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report nahm London

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report nahm London

mdibiaso | Feb 26, 2003 04:08 AM

Our second night out, a Saturday, was to Nahm. The room was very nice and warm (I forgot to say that at Isola it was FREEZING inside. Several customers had jackets on inside and there was a portable heater blowing in the cloak room, I guess to keep the staff from going home). The staff was extremely professional. We chose the tasting menu which meant getting about 6 dishes served at once, after have two small tidbits served. The first tidbit, a small pipeapple slice cover with sweet, smokey beef jerky was simply outstanding. Dozens of nuances and uniques flavors. Than a thin pancake type roll filled with chicken, cococut and vegatables. Also extremely good and complex. At this point, I really liked the place but was thinking this cooking is not at all Thai, like at Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas, my reference point for Thai food today. When the main courses came I had to change that opinion also. The first thing we tasted was a salad of grilled scallops. This has all the fresh herbs, chillies and lime juice as the salads at LOS. It was not only delicious but the heat was intense. Almost as hot as the food at LOS. This surprised me after the mild and sweet tidbits, and since the restaurant was very upscale, I thought they would be afraid to serve at this heat level. The soup was rich and sour, with wonderful chicken pieces. A trout was served plain, to be wrapped in cabbage and dipped in a very hot relish. A sea bass was served grilled inside a banana leaf and surrounded with fresh coconut. We had a wonder half dry Riesling to all this (something I learned from LOS). In fact, the first wines on the wine list were all from Alsace (French and German, dry and sweet). Later there were some great burgundies and chardonnays but I would not want to try these with food that was as intense and spicy and complex as the food was here at Nahm. Dessert was some extremely good and fresh fruit variations. All in all this was my favorite meal of the trip. While the food was not the same kind as LOS, and it was much more expensive, it was like LOS very unique and I feel also very genuine. But this was royal Thai, not country Thai like LOS. The service was also top notch as was the atmosphere except for the noise level. Like Isola, Nahm has almost no fabrik in the room to dampen the noise level. This meant the base level noise from all the tables was very high, and when staff came to the table they spoke softly and were hard to hear. While the room was beautiful, some table clothes would have made the experience a lot better and a lot quieter. My wife however put Zaika above Nahm. She liked Nahm, but I think the heat of the scallop salad put her into shock for about 30 minutes. So be forewarned if you are shy of chillies.

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