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nahm nahm nahm


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A quick search on David Thompson shows posts on his cookbooks (which I own) but not his restaurants, which is not a shame but a SIN!

First a quick note on my tastes; I've eaten many of the biggies, from French Laundry to Trois Gros. Recently I've grown bored with fine dining, including recent bites with Chef Mavro in Hawaii and John Besh in New Orleans. Ok, I'm a spoiled brat, because they are all delicious. But all kind of the same-- french influenced in season tiny bites of perfect... yeah. It's good. It's all the same.

And I also adore Thai food; so much so that I spent a chunk of my time in Thailand at a professional cooking course in Koh Samui so I could grok it. So on my last night in Thailand I agonized between a night market or eating at David Thompson's acclaimed nahm. I was not so sure about nahm, because if I learned one thing about eating in Bangkok; if there is a roof involved, the food won't be as good. Plus he's Australian! And, since I'd had the best sausage of my life on the street for 50 cents, why pay 70 bucks for a tasting menu when 7 would do?

Well, boy was I wrong. Wrongy wrong wrong. nahm blew my mind (and blew out my tongue, but more on that later)

These photos cannot do justice to the depth of flavor, the so-very Thai balance of sweet, spicy, salty, sour and sometimes bitter. They cannot represent how perfectly each protein was cooked, or the luscious nature of the sauce. But maybe they will convince you to trek over there so you can too enjoy this gorgeous, gorgeous food.

Amuse buche of pork/shrimp/chicken/peanut on pineapple

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smoked fish on tapioca, muscle satay, salt chicken in longon twille, spicy pork salad on betal leaf

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Soft shell crab with pomelo; a version of Yum Som-o

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Grilled pork. Don't know what he did to it, but it was both delicious and had the most amazing texture.  Possibly the best thing I ate.  and worst picture I took. ;)

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Curried beef. a bit too spicy for me. But tasty enough to make me try.

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Soup of squid and pork; very salty like the sea and very very yummy

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These three came together (as did the previous three) an amazing shrimp in coconutmilk, a tasty fried fish and some rather odd and (IMHO) useless salad.

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As my mouth was howling with pain, my waiter kindly brought me a treat to stop the heat: roasted apples with palm sugar. and it worked!

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the dessert: lycee iced soup with fried shallots and thai "cupcakes." I could eat this for the rest of my life.

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Also, mango with chili

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and, of course, pettifor, all "lucky:" mung bean with gold leaf, crispy rice, a merangue for "lovely lady" and young coconut

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for big pictures check out flickr or my blog

Edited by et alors (log)

"Gourmandise is not unbecoming to women: it suits the delicacy of their organs and recompenses them for some pleasures they cannot enjoy, and for some evils to which they are doomed." Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

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Great review and photos. I have all his books and cook from them regularly. Makes me want to book flights to Thailand right now.

Smell and taste are in fact but a single composite sense, whose laboratory is the mouth and its chimney the nose. - Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

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  • 1 year later...

Tried Nahm a few months back and yes, it is a very good place to eat. All the dishes we had were excellent and prepared well. Can't vouch for authenticity as I have no reference point! It was a great meal.

Interestingly, a Thai professor friend who is knowledgeable about the most obscure dishes dispelled the notion that Thai food was supposed to be a balanced mixture of sweet, salty, sour and bitter. If I hadn't been aware of this before eating at Nahm, I would have thought that the dishes were not balanced as some were very salty and some were very sweet. Eaten togather with rice, everything comes togather perfectly.

I would contrast this with another famous Thai 'fine dining' restaurant Bo.Lan. The only thing I will say about Bo.Lan is that the dining atmosphere is fantastic. The wonderful house and beautiful decoration is a compliment to Thai interior designers.

The good news is, anyone with a smaller budget and a hankering for Thai food can dine at Suppaniga Eating House in Thong Lo. The prices are very reasonable (190 - 220 baht a dish with the current crab specials going up to 450+ baht). The food is very good and one can find obscure regional dishes there. It is difficult to compare this to Nahm because the styles are just so different. Both a great restaurants serving a different target market. That said, I've eaten at Suppaniga 3 times this month!

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  • 1 year later...

Tried Nahm a few months back and yes, it is a very good place to eat.  All the dishes we had were excellent and prepared well.  Can't vouch for authenticity as I have no reference point!    It was a great meal.  

 

Interestingly, a Thai professor friend who is knowledgeable about the most obscure dishes dispelled the notion that Thai food was supposed to be a balanced mixture of sweet, salty, sour and bitter.  If I hadn't been aware of this before eating at Nahm, I would have thought that the dishes were not balanced as some were very salty and some were very sweet.   Eaten togather with rice, everything comes togather perfectly.  

 

I would contrast this with another famous Thai 'fine dining' restaurant Bo.Lan.  The only thing I will say about Bo.Lan is that the dining atmosphere is fantastic.  The wonderful house and beautiful decoration is a compliment to Thai interior designers. 

 

The good news is, anyone with a smaller budget and a hankering for Thai food can dine at Suppaniga Eating House in Thong Lo.  The prices are very reasonable (190 - 220 baht a dish with the current crab specials going up to 450+ baht).  The food is very good and one can find obscure regional dishes there.  It is difficult to compare this to Nahm because the styles are just so different.  Both a great restaurants serving a different target market.  That said, I've eaten at Suppaniga 3 times this month!

 

Here's what a well-regarded poster on another forum had to say about Suppaniga and his reporting his Thai relatives' comments regarding Nahm.  He and his family all are quite serious and experienced about the food they eat.

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Here's what a well-regarded poster on another forum had to say about Suppaniga and his reporting his Thai relatives' comments regarding Nahm.  He and his family all are quite serious and experienced about the food they eat.

 

Correction: The name of the restaurant is Supanniga, not Suppaniga.

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