Nahm Restaurant | David Thompson | Thai Cuisine | Bangkok Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

Nahm HeartHeartHeart
Restaurants and bars

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Phone Number: +66 2625 3333
Address: The Metropolitan, 27 South Sathon Road
Country: Thailand

Nahm in Bangkok is a must-visit venue. While we invariably eschew most up-market restaurants serving Thai cuisine (our preference is to eat from the street stalls where the food usually has more of the true flavour of the cuisine) we made an exception for Nahm because we have been great fans of the cooking of chef David Thompson ever since he opened Darley Street Thai in the early 1990s. It turned out to be an astounding meal of great complexity and finesse.
The restaurant is house just off the entrance to the Metropolitan Hotel and the tables sprawl around the pool and back indoors to also include private rooms. The chairs are comfortable, the air conditioning set at a pleasant temperature, the waiters are unassuming yet efficient and expectation hangs in the air.
We found it very difficult to choose from the menu - we wanted every dish. However we finally decided on a set of dishes that we thought would provide balance to the meal. And we sat back and waited for the ride.
The herald sent out to announce the coming complexity is a ma hor of chicken, prawns, chilli, nuts and palm sugar that have been reduced to a chewy, dense, magic morsel that is served on a small wedge of very fresh pineapple. It isn't sweet, it isn't savoury, it is just memorable, a riot of texture and flavour. And despite our misgivings, we ate it while sipping a Negroni and it was a perfect match!
Next up was pork and lobster with shredded ginger and Thai citron which was served on betel leaves to be wrapped and eaten as finger food. This was a nicely balanced snack with flavours that lingered on well after the last morsel was gone.
Also served at the same time was a Chiang Mai larp of guinea fowl which allowed us to venture north into the more assertive flavours of that region. This was plated as five pieces individually served on a wrap of cabbage on which the dark, spicy complex larp anchored by the pieces of fowl and festooned with herbs and nuts had been placed.
The larb was followed by a stunning salad of fresh river prawns with pork and Asian pennywort. The greens, in this case, were vibrant and full of flavour which helped to provide contrast to the proteins in the dish.
Ever since the days of Darley Street Thai we have been obsessed with the relishes that help define Thai cuisine and often go by the name of nam prik. Every dish on the relish page was one we wanted to order. We finally went back to the one at the top of the list. Cured catfish minced with shallots, chillies and Thai basil served with grilled salted beef and vegetables formed a dense, finely-balanced relish of complexity and depth that we kept coming back to throughout the meal. The work that must go into this dish behind the scenes must be incredible.
Apparently new on the menu, a jungle style pork curry with fresh cardamom (three different varieties) and several types of wild coriander. This was served with boiled eggs on the side providing a welcome cooling effect. The juices in this dish silenced us. We are not sure if it was because of the heat or the intriguing flavours.
We finished with a very pleasant dish of durian served over sweet, simmered rice. The durian season is short so if we are in Asia during the season we always order this stunning fruit with the smell of drainpipe and the taste of the heavens!
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