peace. I’d say that alone is worth a trip to The Elephant Room without question…

Dave –

The Elephant Room.2170 Broad Street.Cranston, Rhode Island 02905.(401) 461-2170

https://www.facebook.com/ElephantTeaRoom

 

Ebisu 恵比寿

Ebisu SignageIn Japanese mythology and folklore, the Seven Gods of Fortune is characterized as a seafaring group that arrived in town by treasure ship each New Year in order to distribute fantastic gifts to worthy people. Ebisu, the only originating Japanese member was the God of fishermen, luck and the workingman.

In the spirit of Japanese tradition and the conveyance of good fortune to the workingman, Ebisu delivers on its promise to excite the neighborhood’s culinary habit! Ebisu offers a unique dining experience due to a creative and unabashed menu brimming with varied proteins, vegetables and noodle combinations.

Korean Pork Belly

Korean Pork Belly

Ebisu’s menu primarily  breaks down in three appealing categories. The first is Robatayaki, which literally means fire-side cooking, similar to barbecue, in which various meats and vegetable combinations are skewered and slow-grilled over coals. We had the Korean Pork Belly with a spicy honey miso sauce and Kimchee, which was so personally satisfying, that quite frankly could have encompassed my entire meal!  The pork belly was tender and juicy on the inside, and sweet and spicy on the outside. I’m a firm believer that food on a stick is just plain fun – ask anyone!

Spicy Tuna Tostada

Spicy Tuna Tostada

The second menu category is a Japanese style Tapas. Ebisu does a brilliant job of elaborating on the Spanish version of small plate appetizers, which in combination; offers diners a sophisticated option for combining varied flavors, textures and spices in order to enjoy a dining experience not traditionally centered on one entrée.

Upon our server’s recommendation, we ordered the Spicy Tuna Tostado on a bed of crispy seaweed rice crackers, with a spicy mayo.

Ika

Ika

The tuna was perfectly fresh and flavorful, and the rice crackers were homemade, crunchy and warm. Eat your heart out sushi fans, this was a home run!

Additionally, we ordered the Ika (grilled whole Surume squid) and Geso (the accompanying tentacles with a teriyaki glaze). The squid was tenderly grilled and beautifully presented. This is the perfect alternative to traditional fried calamari for which we have all come to knowingly love as our standard dining starter.

Nagasaki Chanpon

Nagasaki Chanpon

And finally, the third menu category is Ramen. Step aside Maruchan; this isn’t your college hot-pot, sodium-laden, block of pasta under cellophane! These are freshly prepared noodle dishes with rich and flavorful broths that bring sheer joy to the soup-slurpers among us.  We ordered the Nagasaki Chanpon (medium thick noodles in a pork broth, shrimp, squid, scallops, soft-boiled egg, bamboo shoots, cabbage and carrots). The seafood was perfectly prepared, the vegetables were fresh and crunchy, and the noodles firmly swimming in a bath of warm broth.

Tan Tan Men

Tan Tan Men

Additionally, a bowl of Tan Tan Men (egg noodles in spicy pork miso broth, soft-boiled egg, bamboo shoots, spinach, fish cake, seaweed, cabbage, carrots and seven spices) made a welcome appearance at our table. The addition of pork combined with a rich and spicy miso broth elevated this dish to a memorable category.

Whenever I exit a restaurant, the same question plays over in my mind; is this place worth visiting again, or would my dining dollars be best spent somewhere new? In response, I’m confident that I have not yet scratched the surface of Ebisu’s exciting menu, and feel compelled to return to a restaurant that I believe may quickly become an old friend! 果報

Ebisu 38 Pontiac Avenue, Providence, RI 02907 (401) 270-7500