Rating: ★★★★★

Address: Ground floor, Metropolitan Hotel, 27 South Sathorn Road, Bangkok 10120

Telephone: +66 2 625 3388

http://www.comohotels.com/metropolitanbangkok/dining/nahm

澳洲籍名廚David Thompson對泰國菜有濃厚的興趣,努力鑽研烹調泰國菜後在悉尼開設Darley Street Thai,令他一舉成名,期後在倫敦開設的Nahm更是全世界第一家獲得米芝蓮一星的泰國餐廳。曼谷的Nahm曾經被譽為亞洲的頭五十家最佳餐廳。我在餐廳點了一個tasting menu,價錢是2,000 baht,菜式的份量非常充足,而且賣相及味道都令人滿意。只可惜我到訪餐廳時David Thompson身在澳洲,令我無法品嘗他的廚藝。

It is not easy for a native Australian to excel in Thai cuisine, but world-famous Australian chef David Thompson does that, and with flying colours too! David, who developed an obsessive interest in Thai cuisine, first shot to fame with his restaurant Darley Street Thai in Sydney, which debuted in 1991 and was voted ‘Best Thai Restaurant’ by the Sydney Morning Herald eight years in a row. His third restaurant, Nahm in London, became the first Thai restaurant that ever got a Michelin star.

When I went to Bangkok for a weekend trip, a visit to Nahm in Metropolitan Hotel was obligatory. This restaurant was selected as one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants and Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants by Restaurant Magazine. Even though David is a celebrity chef, an author and a broadcaster, as the Executive Chef of Nahm, David also regularly spends time at this restaurant. Sadly, during my visit David was in Australia, so I didn’t get to try out the cuisine prepared under his supervision. Perhaps this is a sign that I should come to the restaurant again when he is here!

The decor of the restaurant was elegant and modern, and some tables overlooked the hotel’s stylish outdoor pool. The service was polished and timely, and most of the staff spoke fluent English. I ordered a tasting menu, which only cost 2000 baht per head and allowed me to pick one dish from each section on the menu.

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(1) Our amuse bouche was a popular Thai snack of sweet minced pork on fresh pineapple. I have had this snack at other places before, and the pristine ingredients made this snack much more delicate than the other ones I have tried. (The portions below were only for one person, as my dining companion ordered from the à la carte menu.)

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(2) A platter arrived next, and in it were four snacks: (i) smoked fish, peanut and tapioca dumpling, (ii) salted threadfin perch with ginger, chilli and green mango on betel leaves, (iii) blue swimmer crab, peanuts and pickled garlic on rice cakes and (iv) prawn and coconut wafers with pickled ginger.

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David is widely known for his ability to capture the perfect balance of flavours, of spicy and sour, and sweet and salty. These canapés showed off the kitchen’s understanding of each ingredient, and each of them was well balanced in terms of textures and taste.

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(3) The salad of wild mushrooms with grilled prawns and chilli jam was enticing. The mushrooms were pleasantly smooth, and a mild spiciness lifted the entire salad. My only complaint was that there was a tad too much sauce, which drowned the ingredients a bit.

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(4) The clear soup of roast duck with Thai basil and young coconut arrived next. The soup boasted clean yet attractive flavours, and the smooth, soft chunks of young coconut were mouthwatering.

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(5) The aromatic curry of Chiang Mai chicken with sweet potatoes and shallots was fabulously rich and flavourful. The chicken meat was firm and fresh, and I didn’t forget to eat the powdery potatoes, which were a fabulous match with the curry sauce!

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(6) The salted duck eggs and crab simmered in coconut cream was definintely a dish to be remembered. The duck egg white added extra smoothness to the tasty coconut cream, and the crab meat tasted sea-fresh.

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This dish was served with sweet-sour pickled vegetables, and I particularly adored the crunch of the baby corn.

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(7) The steamed bamboo fish with bangrak yellow beans, ginger and celery was a subtle yet completely satisfying dish. The bamboo fish flaked beautifully, and the ginger and garnishes accentuated the gentle, refreshing flavours of the dish.

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(8) Green mango with sugar, another classic Thai street snack, was brought to us before we had our desserts. The green mango had a crisp texture (a bit like rock melon), and was not the least bit sour!

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(9) It was dessert time and this pandanus noodles with black sticky rice, water chestnuts, tapioca and coconut cream completely blew my mind. The coconut cream was already moreish on its own, and the addition of the other ingredients made it even more addictive! The pandanus noodles had an excellently glutinous, springy texture, and the level of sweetness was spot on. I simply could not get enough of this!

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(10) I liked the dessert so much that I wanted to order all the other desserts on the menu, but there was no way I could have stuffed myself with any more food, so I sat back and enjoyed some Thai petit fours to round up the meal.

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