Nahm in Thailand is based in another of Christina Ong's COMO hotels, this time the Metropolitan hotel in Bangkok.
The restaurant is on the ground floor and has a restrained monied look with Thai style brick columns, subdued lighting and some stunning purple orchid displays.
Staff speak perfect English and were attentive helping us select pre-dinner cocktails.
I would have preferred my ginger martini to have more of a kick to it but a chunk of ginger at the bottom of the glass had some real fire. My Swedish dinner guest loved his Danish beer.
We went for a la carte, rather than the set menu, and I am not sure we picked the full range of spicy, sweet, bitter and sour of Thai cooking. It was difficult to chose, with so many enticing sounding dishes on the menu.
The amuse-bouche combined a rich chewy topping, with delicate use of chilli, with the sweet fresh pineapple. A riot of texture and flavour.
For our canapés (the restaurant's name for starters) we selected guinea fowl skewers with peanut, cumin & turmeric; and pork & lobster with shredded ginger & Thai citron.
We were impressed with both these dishes. The guinea fowl was so tender and full of flavour and the lobster & pork on betel leaves had a nicely balanced citrus taste, and ginger heat, that lingered .
We then shared the Chiang Mai chilli relish with river prawns, crunchy pork crackling & steamed vegetables; coconut & turmeric curry of blue swimmer crab with calamansi lime; and stir-fried Wagyu beef with charred onions & Thai basil.
The crab curry just involved crabmeat and was mild, creamy and sublime. The two huge river prawns were excellent and the pork crackling interesting with the hot relish, which had complex flavours. However, the vegetables were too raw.
The Wagyu beef stir-fry had a caramelised smokiness to it and was indulgently superior to any beef stir-fry you get in Thailand. However, at times we found parts of it too spicy for us, despite having requested that the spice be toned down, after a warning for my Shrewsbury School friend based in Bangkok.
All this was eaten with jasmine rice that was replenished as many times as you wanted.
We did not find anything on the dessert menu we wanted to order and, in any case, we felt we had eaten enough.
🐻🐻🐻🐻 (4 out of 5 ‘teddies’) - the food at Nahm in Bangkok is very refined Thai cooking but it lost a 'teddy' because aspects of some of the dishes were too spicy and it was not quite the 'special experience' our difficulty getting a reservation had led us to believe it would be. My tip: this place is good for a casual excellent dinner but Bo.lan & Gaggan are better for special occasions.
Dinner in Nahm, one of Asia's 50 Best Restaurants on the San Pellegrino List - Bangkok, Thailand - March 2016
It was almost strange to want to eat in Nahm, as Australian David Thompson's Thai restaurant that started in The Halkin hotel in London. However, the London restaurant has a Michelin star (the first for a Thai restaurant) and Mr Thompson is regarded as one of the best chefs in the world regarding Thai food. I, therefore, decided it was a must visit on my 4th time in Bangkok.
Si Frew has lived in the UK, Bermuda, Qatar, Cyprus & the Cayman Islands. During this time he met Whoopi Goldberg (in Claridge's), Mike Tyson (in the Concorde Lounge at JFK) , Gordon Ramsay (in the Doha Four Seasons), Chris Eubanks (in The Dorchester), Cherie Blair (in Bermuda & again in the Doha Four Seasons) etc. There are funny stories attached to all these interactions, feel free to ask Si about them when you meet him.