I will be the first to admit that our photos from Nahm are... not the best. For that I apologize and beg you to only hold it against me, not this fantastic (though poorly lit for phone photography) restaurant.
Nahm's now closed London location was the first Thai restaurant to receive a Michelin star, so to say I was excited about eating here would be a world class understatement. Now let me say I love Thai food but it also presents a problem for my picky palate. I don't like coconut and I don't like shrimp/prawns. My husband joins me on team "Coconut is the Actual Worst" but is pro prawns. Part of me really wanted to do Nahm's tasting menu but after six months of mostly disappointing food in Seoul, I was really feeling more play it safe than ADVENTURE so we ordered a la carte. Nahm's menu states that the tasting is served family style based on the number of people in the part so we made the mistake of assuming that meant a la carte was served as single portions and ordered at least twice as much food as we needed. Afterwards, we decided that if you're not doing the tasting, it would be best to go as a group to be able to try as many things as possible without feeling terrible about the amount of food you left on the plate.
We got one appetizer to share and then a salad and an entree each. It was way too much food but it was so good.
We started off with the the crispy pork and lobster with shredded ginger and thai citron canape and this was probably the most disappointing thing we tried. We found the leaves that were used as the wrap too large and felt they completely overwhelmed the flavors and textures of the fillings. I think on some sort of house made cracker or even as a salad, I would've liked this much better.
For my salad I ordered the grilled beef salad with cucumber and mint and Dan ordered the salad of wild mushrooms with grilled prawns and chili jam. When I ordered my salad the waiter said "It's quite spicy is that alright?" and I excitedly assured him it was fine. He was not wrong, it was very spicy, but unlike a lot of very spicy foods, the heat played into the overall combination of flavors instead of overwhelming it. This salad was so good that it was the only plate we finished. I want to eat this salad every day. The steak was perfectly cooked (rare) and seasoned, there was fantastic balance between the spiciness of the dressing and the coolness of the cucumber and mint and it had some nutty crunchiness to keep it texturally interesting. Dan's salad turned out to be spicier than he bargained for but also had a great combination of flavors. Since it was full of prawns, I only tried a mushroom which was delicious.
My entree was grilled pork cheek with smoky tomato sauce and Dan had stir fried pork with dried prawns, apple eggplant and chili. My grilled pork cheek was beautifully cooked and tender. At the time I was so obsessed with my salad that I really didn't appreciate this dish but it was also great. It wasn't quite what I expected since it was served with the sauce on the side and "smoky tomato" seems like an inaccurate descriptor. This was the one thing we ordered that I thought was going to be a little more fusion but it was still very Thai. I have no objections to that, it was just a surprise. The sauce was somewhat tomato-y but also had the distinct thai flavors of chili, fish sauce and kaffir lime. It was a really beautiful addition to the tender grilled pork cheek.
With salads at $15-$20 and entrees at $20-$25, Nahm is expensive for Thailand but an absolute steal in terms of price for quality compared to a restaurant in either Seoul or New York. Book well in advance and try to convince a group of friends to come with you to ensure you can get as many menu items as possible. Or, be more adventurous than me and just do the tasting menu. It's probably great.