Panda Peeks – Nahm HK
A common question to be asked in these times of diverse dining is “So, [insert name here], what is your favourite cuisine?” and while this may at first seem a rather harmless icebreaker, can actually cause the anxiety to flurry, confidence in a once straight forward answer to wither away and send most unsuspecting souls into a paranoid frenzy wondering if, in fact, there is a wrong answer. Of course, there is not, but that won’t stop our brains going into overdrive and wondering if the lining up of stars does, in fact, have an impact on our belly’s cravings. My first consideration is to check which day of the week it is, and since it is a Wednesday, I’m falling for the Asian persuasion and fancying a piece of the South East for my afternoon chow down.
Still being stubborn and indecisive, I’d rather have the best of two worlds and hit up Nahm in Elements for a fusion of Vietnamese and Thai food. Even arriving close to 2pm, there is a line of hungry employees through the shopping mall all checking the menu on their phones for a quick bite before heading back to the offices above in the towering ICC. Having a bit of time on my hands, I was given the opportunity to build up even more of an appetite by having a look around the nearby shops (and noticing that this may in fact be the most sought after lunch spot in the area).
Green Papaya and Mango Salad w/ Prawns and Crispy Sesame ($88)
Once hungry enough to burst, I headed back in and was seated underneath their impressive lamp shades with a hefty menu to sift through. My first choice to cool down from the still warm March we are having was their popular Green Papaya and Mango Salad w/ Prawns and Crispy Sesame ($88). The fruit was delicately spiralized into thin crisp noodles, and mixed together in a light, zesty dressing, which itself had a bit of a kick to it. The plump cold prawns had soaked up all the flavour and brought the perfect amount of protein to the plate, filling one up for a guilt-free afternoon.
Pad Thai with Prawns and Squid ($98)
Of course I wouldn’t be stopping there as I am a big sucker for Thai cuisine and can’t resist a good old Pad Thai with Prawns and Squid ($98). My favourite thing about this classic dish is being able to smell it before the kitchen doors have even opened. The noodles come with a golden red shine with bean sprouts, peanuts and dried fish balanced carefully on top and a juicy lime plopped on the side ready for a good squeezing. Chunks of seafood and egg protrude through the vermicelli and no scoop is without a flavour filled bonus. Had I not have slipped into a Pad Thai induced trance, the logical part of me would have set some aside to save for later, but sadly no luck for future me!
Saigon Chicken Rice Noodle Soup w/ Bean Sprout and Basil ($88)
Finally, I took a trip across the border to have a try of the Saigon Chicken Rice Noodle Soup w/ Bean Sprout and Basil ($88). Having been spoilt for choice in a city that contains so many variations of soup noodles from different parts of the world, I still maintain a sense of loyalty to this Vietnamese dish. With a light broth and thick rice noodles, you just can’t go wrong. A tray of condiments is presented along side meaning you can spice up the stew, zest it up with some citrus from a freshly cut lime or even add a little saltiness with light fish oil. No matter whether the weather be hot or cold, there is always time for a bit of pho.
Shop 1045, 1/F, Elements, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon
Opening hours: All day dining from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm
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