Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Nahm, Bangkok- Thailand

Australian David Thompson is easily one of the most iconic non-Thai Thai food restaurateur internationally. Books published. 2. Restaurants owned. 3. Lives influenced. Infinity. It's not everyday that I find myself in Bangkok so I might as well give one of his aforementioned restaurants: Nahm, a try. 

For those terrible with directions (me), their address on Sathorn road is also called Sathom road. I'm not sure why. We got lost for a while but in the end we took refuge under the blistering heat and finally found the restaurant past the metropolitan hotel entrance. It's sleek and sophisticated with its dimmed lighting, plush chairs and hard timbers, geared towards a more Western audience but there's bits of Thai influences with the uneven textured columns and flourishes of flowers giving it a little life.

It's 1100 Thai baht (roughly 36-37 aud depending on whether you find a good exchange rate) for the lunch set menu which seemingly is an okay value and it still remains some what so even with the additional compulsory 10 percent, 7 percent Vat (Value-added tax) and 50 baht still water fee (tap should be made available) that's added in the end. It can be quite overwhelming all these surcharges so be prepared but what can you do? The set consists of 2 appetizers, a choice of 3 mains to share and a dessert.

They rev up your taste buds with an amuse of 'ma hor' canapes to start off. Pork, prawns and chicken are all richly married together that sits on a sweet piece of pineapple. A bit of crunch going on wouldn't feel amiss here and it desperately needs it however. 

southern grilled mussels
Their mussels are a cracking hit; each little plump morsel explosive in smoky tamari with a gentle background of chilli. 

spicy pork with mint, peanut and crunchy rice on betel leaves
We follow through with a delicious salad. It's a well grounded explosion of textures and flavours with little surprises of soft squid 'noodles' crispy flash fried squid and rich pork that's refined the original combination with a bit more consideration. 

salad of deep fried soft shelled crab with pomelo, chillies and coriander
Soft shelled crab was similarly successful. You get soft shelled crab and then they smack your lips all around with a whacking of chilli, cool it down with chunks of tart fresh pomelo.

deep fried grouper with fish sauce
Bass Gropper was very tame but still pulled off with expert execution. It's cooked marvellously, crispy and soft and rounded quite well with a well balanced fish sauce water.
grilled duck breast curry with sour tomatoes
It's a chunkier paste that you pretty much has been hand-grounded which has a bit more life, texture and character than other curries you're used to. The duck and cooked to a blushing pink, bathing in a mellow curry with its balance well considered with the sweet and tangy red tomatoes and sour and bitter green ones.

thai desserts no. 1
Our desserts sooth the palate right down. The soup as a whole does seem a bit average where you can find it as a drink in pretty much any vietnamese/thai eatery until you get right down to the coconut cream soup which, I'm not sure why, just tastes better. I think it's just perfumed with something unfamiliar that's really enjoyable. The freshness of the tropical fruits is superb and are what really bring the dish to the next level.

thai desserts no. 2
We finish the meal with a thai wafer, or more well known in Thailand as 'Khanom Buang': bitefuls of wafer, persimmon, yellow noodles and sharp pops of raisins all in coconut cream. A gorgeous looking mangosteen sits next to it; plump, sweet and slightly tart with a texture almost akin to lychee.   

This is no molecular gastronomy what-not which would absolutely feel out of place. This is real banging Thai food. Its intensity. Its authenticity. Is it top 50 material? Hmmmm... questionable. I can't really say not, being much of a globe trotter myself. Service is efficient yet heavily drilled, lifeless and stone cold. You won't see a warm smile here that even the spicy cuisine can make up for. 

The prices are cheap for fine dining, but not cheap compared to the rest of its Bangkok surroundings. I can rave on about the food, at the close-to-perfect-but-not-quite-there-yet stage, but in the end, it's about the complete experience. Flavours were spot on and explosive and yet there were no wowing moments oddly enough. I suppose I'm still a sucker for the glitz and glammer of theatrics and a bit of heart overall. Australia still takes it for me.


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No, we aren't the most amazing gastronomes or chefs. Heck, half our team doesn't even know how to cook... well. However, what we really love is eating. And lots of it. We enjoy that occasional freebie, filling up that craving for a midnight snack and finding a 20 in our pockets that we thought we never had, and using that as an excuse to go out eating. As we battle the ongoing war on uni student poverty, we'll bring you the most swoon worthy recounts of our latest foodie adventures.

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