April 5, 2010. (Bangkok, TH) – In July, David Thompson—the Australian-born chef of nahm at The Halkin hotel in London—opens his first restaurant in Bangkok. He will be working alongside his long-term partner of 20 years, Thai-born Tanongsak Yordwai, who helped Thompson set up the chef’s first hit restaurant, Darley Street Thai, in Sydney in 1992. This was followed by Sailors Thai, also in Sydney, and nahm in London.
“It’ll be great,” says Thompson, “to land back into Bangkok and all that delicious chaos. I can’t wait to use local ingredients, going to the markets, playing around in the kitchen, and then putting them onto the dishes in the restaurant.”
In 2002, nahm, London became the first Michelin-starred Thai restaurant in Europe. In Bangkok, Thompson’s ambitions are similar: “to deliver proper, decent Thai food done really well.” The restaurant will have a lighter, more easygoing feel.
The cuisine will be like the food eaten at home, relaxed, generous and authentic. This comfortable approach will be reflected in the style of service, beginning with several different canapés served at each meal. Guided by highly informative Thai waiters, diners will then be able to explore the full gamut of Thompson’s repertoire.
Key dishes will include a jungle curry with snake-headed local fish known as pla chorn grown in the clear water of the rice paddies. “It’s an ugly looking fish, but the flesh is delectable,” says Thompson: “firm, plump, sweet and entirely delicious.” There will be rich dishes on the menu—for instance a southern geng gati of crushed prawns with turmeric and coconut cream or a northern relish of grilled chillies and tomatoes known as nahm prik nuum. These will also be a colourful array of Thai deserts—sweet, creamy, occasionally salty—prepared by Tanongsak, and a wine menu selected by Troy Sutton, the sommelier who has worked with Thompson in London from the start.
Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, the restaurant will be located in the Metropolitan, Bangkok—among the city’s leading addresses with a central position on South Sathorn Road.
It will be designed by Japanese interior architect, Koichiro Ikebuchi, who also designed Uma Ubud in Bali and Aoki in Singapore. Ikebuchi is defined by his sensitive approach to cultural authenticity. Both modern and traditional at the same time, nahm, Bangkok uses natural wood, including screens for privacy, and warm oranges and browns with shimmering bronze plates on tables. The space will be steeped in natural daylight and in the evening, enriched by the soft mood lighting of the nearby outdoor pool.
nahm, Bangkok will feature a private dining room and terrace dining. It is expected to draw its majority of customers from the city, including Bangkok’s significant expat community. Set menus will be priced at 1800 Baht per person (CAD $56).
Understanding the Metropolitan: COMO Hotels and Resorts currently owns and operates two Metropolitan hotels, in London and Bangkok. They share dynamic elements: a contemporary east-west aesthetic, youthful staff, a COMO Shambhala Urban Escape and a lively members’ bar. Both hotels have restaurants regarded as gourmet destinations in their own right. They are city hotels that stand at the centre of the action – both physically and in the city’s psyche. They are places where things happen, attracting creative travellers who seek both the high-octane lifestyle as well the peace and calm that comes with clean-lined modern design. This unique potential to experience two different worlds – the energy of a vibrant metropolis, and serene escapism within the hotel’s calming confines – is what defines the Metropolitan life. Website: www.metropolitan.bangkok.como.bz