Known for its beautifully rich, sweet, and spicy flavors, Thai cuisine has long drawn many around the world to explore this Southeast Asian country. Not only does it have incredible street food, but Thailand also has a burgeoning restaurant scene, many of which made the list for The Daily Meal’s annual ranking of the 101 Best Restaurants in Asia.
In choosing our 101 best, we called upon more than 50 experts who either live in Asia or spend time there frequently; restaurant critics, food and lifestyle writers, and bloggers with wide restaurant-going experience (the roster was slightly different from last year's, which in part probably accounts for the fact that some high-ranking restaurants last year dropped down the list or disappeared this year, as well as for the presence of so many new places). These experts were supplemented by The Daily Meal’s well-traveled editorial staff. We asked all the respondents to help nominate places to build upon last year’s ballot of 202 contenders, then evaluate the selection and vote for their favorites, country by country (meet The Daily Meal's panelists). We further asked our panelists to vote by region in four categories: Cuisine, Style/Décor/Service, Value, and Don't Miss.
On this year’s list, nahm was the number-one restaurant in Thailand and the number-three restaurant overall in Asia.
Australian-born Thai food expert David Thompson, having run acclaimed Thai establishments in Sydney and London (where he won the first ever Michelin star for Thai cuisine) opened a branch of his flagship nahm in the Metropolitan Hotel in Bangkok, where he now lives, in 2010. A stickler for authenticity, like so many other food experts who have adopted cuisines to which they were not born (think Diana Kennedy or Rick Bayless vis-à-vis Mexican cooking), Thompson offers dishes you're not likely to have experienced anywhere else, even if you eat Thai food regularly: chopped prawns stir-fried with grojorn flowers; red curry of quail with deep fried shallots and Thai basil; kaffir lime and smoked fish relish with sweet pork, salted fish dumplings, coconut poached bamboo and vegetables… the treasures go on and on. According to the San Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants list, this is the 13th best restaurant in the world.