Masala samples the celebrated restaurant’s new, seasonal menus.
By Ashima Sethi
In 2014, nahm, under the guidance of multi-award winning Chef David Thompson and Chef Prin Polsuk, landed the number one spot at Asia’s Top 50 Restaurants Awards. In the years that followed, the revered restaurant found global fame, receiving countless accolades including a coveted Michelin star.
In 2018, Chef Pim Techamuanvivit ushered in a new chapter nahm. The successful chef-owner of Michelin-starred Kin Khao in San Francisco, she helped nahm retain its Michelin standing while curating her own vision for the celebrated restaurant. Now, with the support of Head Chef Peace, nahm delivers an experience that marries the nostalgia of Thai heritage cuisine with the elegance of fine dining.
nahm’s dining room is nothing short of impressive. The space is bathed in a warm, honeyed glow thanks to low lit lamps. Its décor takes inspiration from Thailand’s old capital, Ayutthaya, with striking, textured red-brick columns dividing up the otherwise urban space. A combination of old and new that pays tribute to nahm’s overall ethos.
Tucked in the corner of the intimate dining area is a private room. Outside is a breezy terrace should you prefer to dine al fresco. When I was seated, I noticed the tableware boasted a handpicked selection of Benjarong bowls and Celadon plates, reaffirming how nahm’s commitment to Thai heritage shines through in all areas.
FOOD AND DRINK
nahm currently offers set menus for lunch and dinner, a separate vegetarian menu, as well as dishes available to order à la carte. During our visit, we sampled the Heritage dinner set (THB 2,500++ per person). Served Thai-style as sharing plates, the menu pays tribute to age-old recipes that have been crafted using ingredients sourced from local agriculturalists and artisans.
To whet the palate we started with a glass of Luis Pato Informal 2010 sparkling rosé before being served an amuse bouche that reminded me of the much-loved Thai crepe, Khanom bueang. Offering a unique, savoury twist on the classic, it was made from a crispy charcoal wafer and filled with slivers of prawn and coconut. We then moved onto canapés. The first, the Pu sorn kiln was a ﬂavourful bite of shredded blue swimmer crab served with coriander and pickled garlic on a crunchy rice cracker. Next was the Miang nopakao, a betel leaf-wrapped parcel of live river prawn, chicken, green mango, snakefruit, and herbs that was a vibrant medley of ﬂavours and textures.
Appetisers followed, beginning with Yam pak yang tawai, a salad of leaves and fruit in a ‘tawai’ dressing. Adapted from the Tawai people, this dish takes inspiration from a plate that was often served in noble Thai households. Unlike the common sour, vinaigrette you’d expect for a salad dressing, the ‘tawai’ sauce is rounded in ﬂavour and mildly salty. Combined with the natural sweetness from the fruits and greens, it makes for a balanced dish.
As someone who adores seafood, my preferred appetiser was the aromatic Ngob talay. Similar to the steamed curry, Hor mok¸ the dish comprised of a grilled banana leaf packet of blue swimmer crab, wild prawn, and red grouper that’s been seasoned with wild ginger and a smoky red curry paste rich in every bite.
We then moved onto the mains, which were served all at once with your choice of rice. I opted for fragrant jasmine rice before tucking into the Gang pu bai cha plu, a Southern-inspired yellow curry with generous chunks of blue swimmer crab, betel leaves, and calamansi, which adds a subtle tartness.
Next, I sampled the Pad pak goot, a stir-fry of young fiddlehead ferns, before moving onto one of the restaurant’s signature dishes, the Nuea pad piroth. Called ‘angry beef’ in English, the plate comprises of premium wagyu beef stir fried with fresh coconut shoots and green peppercorns. The robust taste of the meat combined with delicate bursts of spice from the peppercorn made for one of the more memorable dishes of the evening. Finally, we tried nahm’s adaptation of Tom yum gung that featured fresh river prawn, velvety blue foot mushrooms, and a pungent chilli jam, which was a creation that delivered thanks to its herbaceous broth.
We were then served a palate cleansing watermelon and ginger sorbet that was a refreshing segue for dessert. The menu offers two to choose from, between Life cycle of a coconut and Textures and ﬂavours of pandan. I chose the latter, which was a visually striking plate of sweets crafted using pandan including Khanom chan, a glutinous steamed pandan cake.
The fifth main on the Heritage degustation and a unanimous favourite was Gapi pla. A piquant relish of wild prawns from Songkhla, Chumpon shrimp paste, green peppercorns and somsa citrus, it was the perfect representation of what makes nahm successful. Bold flavours that are somehow familiar, yet excitingly unique.
Ground ﬂoor, COMO Metropolitan Bangkok,
27 South Sathorn Road Thung Maha Mek, Sathorn, Bangkok 10120
Open for lunch Thursday and Friday from 12pm to 2pm; open for dinner Thursday to Saturday from 6.30pm to 10.15pm
Tel: 02 625 3388
Facebook and Instagram: @nahmbangkok