Wait until you Khun Hom
By Mahmood Hossain
Hidden away in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city is the Mövenpick BDMS Wellness Resort Bangkok; an oasis if you will. Within it, is a quiet culinary abode in the form of Khum Hom, led by Chef Ian Kittichai and specialising in Thai dishes from every region of the country. The name itself translates to, ‘aromatic bite-sized portions.’ While you can surely flirt with smaller delicacies, Khum Hom gives you the opportunity to indulge in deceivingly fulfilling dishes.
The restaurant and its skilled team pride themselves on focusing on their craft and the nest regional produce that does justice to Thailand’s rich culinary heritage.
There are plenty of fine dining venues like Khum Hom that specialise in modern Thai cuisine, where premium ingredients are thrown into traditional or classical recipes. But with their attention to detail, cooking with conviction, and staying steadfast and true to their Thai roots, Khum Hom is wise to never tip the scales to one side over the other for the sake of contemporary glory.
Whether it is a special event or visits drawn by seasonal promotions, the restaurant’s stunning location is fitting for any occasion, and its aromas can lure you away from the resort part of the property and into sampling their enticing food and drinks.
So, what sets the tone for the Khum Hom experience? It isn’t the interior design, nor the splendid view through its glass walls separating the dining area from a balcony overlooking the hotel’s secluded ‘backyard,’ surrounded by high-rises in almost every direction. Not to mention the high, cathedral-esque ceilings of the Mövenpick BDMS Wellness Resort Bangkok decorated in earthy tones and elements of nature, posing as a grand gateway before you enter Khum Hom.
The aesthetics can be pleasing and somewhat distracting, but it’s the people that make it all work; they are the ones who make it feel like a true fine dining experience. The restaurant’s staff is warm, welcoming, eloquent, and attentive, knowing exactly when to approach guests and share the right amount of knowledge pertaining to the menu and everything else Khum Hom has to offer. From ushering in guests, to serving each dish with care, the staff never lets in an inkling of what the experience could be without the 5-star hospitality; it simply is. However, this isn’t to say that the dishes were overshadowed by the service. You could say it was the greatest companion to the entire visit.
Food and Drink
The amuse-bouche came in the shape of a thin crispy shell serving as a base, with dollops of mushroom sauce surrounding a petite serving of chicken that packed quite a spicy punch. To ease us into the first line of dishes, we were introduced to a couple of refreshing cocktails. First, a Raspberry & miso milk punch (price on request), lively and delightful. Then, there was a seductive concoction of caramelised Thai rum, which was dangerously smooth. You can taste the first note of caramel and the undertones of the alcohol in the aftertaste, lingering on your tongue as it teased you to take another sip. It was, for lack of a better term, difficult to put down.
Thankfully, the first few dishes came to steal our attention. We were pleasantly surprised to observe that the evening’s culinary journey was an elevated version of home cooked Thai meals; it was easy to see and taste the immense amount of love that was placed in each dish. The Kao pad rod fai (THB 250++), vegetarian fried rice with shredded egg, which was substituted with cubes of tofu as a special request, was light and flavourful. Both the RD 42 white rice from Doem Bang Nang Buat, Suphanburi in Central Thailand; and the milk brown rice from Thung Kula Rong Hai, Surin, from the northeast of Thailand; accompanied the meat dishes such as the Gor-lae grilled beef (THB 1,100++). This charcoal-grilled Australian beef tenderloin, bathed in a rich red hue, is incredibly juicy, and unsurprisingly, bursting with flavours from the spicy southern red chilli paste. Not to worry, it isn’t as spicy as it looks or sounds!
Next, we moved on to the wonderfully plated Gai yang (THB 450++), grilled free-range chicken with herbs from Northern Thailand. The chicken was cooked perfectly, tender and tangy, and better with each bite. The Gaeng lobster bai yeerah (THB 1,500++), a Southern-style lobster curry with crispy tree basil, was a splendid addition to the mix. While the lobster tasted fresh, it never overpowered the combination of ingredients. A similar balance of flavours was found in the Goong yang (THB 650++), charcoal-grilled tiger prawns with spicy minced grouper salad. The prawn effortlessly came off its shell and melted in the mouth just as easily.
While Khum Hom can be the go-to place for some of the most scrumptious savoury meat dishes, we were amazed to see the best surprise of all came in the form of a plate of split gill mushroom curry with crispy stuffed tofu. The Gaeng kua tofu (THB 350++) was a pleasant kick to the taste buds. This dish isn’t for the faint of heart either, as it serves so much heat from the spice, you’ll want to pace yourself and balance it out with something a little lighter or sweeter. As for the chilli lovers (like us), go ahead and dive into one of the best tofu dishes you’ll taste in the city. We would come back to Khum Hom for this dish alone.
Ground floor, Mövenpick BDMS Wellness Resort Bangkok, 2 Wireless Rd Lumpini Pathumwan Bangkok 10330.
Open Wednesdays to Sundays from 5.30pm to 10.30pm
Tel: 02 666 3311
Facebook and Instagram: @khumhombkk