We just went to the most controversial restaurant in Bangkok. Nahm just opened a few months ago and already it has been the talk of the town. The restaurant is so polarizing that it has become a debate between the supporters and the haters.
Nahm is the brainchild of David Thompson, the Australian-born chef of the already world famous Michelin-starred nahm at The Halkin in London, opened his first restaurant in Bangkok last July. Of course; the controversy started because some people cannot understand or believe how a foreign chef can bring Thai food to Bangkok.
We needed to have an open-mind about this issue and try the food ourselves to have an opinion on this matter.
I have not been to eat at the Metropole Hotel on Sathorn Rd. for along time because I never thought the previous restaurant Cyan was comfortable and inviting. I was impressed with the new design & decor of Nahm. Not because it is outstandingly unique or Architectual Digest worthy; but because it was warm, inviting and more cozy than the previous venue. The usage of wood, stone and marble was a nice contrast. The colours of browns, whites & blacks made the room more warm.
We were ready to indulge ourselves; so we asked the chef to decide what we should eat since it was our first time at the restaurant and everything on the menu sounded so so yummy. We were truly in for a treat.
The amuse bouche was Minced prawns, peanuts and palm sugar on top of pineapple.
The first canape was Pomelo and grilled prawns with roasted coconut, peanuts, palm sugar and betel leaves.
The next canape was Smokey Chiang Mai chili relish with pork scratchings and quail eggs.
The next canape was Crispy noodles with prawns pickled garlic and bean sprouts.
The next canape was Southern grilled mussels.
The first main dish was Coconut and tumeric curry of blue swimmer crab with calamansi limes.
The second main dish was Red curry of free ranch chicken with peanuts, ginger and holy basil.
The next main dish was Clear soup of roasted duck with Thai basil and young coconut.
The next main dish was Sour orange curry with red claw crayfish and hummingbird flowers.
The next main dish was Smokey fish curry with prawns, chicken livers, cockles and black pepper.
The next main dish was Stir fried tofu with prawns and pork.
The final main dish was stir fried sugar snap peas.
The first dessert was Salak steeped in perfumed syrup with coconut dumplings.
The second dessert was Durian pudding over sticky rice.
The next dessert was Custard apple and tapioca in coconut cream with glaceed pumpkin.
The next dessert was Green mango topped with sugar & salt.
A medley of sweet treats to accompany the tea or coffee.
Overall; all the dishes were very very good. The quality of the ingredients were top notch, the colours & textures of each dish were abundant and the flavours of each dish presented had its unique & distinctive characters. Some dishes displayed some overpowering spicyness, bitterness or sourness...but I think it was the intention of the chef.
We had a chat with chef Thompson about the controversial article in the New York Times newspaper that quoted chef Thompson saying he was aiming to 'revive' Thai food, which he apparently described as 'decaying'. Chef Thompson never said that and was mis-quoted.
I truly believe chef Thompson loves Thai food & cooking Thai food. He is trying to preserve the authenticity of the culture of Thai food. I can only think good things for what he is trying to do. Why on earth can't a foreigner cook Thai food? I have never heard any one complain that an Asian cooks Italian for French food. Actually; we even like it when an Asian excels in another cuisine. Yet; here comes a foreigner who speaks, writes & read perfect Thai and wants to show his love for the Thai cuisine; and he is being crucified by people who have not even tried his food.
All I can say is try it...you might even like it. We did; very much.
27 South Sathorn Road
Tel +66 (0)2 625 3333