Restaurant review: Succulent satay, terrific pad thai

For authentic Asian cuisine, Nam is the name of the game

Nam restaurant (photo credit: PR)
Nam restaurant
(photo credit: PR)
Nam has been open for almost two years and is one of the hot spots on Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Street. Lacking any pretension, this Asian restaurant embodies everything I could ask for in a go-to spot: creative and well-crafted cocktails, a diverse and well-executed menu, friendly service and a chill vibe.
Before our appetizers arrived, I enjoyed a draft of ice cold Chang beer, while my dining partner was very pleased with her frozen pineapple daiquiri.
First off was the chicken satay (NIS 35), which consisted of two skewers of grilled marinated chicken served with a tasty thick peanut sauce. The chicken on the skewers was tender and juicy, and the hint of spices added a nice touch, as did the slight charred flavor.
This was followed by a large portion of crispy chicken wings (NIS 36). I am always hesitant to order wings because they are never cooked well enough and have that raw fat on them. These didn’t. The wings had the just right amount of crunch, and the meat was soft and succulent. The skin was the best part, though, nice and crisp.
Next up was the yam tua salad (NIS 49), which consisted of green beans, red onion, fried onion, chili, coriander, peanuts, coconut milk, hard-boiled egg and slices of chicken breast. The salad had so many different flavors and textures that blended very well together. Sweet, spicy and refreshing all at once.
As a main dish, the chicken pad thai (NIS 61) was one of the best I’ve had in Tel Aviv. The chicken was very tender, while the noodles were a perfect chewy al dente and stir-fried to perfection. The spices and sauces were delicious, and I liked that there was a large mound of fresh bean sprouts on the side. I appreciate a dish that lets the ingredients speak for themselves rather than assault you with an excess of sugar and spice.
It was then on to the pad ka pow (NIS 67). This dish consisted of ground beef in oyster sauce served with basil leaves, onion and green beans, as well as steamed rice topped with a sunny-side up egg. This was my least favorite dish among what we ordered. The beef was a bit dry and needed more flavor.
Last, we were served the pla pad phet (NIS 73). It consisted of pieces of fried fish fillets in a red curry sauce with coconut milk, green beans, chili, kaffir lime and Thai basil. This proved to be the winning dish of the evening. I‘m always amazed when the fish skin is still crisp, even though it’s sitting in a thick sauce. The fish was cooked well, tender, and the sauce was divine.
For dessert, we shared the banana lotti with a side of coconut ice cream. This dessert packed just the right combination of soft and crunchy, perfectly ripe and sweet, and warm and cold goodness that we still can’t stop talking about.
If you’re looking for a unique blend of flavors, interesting textures and allaround delicious and satisfying food, look no further than Nam. It’s always overflowing with people, but the hype is well deserved.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Not kosher
275 Dizengoff Street, Tel Aviv
Tel: (03) 670-8050