"I landed in 1980 in Bangkok, and I stopped to eat ten times between the airport and the hotel. It was all lemongrass and ginger and chilies." - Jean-Georges Vongerichten
There is no better time to visit Bangkok than December and January. The sweltering heat found from March through to August is replaced with a more manageable and pleasant heat.
If you’re in need of winter-sun and seek a city-break with world class food and accommodation, then I have just the place for you.
One of Bangkok’s best hotels, the effortlessly stylish COMO Metropolitan Bangkok, is situated in the quieter Sathorn district of the city.
Located a stones throw away from the beautiful Lumpini Park, the 5 star resort is hidden away amongst skyscrapers and embassies and is found by travelling along a tree-lined path away from the busy roads.
A sleek but understated contemporary style reception meets you. It 's clear that a lot of thought and effort has gone into the design of the hotel.
The staff couldn’t be more pleasant and willing to assist.
Super comfy and luxurious 500-thread-count Egyptian cotton linens adorn the super-king beds.
The rooms are spacious and well-presented and contain some nice touches, such as Bose stereos and fresh orchid plants.
Our room, an Executive Suite, even had its own private meeting/dining room.
Breakfast is served at Glow restaurant.
A big selling feature for the hotel is its huge outdoor swimming pool, the perfect place to escape the heat.
Attentive pool attendants keep a watchful eye to ensure you’re kept well-hydrated and even offer complimentary sunscreen lotion.
We didn’t have time to use the spa facilities, but the 1-hour COMO Shambhala Massage is said to be highly recommended.
The hotel has another ace up its sleeve: possibly the best Thai restaurant in the world.
‘Kin Khao Reu Yang?’
This single sentence sums up the esteem with which food is held in Thai culture and society. In Thailand, when family or friends meet, rather than ask ‘how are you?’, they will often ask ‘Kin Khao Reu Yang?’. Translation: have you eaten (rice) yet?
If any of the party has yet to eat, sourcing a good meal becomes the immediate priority above all others.
Food in Thailand is a communal affair. Not only is it normal for the entire family to eat together, but they also often cook meals together and eat from the same shared dishes. It is how traditional methods of Thai cookery are inherited from generation to generation.
In our taxi on the way to the hotel the driver enquired if we were going to be eating at nahm. When we told him that we hoped to, but hadn't made a reservation he laughed and informed us that we had little chance - you have to book weeks and months in advance in order to secure a table.
So it was almost with embarrassment that we asked the hotel reception if they could arrange a reservation for us that evening. And, to complicate matters further, we hoped to invite several family members to share the experience with us - a table for 6 would be required.
nahm at COMO Metropolitan Bangkok frequently features amongst lists of the top restaurants in Asia. Run by the Australian-born chef David Thompson, it was recently awarded a coveted Michelin star. One of the first restaurants in Thailand to receive the award.
Thompson and his team have gained worldwide notoriety for offering authentic Thai cuisine made using the highest quality ingredients, while earning a reputation for reviving once popular traditional Thai dishes.
This was the highlight of the meal. Alike Fäviken's "i skalet ur elden", this signature dish was bursting with flavour and worth the trip alone.
Muslim curry of oxtail with fresh nutmeg, ginger and eggplants.
Thai vegetable and fruit salad with tamarind, palm sugar and sesame dressing. Another stunning dish.
Steamed coral trout with Bang Rak yellow beans and pickled garlic.
Grilled galangal relish with pork and prawn stuffed bamboo and mustard greens.
One of our party commented: "I can pay this no higher compliment than to say this is exactly how my mum cooked this dish. Beautiful!"
A delicious Lycheetini.
Kingfish salad with pomelo, lemongrass and lime.
Preserved shrimp and crab simmered in coconut cream with deep-fried prawns and vegetables.
Owing to our late reservation we didn't get to spend as much time at nahm as we would have liked, and as a result weren't able to sample even more dishes.
Each of the dishes we did sample were extremely well-balanced. It's apparent that the chefs have a clear understanding of the four fundamental taste areas; sweet, spicy, salty and sour.
We left extremely full, but with food this good you always want more!
Photography by mahon.photo