Wednesday, January 05, 2011


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 might even like it. We did; very much.

27 South Sathorn Road
Bangkok 10120
Tel +66 (0)2 625 3333


Jane said...

We too tried the restaurant just a couple weeks ago. I have to agree- the food is delicious. But I'm not so sure I'd call it reviving Thai cooking as it is applying the fine culinary technique. There are things such as texture emphasis that they could accomplish in a gourmet kitchen that can't be done in a 5-minute street cart stir-fry.

Riya said...

I agree with you 100%. I too dont understand the attitude of some poeple - why foreigners cant cook good Thai food (they still dont allow foreigner architects to built a building here - mahanakorn building is still having an issue.) I love Chef David Thompson & totally support him & his "Nahm" restaurants. Give chef DT time to prove them wrong. I really think poeple need to be more open-inded.

memock said...

Very nice review, thanks for taking the time to post it. Can you give a rough review also on the cost of dining there?

NullandVoid said...

I would post this question elsewhere but I was unable to find an email address or general comment section. I would like to request--as others have done--that you add some sort of price range or actual item costs to your blog. I have read through several posts now and I enjoy reading them, but I have no intention of going to any of these places without an idea of the cost. As I'm sure you're aware, Bangkok is so large and hard to navigate at times that I am not going to sit 40 minutes in traffic to find out that I don't want to pay 4,000 for dinner. I would like to continue reading your blog, but it would frankly not be useful to do so if I know I will be missing this important bit of information. Thank you, and keep up the good work.

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