A Thai explosion of flavour at Nunam

If there’s one cuisine I feel like I don’t dine out for enough I’d have to say it’d be Thai. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of this country’s food but it seems that there’s not many places that have caught my eye to eat there. One place I have been meaning to try though is Nunam on Bulwer Street in Perth. Formerly known as Nahm Thai, this esteemed restaurant has won multiple awards and everyone I’ve spoken to has raved about it. And so when an Urbanspoon offer came out for 50% off of the food bill, it felt like the natural move for me to excitedly book a table. It seemed like fate!

Situated next door to Nine Fine Food, Nunam has a relaxed coffee shop look in the first room, with a more modern dining room next door. The service was impeccable all night, mainly thanks to one waitress in particular who was bubbly, friendly and positive through every interaction. I always think that the staff can often make or break a meal out so I really feel like it’s important for me to highlight how great it was here.

Looking over the menu as we sit down I can see there’s so many amazing sounding dishes to order. We decide to go with the banquet, which is $68 per person and comes with two canapés, two entrees and three mains. Plenty of food for the two of us!

We start things off with each choosing our canapés – which we actually land on the same thing. The galloping horses are a service of minced pork, duck and peanut morsels on fresh pineapple and mandarin segments. They’re definitely an exciting bite to eat with the fresh, sweet juicy a great contrast to the punchy and zingy topping. It has that wonderful umami rich flavour and instantly makes me eager for the rest of our meal to take place.

Not long after, our entrees arrive at the table and just looking at them I’m already impressed. Even though we’re sharing, Jeremy and I have each picked a dish and his looks beautiful. Caramelised quail comes out with a sticky dressing and crisp fried onion silvers on top. While I often find quail a little fiddly to eat, when it’s cooked right it can be such an enjoyable protein.

The meat is perfect, a little crispy on the outside and soft and tender inside with a pink blush. I find the dressing so moorish – a generous pool that treads the line of sweet and savoury just like great Thai food often does.

The entree I knew I wanted to order instantly upon reading the menu was the soft shell crab with grilled watermelon and a chilli and lime dressing. I’m possibly the biggest sucker in the world for soft shell crab and so it was a nice justification of my choice when the waitress nodded and told us it was highly recommended. I was expecting big things.
The crab was crunchy on the outside and had some lovely punchy spices to elevate the seafood’s taste. The inside is soft and meaty, and delicate in flavour. I really enjoy watermelon (and other fruits) in savoury dishes and felt that it gave a nice burst of juiciness and sweetness to cut through the salt. It was one of my favourite dishes of the evening and left me feeling fresh and energised even though it had fried components. 

Choosing our mains was actually quite an easy affair also, with certain items jumping out and appealing to our particular preferences. I was speedy in selecting the red curry with duck, lychees and quail egg – and I’m so glad I did.

It might sound like an exaggeration but I assure you it’s not… this is the best curry I’ve had in a really long time. Perhaps even the best ever. The sauce is sweet but well balanced, so full of flavour I find myself completely silent as I spoon it over my rice and scoop up bite after bite. The duck is tender, with a small little sliver of fat. The lychee is sugary and helps cut through the richness of the meat, and the quail egg is just perfection. It’s a deceptively simple looking dish but really packs a punch. I will be rushing back to try this one again soon.

When ordering our mains we’re told we have unlimited rice in the banquet and the choice of jasmine or coconut – or a mix of both. We both really love fragrant coconut rice so we choose this and it is damn good. I keep telling myself not to fill up on it, but even plain it’s so tasty. Another highlight of the meal.

Our second main is one we’ve both chosen – the caramelised crispy pork hock with green mango salad and chilli and lime dressing. We may have already seen this dressing earlier in the night but I don’t mind as it is a tasty and elegant sauce to enjoy. It’s very zingy but gets your mouth watering in anticipation of each bite.
The pork hock is definitely crispy on the outside as promised and has a caramel coating that cuts through the meatiness of the protein. I mean, you can’t really go wrong with pork can you?! It’s another great dish that delivers in terms of texture, flavour and allowing the ingredients to shine on a plate. It also looks great! 

Our final dish is the aromatic beef shin curry with pumpkin, potato and peanuts. While it was a tasty dish in it’s own right, compared to the others from the evening it didn’t take up to those highs. That being said, the beef was the very definition of tender, falling apart as our forks pierce the surface. I really enjoy the sprinkling of fresh herbs as it helps cut through what can often feel heavy when eating curries.

We actually don’t manage to quite finish this dish as we’re feeling really full. The banquet is definitely a great means to feast your night away, plus you get to choose your dishes. I have to say, I would have happily paid full price for our evening and left raving about how much I enjoyed every bite – especially that duck curry.

I can’t wait to bring my mum back some time as she’s a huge Thai food fan and I’m hoping she’ll love it as much as I did. And to make things even better, they’ve recently started serving b breakfast which includes some very interesting Asian-fusion dishes including congee with hollandaise! Oh yes, I will be back soon.

Nahm Thai Restaurant (Nunam) on Urbanspoon

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Izzy
    22 December 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Looks so good!!!!

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    23 December 2014 at 2:04 pm

    I really loved it! Already dying to go back 🙂

  • Reply
    takemetofoodieheaven
    30 December 2014 at 2:25 pm

    The red curry looks amazing! Would love to try their breakfast one day too! 🙂

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    1 January 2015 at 3:18 pm

    I know I'm so keen to go for breakfast. I think we're actually going to try this weekend if we can make it 🙂
    The red curry was so delicious we're still talking about it!

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