David Thompson, the Australian chef who matter-of-factly redefined Thai fine dining, has reemerged seemingly out of the blue with a new restaurant called Aksorn.
Thompson, who founded world-famous Nahm
more than 20 years ago, left the Bangkok institution back in 2018 along with Prin Polsuk, who now heads up Samrub for Thai
. David left a trail of places that are scattered in Koh Samui
, Hong Kong and his native Australia, with plans to open a place in the Orient Express hotel, whose status remains up in the air.
Located in Charoenkrung, the restaurant sits above Central: The Original Store, which opened in 1950 and housed imported books, magazines and stationery. In keeping with the tradition, the new concept adapts to the shop, as Thompson leafed through old cookbooks and brought the dishes to life in the new menu. While you might get a sense of the Nahm touch here or there, this new menu is said to be different from what one might be accustomed to. The tasting menu (B2,800), served family-style, offers starters like smoked catfish wrapped in wild tea leaves and seasoned river prawns with pickled garlic, kaffir lime and peanuts. Mains include a red beef curry with peanuts, Asian citron and pickled shallots, as well as a fermented bean curd relish with minced pork and prawns. You can also expect Thai sweets like their Ancestor biscuits and coconut candies.
The space, meanwhile, provides an open kitchen that gives all diners a firsthand view into the inner workings of Thompson and his fiery brigade.