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Some like it very hot at Nahm, some like it not.

Sitting in the 13th spot on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list and taking the title of Best in Asia, dining at Nahm is a very special experience.

It's even more special for Australians as it positions Australian-born chef David Thompson as a Thai cuisine expert.

However be warned - there are no concessions for timid chilli lovers here so choose your dishes with care.  When they say hot, they mean hot as the expressions on the faces of two experienced Thai food lovers proved to me over dinner.  Comical as they were, I was not keen to join their ranks.

Nahm serves Thai food made to recipes with an ancient origin from the cookbooks of former Thai matriarchs - there are no compromises. Choose from an a la carte or a set menu which is designed to give the perfect Thai combination of spicy, sweet, bitter and sour.

Our meal started with a selection of small tastes with an interesting variety and depth of flavour. They were little mouth bombs with the perfect balance between elements - delicate wafers of  coconut filled with prawn and pickled ginger; grilled mussels, sate style with cucumber; betel leaves topped with salted threadfin perch, green mango, ginger; and chilli and rice cakes with blue swimmer crab, peanuts and pickled garlic.

Along with a fair sprinkling of chef specials that emerged to tempt us, the main event included a salad of fresh river prawns with pork and asian pennywort; preserved shrimp and crap simmered in coconut cream with deep fried prawns and vegetables; coconut and turmeric curry of blue swimmer crab with limes; and stir-fried wagyu beef with charred onions, oyster sauce and thai basil.

Dessert was a selection of Thai delights.

The restaurant decor certainly sets the stage for a special dining experience.  There's no crush of tables but instead a serenity above the norm.  Located on the ground for of the stylish Metropolitan Hotel on Sathorn Road, the decor is moody dark wood with subtle Thai influences.

Nahm comes with a warning from a non-chilli lover.  You'll have to feel the heat here to get the full experience, no escaping.

Bottom line: In comparison to other Bangkok dining options, Nahm is not an inexpensive option however it is irresistible for the serious gourmet.

Best tip: Choose the set menu and feel the heat.

Kerry Heaney

Disclaimer:  Ed+bK was a guest of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.


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