Last week I made it to Nahm in London's Belgravia to celebrate a friend's birthday. I first heard of Nahm's Michelin starred Thai food before I left for Australia. It was somewhere I nearly visited for a farewell meal but, alas, didn't make it.
They may no longer have a Michelin star, but reading Trina's recent report on her visit to Nahm's Bangkok outpost reminded me that it was somewhere I wanted to visit. I booked a table in a flash.
It may be four years since I first hoped to visit, but the wait has done me good. Having spent a short time living in Thailand, meeting the chef David Thompson in Sydney and taking the Sailors Thai cookery course I now feel I appreciate Thai food a lot more. Nahm's traditional Thai recipes would have been lost on me before.
Located in a smart London hotel the dining room has a swish feel. The restaurant was smaller then I expected with lots of bare wood and every food bloggers nightmare: mood (aka read dark) lighting.
We ordered the set menu and dived in. We had our favourite dishes, but all of the food was excellent. Authentic Thai flavours, incredible knife skills, well balanced flavours, some new tastes and a few English ingredients thrown in too.
It was a grazing menu with series of appetisers and starters, before hitting three main courses and climaxing with desert.
Ma Hor - minced prawns and chicken simmered in palm sugar, with deep fried shallots, garlic and peanuts served on pineapple and mandarin - was our first appetiser. The prawn and chicken mix was sweet, mild and chewy. The fruit added a welcome burst of acidity to cut through the sweetness. I preferred the mandarin with it's explosion of juice in your mouth.
Kanom krok gung wiset
Next came a plate which contained a trio of three more substantial appetisers. We first tried the Kanom krok gung wiset - coconut cupcakes with red curry of langoustine. The fragrant red curry paste had a delayed kick of chilli and hid small pieces of langoustine. The coconut baskets reminded me of Sri Lankan hoppers.
Kanom muang gai kem
Middle of the trio was kanom muang gai kem - wafers of salted chicken with lemongrass and basil. The wafers tasted of palm sugar and were crisp in places and soft in others. A clear taste of lemongrass came through. I didn't detect much Thai basil and the chicken wasn't overly salty.
Our final taster was my favourite of the appetisers. The miang - roasted peanuts and salak with caramel dressing served on betel leaves - were a winner. The distinctive betel leaf flavour was a constant flavour throughout and not over powered by the spices. The roasted peanuts tasted like the essence of Thai food. There was a lasting heat that I was tasting for minutes afterwards.
Yam king gap gung mangkorn
Appetisers over the 'starter' arrived. The
Geng jeut fak
Geng sap nok
Next up was a trio of main courses. The red curry was one of the hottest dishes of the night and brought a glistening perspiration to my forehead. The g
Neua pat gung haeng sai makreue pak
Venison is definitely not a meat I'd associated with Thailand.
Shrimp paste simmered with coconut milk
Our final main course was described as a shrimp paste served with double braised mackerel rather than the other way round. The
The double braised mackerel had a slightly sweetness. It came served with a salad of Thai basil, cucumber, star fruit, green mango and a couple of other leaves I don't know the names of.
Kanom babin ga som chum
We were able to select desserts from the a la carte menu. I chose the
Kanom mor geng peuak ga kao mao bot
Our final dish of the evening was the
I thoroughly enjoyed Nahm. The service and food were impecable. I left the restaurant replete with a warming fire burning in the pit of my stomach.
I enjoyed it so much I've added Nahm to my Top Eats page.
5 Halkin St