nahm - 16What could make an Australian fall in love with Thai cuisine to the point of stopping to travel constantly to the country and just settle there? David Thompson’s answer will be Passion, for sure! After a series of restaurants in Australia, another one in London, also called Nahm (Water) (got the first Michelin star for a Thai cuisine restaurant), in 2010, he moved to the Metropolitan of Bangkok where he opened this Nahm, which in a small amount of time became the best restaurant in Asia, or so it says in the famous guide of the 50 Best Restaurants (No 1 in Asia and No 13 in the world ranking).

Nahm’s cuisine doesn’t have devices, neither the most avant-garde techniques, like some kind of modern Thai cuisine, as is mandatory nowadays, but instead an absolute respect for the most traditional recipes of the country, many of them already forgotten, which David slowly tries to recover, giving them the best ingredients and cooking them with the better mastery possible in a mix of tradition and contemporaneity.

And in the interior of the restaurant, similar to the Hotel, this contemporary touch is well patent in the decoration. A warm and welcoming room, with plenty use of wood, “clean” tables, without linen or great fine dining props, with details that could be in any casual restaurant of a big capital. The concept of the restaurant is also based in tradition, so the dishes are served simultaneously, creating a satiating table in which the guests share the different dishes.

nahm - 14Arriving to the restaurant for lunch (it was impossible to get a reservation for dinner) we chose the “tasting menu” that consists in choosing several items of the menu to share. We also chose to accompany the meal with some cocktails from the wide list, with the choice going to some kind of Thai mojito.

nahm - 13 cocktail

nahm - 12Choices made and the Chef’s greeting soon came to us, that which is already a classic from Nahm, inspired in an old dish of street food, Mar Hor, a small slice of pineapple overlapped by pork, chicken and shrimp paste. The sweetness of the pineapple, the slight caramelization, the contrast of textures and flavors create a wonderful first bite, while the expectations get higher.

nahm - 11
Prawn and coconut wafers with pickled ginger

I would call it a Thai taco. A delicious and crunchy cape, which in contrast with the textures and fragrances from the different herbs created a light combo, appealing and with a good game of sweet and sour.

nahm - 10
Blue swimmer crab with peanuts and pickled garlic on rice cakes

Delicate, with the crab cooked on spot and every element individually making a presence in the combination. The wish was to have more.

nahm - 6
Salad of fresh river prawns with pork and Asian pennywort

Another excellent dish masterfully created by David Thompson, a light salad, full of flavors and textures, slightly spicy and sweet. Here the Asian pennywort wasn’t used as extract for weight loss, but fresh, replacing our usual lettuce leafs. Brilliant presence of the dried prawn and the delicacy of the sauce.

nahm - 4
Clear soup of roast duck with Thai basil and young coconut

A clear broth, without becoming a Consommé, full of flavor from the roast, with soft and moist duck, and a range of stronger flavors contrasting the freshness of the coconut and the basil, taking our taste buds to another level. Impeccable.

nahm - 5
Hot and sour soup (Tom Yum) of chicken, prawn and wild mushrooms

Tom Yum is one of the classic Thai cuisine soups, spicy and full of flavors. In this case, it was the spiciest thing I ever tasted in life (and I like spicy food), an immense touch in the mouth that left the lips seething. However, and that’s a thing about the spicy used in Thailand, I wasn’t sweating or with my nose running, not even (and here all the merit goes to the chef) it overlapped the other ingredients of the soup, we could perfectly taste the prawn, the chicken and the herbs. A tough dish that’s not for everyone and I must confess we had great difficulty in finishing it.

nahm - 7
Deep fried grouper with fish sauce

Fried would never be my first option to cook a fish, but when we are not at home we must open or horizons. The mastery revealed itself in the frying technique with the skin wrapped to the inside and crunchy, with the fish interior still moist. A simple dish filled with umami and technique.

nahm - 8
Green curry of beef with Thai basil and eggplants

It was probably the best curry I ever ate, with the melting meat, the different textures, with highlight to the small Thai eggplants, almost crispy. Spicy enough, in a harmonious and delicious combination, served with amazing Thai jasmine rice.

nahm - 3
Sweet Thai wafers with poached persimmons and golden duck egg noodles

A combo of traditional Thai desserts, with highlight to the iced and fragrant syrup, with herbs and fried garlic, a citric and refreshing flavor that while not being astonishing, revealed to be an excellent end to the meal, similar to the small and sweet wafer with the pretty Portuguese egg noodles.

The Service was the most efficient possible, in space intended to be democratic and casual, with a sympathy that only the Thai know. Of course that understanding their English is an all other story, but with some training we get there.

Final Remarks
I’m not the best person to judge about Thai cuisine, I arrived at Nahm with one or another experience in Europe and a series of Pad Thai (which I love), so I’m not able to say if Nahm represents the true Thai cuisine or not. What I can judge is the flavor, the texture, the cooking and the presentation, and in that field David Thompson is a great master, in particular his game of textures (something common in the eastern cuisine) left me completely surrendered with a will to try and know much more. Those who probably know more than me about Thai food gave it the 13th place in the World 50 Best Restaurants and 1st place in Asia, which most certainly means something and it’s not just me not being indifferent in front of its dishes. Besides, Nahm is for sure the most accessible restaurant of the list, with menus costing 1500THB for lunch and 2200THB for dinner (around 36 and 55euros, respectively). A mandatory meal to those visiting Bangkok.

Metropolitan by COMO – 27 South Sathorn Road, Tungmahamek Sathorn Bangkok
+66 2 625 3388


No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.