Thai flavours hit Nelson waterfront

Nahm owners Aun Cheah and Toey Petchjam at their restaurant above the Nelson Yacht Club.
MARION VAN DIJK/Fairfax NZ

Nahm owners Aun Cheah and Toey Petchjam at their restaurant above the Nelson Yacht Club.

A taste of traditional Thai food with a contemporary twist has hit Nelson's shores.

Nahm - Thai with a Twist - is the latest restaurant to open on Wakefield Quay, and owners Toey Petchjam and Aun Cheah, who run two successful Auckland restaurants, feel ready to tackle the Nelson dining scene.

The avid foodies have developed the menu by trialling restaurant food and whipping up creations in their kitchen at home.

The final menu has taken two years of dedicated work, and the pair say they are rapt to finally see the result.

Meals are priced between $16 and $20 with Thai dishes such as a massaman lamb mixed with mashed potato instead of traditional curry.

"We are using a European style of presenting and mixing it with the flavours of Thailand," said Cheah.

The fresh decor matches the sea views - green leaves wind down the hanging lights and mini herb plants with stones and soil are encased in glass jars on each table. The look is modern and invites an open atmosphere, something Cheah said is becoming trendy for today's dining scene.

"[Nahm Thai] conveys new styles of dining, our food is in sharing platter styles, that seems to be very in-fashion at the moment," he said.

The couple intend to make the location above the Nelson Yacht Club a success. The premises was formerly occupied by Relish, which closed last May after opening in December 2009.

Petchjam is not unfamiliar with the Nelson dining scene. She managed Chokdee Thai Cuisine in Hardy St before moving to Auckland to open two other Thai restaurants with Cheah.

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"I really liked Nelson and kept asking [Cheah] if we could move back," said Petchjam.

Both Auckland restaurants are generating steady business, and with the first few days of business under their belt in Nelson, the pair couldn't be happier with the response they have received.

"We had about 15 tables full on our second night, and we've already had customers come two nights in a row," said Cheah.

"We've had really good feedback."

 - The Nelson Mail

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