A flamboyant restaurant – Namsaah Bottling Trust, Bangkok, Thailand

Opened for slightly more than a year, Namsaah Bottling Trust is the brainchild of Thai Celebrity Chef Ian Kittichai. Housed in a 20th century colonial building, this Asian fusion bar-and-restaurant exudes a whimsical charm. From the quirky pink exterior to its creative interpretation of local and international delights, a dining experience at Namsaah will only make you look at food a different way.

At Namsaah, the bar is located on the ground floor and the dining area is on the second level. When you enter the restaurant, it’s like opening a jewellery box. You will be wowed by its interior, decorated in every possible rich hue. One room has a rouge red wall decorated with many small mirrors and there is one room with over-the-top feathers ceiling lights. It’s quite dramatic and can be rather exciting dining in such an elaborated setting.

Namsaah Bottling Trust's Flamboyant Pink Exterior

The food focuses on mainly on Thai local dishes but interpreted differently. The desserts, on the other hand, lean towards an international offering but with an Asian touch.

The rouge red room with decorative mirrors

My partner and I ordered quite a few dishes to try. On the whole, the gastronomical experience was rather enjoyable, although the food paled in comparison to the glamourous interior.

The royal blue room with dragon motif wallpaper

We began our dinner with Momo, a Steamed Himalayan-spiced Waygu Beef Dumplings in a Black Peppercorn Sauce (THB 240). The minced waygu beef is wrapped with a dumpling skin and steamed to perfection. The beef was smooth and yet the skin was soft enough not to overcook the prized beef. The slightly spicy sauce is a nice blend from the flavours of the blackpepper corn and the Himalayan spice. Having said that, I would have preferred to have the dumplings laid individually rather than to have one overlapping the other. This is because with the layering, some dumplings stick together and they do not get an even layer of the sauce.

Momo, a Steamed Himalayan-spiced Waygu Beef Dumplings in a Black Peppercorn Sauce

For the mains, we had the Tangerine Chicken (THB390). The chicken breast meat was first fried before a tangerine-chilli-palm sugar sauce was poured over it. This could have been a delicious dish but the chicken was a tad overcooked and the meat became rather dry. As for the sauce, I find it too sweet and the tanginess from the tangerine was shadowed by the generous amount of palm sugar. I believe Chef Ian has written a great recipe but the execution by another chef failed him.

Tangerine Chicken

But the Steamed Fish in a Chilli-Lime Broth (THB410) was excellent. The sea bass was nicely deboned and was subsequently steamed in a broth of chilli, lime juice, garlic, coriander, coriander root, and pickled garlic. For someone who doesn’t like fish and has yet to master the art of eating a fish with all its bones, this is an overdue change that needs to be practised by all Chinese and Thai restaurants. The fish meat was so soft and easy to eat. The slightly tangy but tasty broth adds so much flavour to the fish fillet.

Steamed Fish in a Chilli-Lime Broth

For the dessert, the Vietnamese Coffee Tiramisu (THB 240) took on a different intrepretation on the classic Italian dessert. First, you pour a small cup of freshly brewed Vietnamese Coffee into a Vietnamese coffee filter that contains condensed milk. The combined liquid will then flow into the mascarpone cheese mixture. While the execution is rather interesting, the tiramisu failed to lift up all the hype because the mascarpone cheese was simply too dense and the coffee couldn’t penetrate through it. As a result, the coffee just rested on top of it and failed to infuse the lady fingers biscuits with more flavour.

Vietnamese Coffee Tiramisu

It is not difficult to understand why this place is getting popular. The pairing of a flamboyant interior with a celebrity chef’s brand name is crowd puller. However, for it to be around for a longer time, I believe the kitchen needs to be more precise in their execution and stays true to the celebrity chef Ian’s recipes. It is usually the poor management of the kitchen that leads to the restaurant’s early demise, which of course I do not want to see it happen to Namsaah.

Namsaah Bottling Trust
401 Silom Soi 7, Silom Road,
Bangrak, Bangkok, Thailand
Tel: (66) 2 636 6622

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