You can have your mum or someone cook and do all the labour intensive work in the kitchen, but having a hot pot night means capturing the true purpose of food; it brings people to cook and eat together.
Circling around a hot pot is an interactive type of dining. It’s a kind of mesmerising dish that draws people in for communal time. But when Bangkok’s streets are studded with Thai, Japanese and Korean hot pot spots, we get that it can get a little dull over time.
Well, fret not. In addition to the normal hot pot scene in Thailand, Thonglor has now brought in the noted Hong Kong-originated hot pot haunt, Ah Nam, to grace all you hot pot loving souls. Originally a street food stall in 2012, the Sichuan-inspired dishes quickly gained popularity that made the place a must-try venue in Hong Kong. Their use of local produce and umami-packed broth are key. And the hot pot here hits all the right notes and flavours you may be craving, considering its three-step eating format: a mixture of meat and veggies will first be served stir-fried in a hot pot before getting turned into a succulent soup and then fried rice. It’s Ah Nam’s selling point: they combine the three glorious cooking techniques all in one pot. A heavy hitting of chilli in the broth will also lure any foodies whose spiciness is their main squeeze. With a modern Chinese-style setting, homey vibe and R&B hits that you can totally jam to, Ah Nam is a cool spot to hang out and to eat with friends and family.
Recently, we got a chance to check out Ah Nam and tried some of the best dishes the outlet has to offer. Here’s a list of must-tries you need to order when you’re there.
Beef Fritters (THB 115)
It’s beefy and it’s fried, this Beef Fritter bursts out delicious crunch that will delight your taste buds before the real meal starts. Once dipped into the tangy mustard, the sunlight-shade sauce gives a wonderful sharpness to the tender meat and its crispy flour crust.
Ah Nam Signature Chicken Pot (THB 399 for a half size/ THB 599 for full size)
Ah Nam totally brings the hot pot cuisine to new heights. The first step into getting the best experience here is to first tuck into the Ah Nam Signature Pot, which is actually a stir-fried dish, before hopping into step two of the actual hot pot set and then step three, fried rice, which will all be cooked in the same pot.
The venue offers three meat options for their Signature Pot, spanning chicken, pork and seafood. We went for the chicken and it came with a side of Ah Nam’s special egg noodle made with 80 per cent egg and 20 per cent flour. Although the chicken is pre-cooked, the server will again bring everything to life over the electronic stove on your table, weaving together the chicken and the egg noodle with Ah Nam’s secret sauce.
Spicy and sauce-y, this dish screams for no extra condiments since it is laden with all the delicious elements you need for a main dish. But wait, deliciousness doesn’t stop here. Spare some of the egg and chicken mixture since it will be made next into a toothsome hot pot.
Beef Hot Pot Set (THB 289)
Here’s when the stir-fried dish turns into a succulent hot pot. Pick your set (beef, pork, seafood) which comes with your choice of meat and a tray filled with fried bean curd, veggies and condiments like chilli sauce, garlic and minced chilli for extra pungency. Once everything is cooked together in their spice-spiked broth (yes, including the leftover chicken mixture), the hot pot packs a mesmerising punch that will leave you dreaming and craving for it – like it did to us.
Ah Nam Boiled Rice Set (THB 79)
At Ah Nam, no hot pot soup will ever go to waste. Once you’re satisfied having the soup, treat your taste buds next by turning the soup into drool-inducing fried rice.
Ah Nam Boiled Rice Set comes with chilli paste, egg, rice and shredded seaweed. Whatever you have left from the hot pot will get mixed in with the rice. So you’ll get this congee-like appetite-reviving meal. Want a little kick? Add in their chilli paste and wait until the rice soaks up all the spice before digging right into it.
Hone Kong Waffle – Salted Egg (THB 165)
This hive-like, egg-based waffle will make you forget about the OG American kind that sometimes lacks the much-needed crunch and airiness. Hong Kongers are totally wild about this Gai Dan Jai (little chicken egg in Chinese). And Ah Nam totally makes it worth the hype by bathing their waffle in the lava of salted egg sauce. As you can already guess, the dish is brimmed with ooey-gooey sweetness and a hint of salty and savoury.
Ah Nam, J Avenue Thonglor, 2 F/L Floor, Thonglor, Bangkok, +6691 461 4962
Open: Mon-Sun, 11 am-10 pm.