Thursday 27 October 2011

Nahm, Belgravia - London Restaurants

Prawn salad

I'm in the middle of packing to leave the country and I have to make a lot of important decisions. Does the hair straightener come with me, side by side across the globe, so that I have it for important Christmas parties and pre-wedding functions upon landing in Melbourne - or does it get shipped, not to be seen again for 3 long, harsh, frizzy weeks?

Hotel foyer-esque room

Given the weighty matters I am devoting my mental energy to, you will have to excuse some rather brusque reviews for the time being. You don't care anyway - you don't want to know about the complexity of the foam in the 15th amuse bouche, about the crisp (never crispy) textures contrasting with the fluffiness of the mousse or the char marks on the steak. You want a gut feel. The nutshell. Should you go or should you not?


Nahm feels like eating at the check-in desk of a barren hotel foyer, the service is irritatingly attentive, there are a lot of suits and your water will be topped up after each sip - generally right at a key moment as you try to whisper sweet nothings into your date's ear. Don't go there to propose. But the food is magnificent. It really is. I was expecting less, I think from things I have read, but I also think a lot of people wouldn't know good Thai food if it rolled itself up in a banana leaf and slapped them across the face.

For TPG's birthday, I took him to Nahm and indulged us both in the Thai tasting menu - a starter, salad, soup, stir fry, curry, main - a grilled fish or meat, dessert and some other bits for around £60 per head, plus drinks. They'll help you to get the right balance of things.  Everything is cooked really well and the layers of flavours are bursting and gorgeous as all good Thai flavours should be. The desserts are di-vine. It's really hard to find a decent wine to match Thai food - but, of course, TPG put about 75 thousand hours of research into it and struck gold with a nice riesling.

If you are a Thai fan or a David Thompson fan (his cook books are beautiful, if complicated), or you want to try Thai food at a Michelin star restaurant, go to Nahm for the food, but beware the soulless atmosphere.

Nahm, The Halkin Hotel, Halkin Street, Belgravia, London SW1X 7DJ (Tel: 020 7333 1235)

Nahm on Urbanspoon


  1. 'Don't go there to propose'- great summation- there should be a special category for that on reviews (The Hungry One went through six restaurants with a ring in his pocket before finding one that was right). Regardless, can't wait to go and check it out. Leaving my David Thompson 'Street Food' back in Sydney when we moved here was a hard one.

  2. Tori - Hilarious about The Hungry One - which restaurant did he go with in the end - do tell! I know the feeling re leaving your cookbook in Aus - we left our Stephanie Alexander bible there because we thought it too heavy to ship!!! You live and learn...

  3. Hi there!

    Just wanted to say that your comment of "a lot of people wouldn't know good Thai food if it rolled itself up in a banana leaf and slapped them across the face," cracked me up. So true.


  4. I went to Nahm in Bangkok (where the same tasting menu set up was £30ish though I didn't pay) and really enjoyed it. Same kind of atmosphere situation though.


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