I have wanted to go to Nahm Thai for what seems like forever. A few years ago for a friend’s birthday there was an elaborate rouse that a group of her friends were going to head to Nahm Thai for dinner but in actual fact we were throwing her a surprise 29th party so we weren’t really going there. But in November this year the opportunity presented on a Monday night (when I had taken a Tuesday off) and a booking for four was made so that GG and I could head along with Mr and Mrs M&M. I couldn’t wait! Monday and Tuesday nights at Nahm Thai are BYO ($10 corkage per bottle) so we arrived with a bottle in tow. We were actually the first table to arrive so it gave me a chance to take in the surroundings. It had an understated elegance to it. I quite liked it, with the bright splash of purple from the plush chairs.
We decided we’d go with their banquet menu, which meant that our group of four could order 3 entrees, 4 mains (with steamed jasmine rice or coconut rice) along with dessert for $75 per person. Not too bad I thought given the rave reviews I had heard about the food at Nahm Thai. Mr and Mrs M&M had visited previously so I put the ordering in their capable hands and we locked in….
1. Galloping horses – minced pork, roasted peanuts, duck and red shrimp morsels on fresh pineapple and mandarin: Amazing! A mere mouthful but oh the exciting, punchy flavours! Having the delicious minced pork mixture atop the thin slice of the sweet fruit, either the pineapple or the mandarin, were a delight. Go the galloping horses!
2. Miang of prawns- mango, herbs, coconut milk and lime served on betel leaf: I’ve only ever had food on a betel leaf once before. Years ago at Longrain in Sydney and I remember loving it. Couldn’t tell you exactly what it was, but it is a fond hazy memory in my mind. The Nahm Thai betel leave entrée was just amazing. The coconut milk added a slightly tropical and decadent richness to what was again, just a mouthful, but they just add so much wow to every bite. Carefully considered herbs and spices and perfectly sweet prawns and just so well balanced. Bravo and here’s to more food served on leaves 🙂
3. Salt and spicy soft shell crab, grilled watermelon, herbs and lime dressing: It was Ku De Ta in Bali where I first tried soft shell crab. I thoroughly enjoyed it there. Between now and then there’s been a few other places that GG and I have ordered it and I haven’t always been as sold as that first time, but I just loved what they did with it here. Perfectly crispy and well paired with the sweet watermelon and the zesty lime dressing. It was three outta three on the entrée front and I had high hopes that mains would be similarly dressed to impress.
Our line up for mains was Thick red curry with roast duck, quail eggs and lychees; Caramelized crispy pork hock with a herb salad, chilli and lime dressing; Braised beef shin in aromatic spices with sweet potato and roasted peanuts and the Crispy barramundi, Asian greens, thai basil along with some of the Coconut Rice. Such delicious aromas filled the air as the dishes were delivered and it was hard to know where to start!
I’m a long time duck fan and the pairing of this beautiful bird with the slightly exotic and always sweet lychees was divine. There was such a richness in flavour in the red curry sauce and it went so well with the coconut rice. Good sauce and rice….. it’s on the life’s simple pleasures list.
I’d stack on similar praise to the sauce from the beef dish. The braised beef was a slow cooked wonder and the chunky pieces just melted in your mouth. The sauce was indeed aromatic and I enjoyed the crunch from the decorative smattering of peanuts.
The barramundi was well cooked and though a relatively new fish fan I did enjoy it and liked the accompanying vegies, which still had plenty of crunch.
But of the four my vote for favourite went to the pork. Just so good! The pieces of hock were a little bit crispy, a little bit soft, with the perfect indulgent fatty goodness to them. It was well balanced with the refreshing herb salad and the spicy and sour zap from the chilli lime sauce. Such a lovely dish!
I think what I was really enjoying about the food at Nahm Thai was that everything was all so wonderfully fresh! All the flavours were well balanced – sweet, sour and spicy all combining to perfect harmony. It made me think of a few years before when I’d been along to a Thai cooking class on a visit to Phuket. Was just the best day and an interesting challenge making dishes and balancing the right amount of lime, chilli, palm sugar and fish sauce. It’s clearly something that gets easier with practice and they have it down to an art at Nahm Thai.
For dessert, three of our group, including myself, ordered the Lime tart with coconut icecream, but GG decided he would buck the trend and opted for the Sago and palm sugar coconut milk banana pudding. I hadn’t minded the timing of our entrée and mains but our desserts did seem to take a fair while. Strangely too the lime tarts all arrived together and then when we were all close to finishing them GG’s pudding arrived. We had wondered whether it had been forgotten. I would have just preferred if they could all have come together would be my only comment, but it was only a minor blemish.
I had thoroughly enjoyed my long anticipated visit to Nahm Thai. Delicious food, very reasonable banquet pricing, with the added bonus of BYO on Mondays and Tuesdays and I just wondered why I had taken so long to get myself there. If you are a fan of Thai food then without a doubt, get yourself to Nahm Thai in a hurry. And if you’ve already been, then head back…… and take me with you 🙂