Many city hotels aspire to be an urban escape, but few probably succeed at it as well as COMO Metropolitan Bangkok. Located in the central business district of Sathorn, the stylish hotel sports 169 well-appointed rooms and suites and houses a COMO Shambhala Urban Escape for wellness. In recent years, however, the hotel has also attracted its fair share of attention from foodies with nahm, which has been consistently ranked in the top 10 restaurants in Asia. Thus, it should come as no surprise that the team has put together a nahm Experience for guests to have the best of all worlds at COMO Metropolitan Bangkok.
If your sense of smell is sharp enough, step into the large airy lobby and you’ll catch a whiff of their signature scent Invigorate, an uplifting blend of eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, and geranium (which also happens to be the scent of the COMO Shambala bath amenities across all COMO hotels and resorts). Fortunately, the hotel was overbooked when we arrived so we got upgraded from the Metropolitan Room to a Penthouse Suite. Score!
Located on the 11th floor, the corridor to our suite is decorated with teakwood carvings, Chinese ‘horseshoe’ chairs, and temple bells. This nod to the contemporary Thai aesthetic continues with floor-to-ceiling windows framed in Thai silk curtains, as well as a bamboo coffee table from Northern Thailand accented by a rug designed by Helen Yardley in the conservatory-style living space of the Penthouse Suite.
Coupled with the generosity of the space (150 square metres, 1,615 square feet), it means that my stay at COMO definitely wasn’t a home away from home type of experience, despite offering every creature comfort you can imagine. The first floor of the duplex also features a dining room for four, and a pantry equipped with a Nespresso machine. The sturdy wooden stairs lead up to a walk-in wardrobe stocked with yoga mats before turning into the spacious bedroom with a chaise lounge by the window.
I’m a stickler when it comes to the in-room water facilities, so trust me when I say COMO bathrooms (I’ve also stayed at COMO Point Yamu in Phuket) are nothing short of bathroom goals. Bright and cheery, the bright mosaic and limestone bathroom had the toilet at one end and a bathtub with Jacuzzi jets on the other, with a walk-in shower (rain and hand-held included) and a double vanity in between. If you didn’t know, the COMO Group encompasses international luxury retailer Club 21 as well, so you can look forward to plush Giorgio Armani designed robes in the bathroom.
As mentioned, the award-winning cuisine from David Thompson at nahm was what really brought us to COMO Metropolitan Bangkok in the first place so we were really glad our tasting menu (THB2, 500 per person, US$74) got off a good start with a robustly flavoured amuse bouche of simmered pork, chicken, peanut, and prawn on pineapple. With an almost candied texture, it left us wanting more.
Our quartet of starters arrived shortly. Another delicate, simmered delight could be found in the Egg Nets with prawns, wild almonds, and kaffir lime while the Crab Wafers pulled its weight in terms of quality and flavour, with a lingering aftertaste of galangal and coriander. Curry makes its first appearance with a tender, bite-sized Scallop enveloped in a fragrant red curry with Thai basil and coconut. The Pork & Lobster on betel leaf with shredded ginger and Thai citron rounded things up before we moved on to the soups.
The hot to sour ratio of the Hot and Sour Soup with river prawns and wild mushrooms was on point and the interesting broth of Roast Pigeon, Crab and Tapioca managed to be incredibly full bodied. We should mention that at this point, the rest of the savoury dishes would have also arrived as testament to the communal style of dining at nahm. The servers would also have come around with rice; besides filling you up, rice is also an infallible foil to the restaurants unyielding strong flavours of sweet, sour, and spicy so don’t reject it!
The first time I tried nahm’s signature Turmeric Blue Swimmer Crab Curry was at the very first Wonderfruit Festival in 2014, when David Thompson himself cooked for ravenous festival goers at a family-style feast. I loved it back then and the taste was similar enough three years later at the restaurant that I can say that I still love it now. The next dish, Thai Beef Chili Basil, is a familiar one, albeit with better ingredients than what you get from the street hawkers. There’s also a complexity and depth in nahm’s version that I haven’t managed to find in street food. I’m not usually a fan of relishes – they taste too ‘fresh’ for a non-veggie eater like me – but the Relish with Young Chili and Eggplant was complemented by some lovely pork rind, pork crackling, and prawn that I really didn’t mine it.
Desserts at nahm are pretty much left to their own devices; that is to say, without any influence from the team. The flavours of the Wafer with Shredded Duck Egg Yolk were spot on, but it tasted too clean for my liking, sans any of the char that you’ll find with street vendors. The Pandanus Jelly (read: chendol) with mangosteen, tapioca kueh, black sticky rice, and fruits in coconut milk was good but not great; what really got our attention was the coconut jelly topped confection on the side.
Priced from THB 9,770++ (US$288++) for double occupancy in the Metropolitan Room, the ‘nahm Experience’ package includes overnight accommodation, the tasting menu for two at nahm (exclusive of beverages), and breakfast at their healthy restaurant glow. Our stay was flawless, except for small annoyances such as the squeeze bottles that the bath amenities are rather difficult to maneuver and that the light switches were not by the bedside. That said, I would stay here again and the package offers quite superb value, especially if you utilise other facilities like their 25-metre outdoor lap pool (did we mention free ice cream in the afternoon?), daily yoga classes and spa facilities at COMO Shambala.
COMO Metropolitan Bangkok is located at 27 South Sathorn Road, Khwaeng Thung Maha Mek, Khet Sathon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10120, Thailand, p. + 66 2 625 3333, e. firstname.lastname@example.org.
All hotel images courtesy of COMO Metropolitan Bangkok, food images courtesy of Sylvester Fedor.