By Frank Lihn
Crossing the threshold and entering Namsaah Bottling Trust..
..housed in a renovated early 20th century villa, is to enter another era. I was looking forward to the cuisine, but I stood in wonder at the décor which transported me one hundred years into the past. Comfortable couches line the walls (an elegant alternative to “restaurant furniture”) flocked wallpaper and velvety drapes add to the warmth and charm, as does chandeliers festooned with ostrich feathers and warm, rich colors. The villa’s rooms, upstairs and down, have been transformed into multiple intimate and quiet dining rooms.
Namsaah is the brainchild of a group led by Master Chef Ian Kittichai. Established in mid 2014, Chef Kittichai has authored a Pan-Asian menu reflecting Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese and other cuisines, creatively elevated to more than match the surrounding elegance of the villa.
The bar menu is extensive and equally as inventive as the cuisine; as well as a fun read! There are more than 30 cocktails, many classics and some with additional flairs.
There are bar appetizers as well as formal dining options, all moderately priced. Namsaah’s working Chef, Tanakorn Tongkome, presents the cuisine unpretentiously. There are no architectural distractions, no culinary constructions climbing off the plate, as his approach centers focus on the food, which is simply well-prepared, imaginatively presented, and ever so delicious.
Salmon Tacos, made with fried gyoza skins, folded and filled with fresh tomato salsa, smoked chipotle, salmon and greens, with fresh coconut milk sour cream drizzled on top were outstanding!
Namsaah Pad Thai was delightful, with the unusual and tasty addition of plump foie gras.
An order of Momo was equally inventive – fresh steamed dumplings filled with Himalayan spiced (most notably cumin) Wangyu beef in a light crushed peppercorn sauce that was savory and pleasing.
Namsaah’s Chicken Tangerine was marvelous, baked and presented with a light, shiny bigarade sauce studded with raisins and wedges of tangerine that sparkled on my palate elevating the entrée to another level.
Whether your intent is to impress or just simply to enjoy imaginative and excellent cuisine in quiet, elegant surroundings, Namsaah is where you want to be.