Fierily authentic food that’s an antidote to standardised hotel dining
At Nahm, Thai culinary tradition overrides the affectations of swanky top-level dining. The Metropolitan Hotel by Como may be plush in the extreme, but the cooking here is rustic, gutsy and entirely free of pomp. David Thompson hails from Australia, of course, but the Thais have embraced this farang with open arms, and the chef and food historian is now widely accepted as the world’s foremost practitioner of their country’s beguilingly multi-faceted cuisine.
The food at Nahm draws influence from the spectrum of Thai cooking; from the opulent gastronomy of the palaces right through to the dishes of the street. Most evening diners opt for the tasting menu, and what follows is not comparable to the other restaurants on this list. After a wave of snacks, the bulk of the dishes arrive at once as tradition dictates. When the neatly garbed servers that patrol this coolly understated dining room warn that something is hot, take careful note.
The main phase of the meal will likely include a furiously spicy ‘relish’ containing minced fish or meat topped with tiny bird’s eye chilies shaped like scud missiles, a soup – which may be equally bracing or soothing – and a curry. Dessert is likely to involve exotic fruit at the very peak of its freshness. Diners can be out in as little as an hour and a half, but it’s impossible to walk away from this restaurant feeling short-changed.
Images: Jason Lang