Nahm is ranked fifth in the list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017. The Australian-born Chef David Thompson has been receiving recognition for his Thai cuisine. A question struck my head quite hard when Nahm was ranked in this prestigious list. How could a foreign chef cook better Thai food than a local chef? Is it because there are many local chefs helping Chef David in the kitchen at Nahm? Or is it because Chef David has a better understanding of Thai culture and cuisine? To help us understand more why Nahm is ranked the top in Thai cuisine, we went to try the set lunch there. In order to gain different perspectives, we went to try the food at Nahm in a mixed group of foodies of different nationalities including Scotland, France, Japan, Hong Kong, and Thai.
Set lunch menu at Nahm?
First, let’s look at the menu. This menu costs THB 1,600++ per head.
(1) Amuse-bouche (2) Egg nets with prawns, wild almonds and kaffir lime (3) Pork and lobster with shredded ginger and Thai citron
Courses (4) to (7) were shared among three of us.
(4) Scallop salad with coconut and lemongrass (5) Clear Soup of roast duck with Thai basil and young coconut (6) Aromatic curry of chicken with pickled cucumbers (7) Stir-fried cured pork with tomato and fiddlehead ferns (8) Thai desserts
What about the tastes of the dishes?
Among the eight of us, we all held very different views on the food. Foodies from France, Scotland and Japan love the food. They commented that the taste of each dish did recall their memory of having the very first bite of Thai food when they first arrived in Bangkok. To them, the taste of the dishes was delicate. While the Thai foodies appreciated the fresh, authentic ingredients used in each dish, they commented that certain taste was missing, though exactly what’s missing was not clearly pinpointed out. As for me, a Hong Kong foodie, I found the layers of taste in each dish very distinctive. This kind of mouthfeel is what in fact not easily found in Thai cuisine. Although I am not an expert in Thai food, I do think Thai food is more about rounding and blending all flavours and taste in one.
One distinction I found in the Thai food served at Nahm is the clear layers of taste in each dish ~ Chelsea
Only one thing I would complain about is the portion. I would love to have more!
Who are the diners at Nahm?
The restaurant was full when we visited it. Most of the diners are Japanese and foreigners. That, in fact, explains quite a lot, depending on how you are going to interpret it.
Who in Gourmet Bangkok team reviewed this restaurant?
Chelsea Chan ~ A food lover, golfer, fun lover, and adventurer Chelsea was born in Hong Kong and is a genuine food lover. Her palate is especially sharp on Cantonese food, delicacies from Hong Kong and meat (especially beef, chicken and lamb). She is able to taste how the food is cooked and prepared. Besides, she is also a pro buffet gourmet because of her unlimited appetite. When she says ‘too sweet’, it may not be sweet for you as her preference for chocolate is 72++ dark chocolate.
Will Gourmet Bangkok recommend Nahm?
I will recommend you to try Nahm at least once. In Thai cuisine, layers of flavours are not easy to make! To be able to do that, a thorough understanding of how to mix and match the ingredients, spices, herbs and seasoning is a must skill.