With its exclusive location in Belgravia's Halkin hotel, its spare yet elegant setting (burnished gold walls and polished teak inlay), and intelligent service, Nahm seems every bit the Michelin one-star London restaurant that it indeed is - but with a crucial difference. Nahm is the only Thai restaurant in Europe to have earned this distinction. With good reason; there is no restaurant outside of Thailand with the same ambition. Chef David Thompson, an authority on Thai cooking, serves his own unique interpretation that captures the forthright yet graceful flavors of this much abused cuisine (ie. your typical pad Thai). But unlike other upscale Thai restaurants, say, Vong, Thompson's menu is not modernized, fused to any other culinary tradition, or bent to Western palates. He simply takes the most refined recipes the country has to offer (many of them coming directly from the royal palace) and executes them using ingredients from London's mostly organic farmer's markets. The results are superb, at once fiery, intense, subtle and complex. Expect to find combinations that you'd never imagine, such as crisp, deep-fried eggs covered in a fish and shallot sauce, and mussel and pomelo salad with roasted coconut, peanuts, caramel dressing and betel leaves. And expect to be planning your return even before the chile-burn fades from your tongue.
The Halkin Hotel, Halkin Street, London W1X
44 (0) 20 7333 1000