Thai food in Thailand tends to be universally decent or maybe that’s my lucky experience. Perhaps, learning to cook is a part of growing up or education in Thailand but wherever I’ve travelled in Thailand it tends to be good from the simple to more complex dishes. Thai food outside of Thailand is another matter, standards shift with people putting in their own preferences and the food being invariably too bland (or more rarely, too spicy) and this is probably due to a lack of access to decent markets and fresh produce or simply trying to please perceived local tastes. There’s also the issue of Thai food on menus where the whole gamut of international cuisines are included; Thai food being an option among pizza or roast beef. And then there’s ‘fusion’ which we’ll leave for another day.
Nacha Thai restaurant adheres to the former and is an excellent place to visit if you’ve been missing Thai food or simply seeking variety. Based in a tastefully restored house, it shares a courtyard with a Spa of the same name and is part of the same company. You could feasibly have a meal and cross the turf yard for a follow up beauty treatment if that’s what you preferred. There’s also another building which is soon to be converted to a craft/ souvenir shop. While I’ve been for dinner a few times, this lunchtime, given there were a few groups inside, we were asked if we’d like to dine outdoors? I realised just what I’d been missing, it was special to dine en terrasse where hanging orchids and a small waterfall strangely sound-proofed us to the din of Shin Saw Pu road and its manic drivers.
The menu is extensive and veers towards northern Thai or Chang Mai influenced food. There’s a variety of Rice and Noodle dishes (from between K4000 and 5000), Tom Yum soups, Thai Salads and Fish and Meat dishes and while extensive is a little short on appetizers. There’s also a photographic menu which could be revised as I’ve ordered from it in the past and sometimes the actual and the visual ends up being two different things.
Not so today, we went for classic dishes, my partner for the vegetarian/tofu Pad Thai which was a sensational combination of sweet and sour tastes and served with peanut, lime and chilies and simply full of flavour and perfectly cooked. I choose a Penang Red Curry of chicken which was cooked with slivers of lean and boneless chicken breast and surrounded by basil leaves, the presentation was excellent and again the flavour rich with hints of complex flavours and spices from Thailand, Malaysia and Burma. Often the best way to judge a restaurant is to see how they do something classic and Nacha does classic Thai extremely well. I find Thai food best washed down with crisp cold beer and there’s beer by the bottle here, cocktails (between K5000 and K6000) and a wine list. The wines are expensive but you can bring your own at K5000 corkage.
As well as the nice ambience of dining outside or on the ground floor, Nacha restaurant offers private dining upstairs in a variety of tasteful rooms of different sizes; some of the rooms have access to balconies for smokers and can be easily booked for any occasion.
Lastly the service was impeccable while not being overly attentive and you were allowed linger over lunch. Nacha advertise a variety of desserts, Mocha Ice-Cream Cake and not for the faint-hearted, Durian Cheese Cake but a complimentary tapioca and coconut milk dessert arrived and despite its baby-food appearance was both delicious and refreshing. Nacha have also won awards for their coffee and are open daily for lunch with special lunch menus and for dinner from 5 to 10 pm. Treat yourselves.