[Bangkok] Nahm - World's Best 50 Restaurant?
Our first dinner in Bangkok was at Nahm - currently #37 on World's 50 Best and #8 on Asia's 50 Best. Although I have read mixed reviews about the restaurant, I was still curious about it given its relative high rankings on the San Pellegrino's list so I made reservations for us to go check it out. The chef David Thompson hails from Australia and trained in classical French cuisine but found his passion in Thai cuisine. After securing the first Michelin star ever for Thai cuisine in London, a second Nahm restaurant was born in Bangkok in 2010. The cuisine is very much traditional Thai with a focus on strongly flavored ingredients.
You can order a la carte but we opted for the set menu (2500 THB per person) which comprised of a selection of canapes, one dish from each section of the mains, and followed by dessert. The portion sizes are determined by the number of people and the mains are served family style.
For drinks, I tried the Tom Yumtini (330 THB) at the recommendation of the waitress but it wasn't spicy at all. My first reaction was that it tasted like a Lemon Drop instead because it was pretty sweet. I've had spicy cocktails in Hong Kong before and this was just weak in comparison. As it turns out, this would be the prelude of our food as well.
In general, the food was unimpressive and just very sweet for some reason. The soup and curry arrived lukewarm as well. Earlier in the day we had the most intensely flavored food ever at Soei and at Nahm we got quite the opposite - the flavors were bland and unexciting to say the least.
Egg nets with prawns, wild almonds and kaffir lime
Crab wafers with coconut, galangal and coriander
Pork and lobster with shredded ginger and Thai citron
Steamed red curry of scallops with Thai basil and coconut
Smoky prawn salad with tea tree leaves and star fruit
Green mango salad with grilled pork and sour leaves
Panang curry of Wagyu beef with peanuts, shallots and Thai basil
Steamed coral trout with Bang Rak yellow beans and pickled garlic
Coconut and oxtail soup with red shallots
We didn't really finish most of our mains so our waitress asked us if anything was wrong and we told her that the food was on the sweet side and not exciting enough so she proceeded to give us the spiciest prawn curry they have for us to try. It was a nice gesture I guess but we just went from level 0 to level 10 on the spicy scale and the spice level of the curry wasn't really edible for us. Obviously the restaurant can do spicy so what went wrong with our food? Was it because we went for the set menu instead of choosing a la carte? I would assume that the restaurant would pick the best dishes to represent what they have to offer on the set menu so if that is the case, then it was a big fail by whomever selected the dishes for the set menu.
Durian and mangosteen
Custard with sesame biscuit
Green mango with chili sugar
Kaffir lime in perfumed syrup with candied coconut
Sweet Thai wafers with poached persimmon and golden duck egg noodles
Pandanus noodles with black sticky rice water chestnuts, tapioca and coconut cream
Rice custard with banana fritters
Even though I'm not a fan of the flavors at Nahm, I have to say that the ingredients used here are of high quality. For the prices though, I think you will find much better value elsewhere.
27 South Sathorn Road, Thung Maha Mek, Sathon, Bangkok 10120
Tel: +66 2 625 3388
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