My first visit to Nahm in 2013 was a rather uneventful one. Being ranked as the best Thai restaurant in the world comes with an insane amount of hype, especially if it’s cooked by a Farang. That said, David Thompson isn’t just any Farang, just like the Andy Ricker, whom have toiled in Thai kitchens to hone their craft. Back then, we had lunch which was good with some highlights, but nothing which was out of this world. Now, I’m back again for Songkran and reckoned it might be worth a revisit, as well as to celebrate my friend’s birthday.
We opted for a lunch menu, which fetched for 1600 baht per diner. To start off, we were served an amuse of minced pork, beef and chicken cooked in palm sugar with pineapple and coriander. The texture of the minced meat was sticky, sweet and delicious together with the pineapple and coriander, which in itself is a great combination.
Next, was a lovely canapé of grilled Guinea fowl skewers with peanuts, cumin, and turmeric. The meat was grilled brilliantly and imparted a beautiful smokiness to it, whilst the texture was lusciously fatty and meaty. This was paired well with the pickled cucumber and onions to cut through the richness.
The other canapé was egg nets with prawns, wild almonds, and kaffir lime. The egg net had an odd chewy texture to it, which was bizarre but not altogether unpleasant. Inside though, had a burst of flavour and I could definitely taste the kaffir lime.
After the canapes had been quickly inhaled, the torrent of main dishes came forth. First, was a salad of scallops with coconut and lemongrass. The scallops were beautifully soft, and covered by a bed of herbs and pickles. Overall, a tart and refreshing salad to tickle our tastebuds.
For the soup option, I had a hot and sour soup with chicken, prawn and wild mushrooms with a generous dose of coriander. Damn, it had a nice kick to it! The soup was very well seasoned with a good amount of acidity. What truly struck me was that the prawn was cooked to perfection, which was firm and meaty.
Now, this was one heck of a dish. Panaeng curry suped-up with Wagyu beef, peanuts, shallots and Thai basil. The cut of beef was well chosen with what probably seems like brisket and was braised till submission. The meat was ridiculously soft and luscious, with the gelatine melting in your mouth. The curry was also very well spiced but did not take away from the beauty of the beef. Truly a dish to remember, and definitely ranks up there in the Pantheon of the gods of cookery.
The final savoury course was the steamed Coral trout with bang rak yellow beans and pickled garlic. The trout was very fresh and perfectly cooked with a firm texture, whilst the flavours were redolent of the wonderful steamed fish dishes that one might find in the local Chinese restaurants.
For dessert, what might look like standard fare at the local Thai street market is anything but. The sweet Thai wafer with poached persimmon and golden duck egg noodles was the perfect bite with the crispy wafer melding with the beautiful sweetness and creaminess from the persimmon, raisin and golden strands of noodles.
We ended the meal with a chilled syrup with shards of fried shallots, slivers of green mango and persimmon. A refreshing finisher albeit the fried shallots added a savoury element to the dish, which was oddly pleasant and added some complexity to the dish.
I must say, that this was an absolutely brilliant lunch. There were clear highlights such as the grilled Guinea fowl skewers, Panaeng curry with Wagyu beef, and the sweet Thai wafer dessert. They weren’t shy with the flavour profiles and spice level, and this was definitely one of the more memorable meals I’ve had in awhile.
Location: Como Metropolitan Hotel. 27 South Sathorn Road, Thung Maha Mek, Sathon, Bangkok 10120. +66 2 625 3333. Website.