Reinterpreted Asian cuisines & classic cocktails served in magnificently restored Bangkok villa
October 28th, 2014
Among the more notable of restaurant openings in Bangkok this year, the much anticipated mid year debut of Namsaah Bottling Trust marked the further expansion of high-profile Thai celebrity chef Ian Kittichai’s culinary interests in the city. While his culinary style is solidly grounded in Thai and Asian cuisines, extensive international cooking and restaurant ventures have engendered some imaginative cross-cultural influences to be deployed into his latest Bangkok restaurant. While similar in a number of aspects to the immensely popular – and highly regarded Kitiichai Bangkok flagship restaurant – Issaya Siamese Club – the new Namsaah Bottling Trust embraces a more upbeat tempo with a polished cocktail bar taking equal billing with the more refined dining environment of the upper level restaurant. Diners can expect an eclectic menu of regional Asian dishes plus some adventurous melds of Asian and American comfort foods, while at the handsome dark timber cocktail bar downstairs, the drink list is built around well-executed classic cocktails – albeit with some local Thai inflections.
Tucked away on a quiet cul-de-sac within the busy Silom commercial district, the early 20th Century two story timber villa has undergone a major refurbishment to restore it to its original status as the residence of a royal courtier. Taking its idiosyncratic name from a mid-century iteration when the building was occupied by a soda water bottling company, Naamsah Bottling Trust exudes a glamorous presence amid the plethora of nondescript concrete commercial buildings in the neighbourhood. The vibrant fuchsia colored exterior of the building is matched internally with a decor that features walls painted in bold shades of red, mustard, and blue. Colorful fabrics and furnishings reference a diversity of Asian cultural heritages – in harmony with the pan Asian culinary theme.
The experienced triumvirate behind Namsaah comprise chef Ian Kittichai and his long-standing business partner, locally-based entrepreneur Frederic Meyer, together with Justin Dunne, well known in Bangkok nightlife circles from his management roles at both the famed Bed Supperclub, and more recently Ku De Ta Bangkok.
Namsaah Bottling Trust opens daily, with the bar operating between 5 pm and 2 am, and the kitchen serving the a la carte menu until midnight ( a concise bar snacks menu is available all night). Enjoying considerable popularity, bookings for dinner are highly recommended. The Namsaah Facebook Page provides regular updates on menu and cocktail specialties, upcoming DJ events, and other happenings.
Namsaah – resplendent interior
Namsaah – reinterpreted Asian cuisines
Dishes that exemplify the creativity of chef Kittichai’s culinary approach include the Pink Krapow Burger– a wagyu beef burger served with fried egg, lettuce, tomato and krapow sauce, on a toasted pink peppercorn brioche bun; Namsaah Pad Thai – a twist on the quintessential Thai dish – Pad Thai with foie gras, bean sprouts, garlic chives, dried shrimp, tofu and peanuts; and the Salmon Tartare Wonton “Tacos”– salmon tartare with chili-lime tomato dressing in a crisp wonton skin.
Namsaah – classic cocktails with Asian twist
Matching the culinary style at Namsaah, classic cocktails are given an Asian twist with the addition of Asian flavours; and the specialty cocktails feature creative combinations of local Thai ingredients with premium spirits to construct a variety of sublime drinks. Among the standout drinks are the Roasted Tangerine Negroni – Beefeater Gin, Campari, vermouth and fresh tangerine juice; Mango Chili Mojito – with Havana 3 Years rum, mint, fresh mango juice, chili pepper; and from the Specialty selections -the Aide de Camp’s Choice – Beefeater Gin, lychees, krajeab juice, elderflowers.