[Hong Kong] Aaharn- David Thompson's post-Nahm venture

Aaharn is David Thompson’s latest restaurant adventure after he left his well-known Thai restaurant in Bangkok. Its located at the Tai Kwun - Centre for Heritage and Arts in Central, Hong Kong, formerly known as the Victoria Prison. It opened late last year. Thompson now traveled here from his Bangkok home a few times a year.

Amuse-bouche: Minced pork chicken and shrimp, caramelized palm sugar on pineapple. At once spicy, sweet, nuanced and funky.

Banana blossom salad with prawns, shallot, chili jam. Perfectly balanced with the right amount of heat. A bit of sweetness with some bold heat from the chili jam. Savoriness and slight smokiness from the sautéed shallot.

Mellowness from ballnana nlossom

Mussamum curry with green jackfruit, grilled shallots and peanuts. The curry was nuanced, balanced with good heat. Jackfruit imparted a mellow fruity flavor. The whole onion though, wasn’t doing much for me. Got some head of banana blossom in the mix. Came with jasmine rice.

Coconut dumpling with palm sugar and grated coconut. Mochi type dumpling with palm sugar in the middle with shaved coconut. Nuanced palm sugar. Very filling. Nice for coconut lovers.

Got a mocktail with some passion fruit taste. Nice.

Overall, a very good 3-course Thai lunch that is very reasonably priced ($228 for 3 courses + complementary amuse-bouche. Drinks extra.) in a nice space. Flavors were at once bold, and restrained. Spicing were just right. The lunch course choices are eseentially a subset of what’s available at dinner and the ala carte menu. A nice opportunity to sample the menu at a lower price point compared to dinner.

Happy to go back and try out more dishes.

Lunch menu:

Dinner menu:

Ala carte menu:

Wine list:

The interior:

The restaurant is upstairs in the Armoury Building.

Tai Kwun. Part of the group of buildings formerly known as the Victoria Prison. Renovated and reopened as a preserved historical complex with some galleries and exhibition spaces. Excellent and relaxing space to spend an afternoon in.


All sounds good.

You use “nuanced” three times in the post. I’d appreicate it if you could please elaorate a bit on what you’re trying to convey. I’m not familiar with the use of the word in the context of, say, “Nuanced palm sugar”. Thanks.

I meant complex, subtle. Not just a straight forward sugary taste, for example.

Thanks. Understood now.

Lunch in July.

Amuse bouche Ma Hor, candied pork mix with peanuts on pineapple. Same bouchée from my 2013 Nahm’s tasting menu, in Bangkok.

As starter, all of us ordered Miang pomelo, prawn, on betel leaves.

Stir fry beef with onion, Thai basil and oyster sauce

Green curry of chicken with apple plant and wild ginger
Homemade curry was fragrant and spice was perfectly equilibrated. Highlight of the meal. Friend was worried it was too hot and didn’t order, but she tasted and enjoyed it.

Side dish, salad with silken eggplant and egg. Jasmine rice was served.

Dessert was the classic mango sticky rice, nice touch to finish the lovely meal. Usually rice dessert with coconut milk can be quite heavy after a big meal, but this one was quite just right.

Lunch menu of the day.

The lunch menu was a bargain. Husband kept on saying the meal was delicious and one of the highlight of our trip. Would like to try a la carte or dinner next time.

Located at the second floor of Tai Kwun. As sck has pointed out, the place worth a visit with the ex police station and Victoria prison. The museum next door was featuring an exhibition of Takashi Murakami.


A fine dining restaurant of David Thompson will open in Bangkok next January.

Reflecting on his illustrious career, Thompson reveals: “ I think I have come towards the end of my restaurant career, I might still have one or two restaurants in me. I deserve a good break.” Up next, he plans to open a Thai fine-dining restaurant in Bangkok’s King Power MahaNakhon building by next January. He also runs a casual curry restaurant Someday Everyday in the Thai capital and plans to retail his line of curry paste.

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Aaharn is one of the restaurants I’d want to try on my next trip to Hong Kong, although I’m avoiding the city at the moment, as the situation there is still pretty unpredictable.

I really respect Chef David Thompson since his Sydney days (Darley Street Thai was a personal fave) and his in-depth understanding of Thai food culture (even if his now-shuttered Singapore outpost, Long Chim, was an absolute disappointment).


I hope he will eventually transmit what he has learned back to the Thai people. Given that he owned 600 old Thai recipe books, including some hand written manuscripts and a farm that cultivates forgotten herbs and vegetables.

Sorry to hear the experience of Long Chim in Singapore was bad, what was wrong?

I feel the presentation of food at Aaharn was more simple compared to Nahm. Many of the dishes were dishes from Nahm.

On Thompson’s trying to adapt his cooking to the palate of HK people, a remark that I feel strange that he said that they were very sensitive to salt. Chinese food in HK can be quite salty.

Somehow, maybe because of the prevalence of really authentic Thai food in Singapore (especially in the working-class Thai hangout joints in Golden Mile just 10 minutes’ drive from where Long Chim was located), the food at Long Chim came across as “gentrified”, with muted flavours, and at eye-popping prices - easily 4-5 times the price of a more assertively flavoured version outside. I remembered thinking, when I was there the first time, “David Thompson’s going to fail this time here”.

HKD258+ for a 3-course lunch? That’s very affordable! Hope I could get to try this for my next HK trip.

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And only I took the 3-course, my other eating companions only took the 2-course, and all of them were full.

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Oh fret not, the mister and I are big eaters. :smile:

Now to pray for things to be better in HK so that we could do another food trip there! :pray:

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I can see Long Chim’s struggle with authentic Thai food. I guess the concept works in Australia, even in Europe or US, but in Singapore, I can see the difficulty. I think Thompson somehow uses better quality ingredients than the street food, but just does the higher price justify? I guess maybe that is the reason why Thompson didn’t try to open another Long Chim in Hong Kong.

I’m interested in his line of curry paste creation. Have you tried Someday Everyday in Bangkok?

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Oh, HKD! I thought that was in USD.

I’d not, but had been meaning to. The problem of having lots of relatives (my maternal grandparents were both Bangkokians) and friends in Bangkok is that, oftentimes, my best-laid plans had to be thrown out the window as invitations for family get-togethers and dinners take precedence over my own schedule. Family dinners inadvertently take place in one of the three favourite spots in Chinatown - Tan Jai Yoo, Sin Kwang Meng and Yim Yim.

Another must-not-miss dining spot on almost every trip I made to Bangkok is the fish porridge from Siang Ki. Very humble homecooked flavours with eye-popping prices!


Meaning you need to spend more days there!

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Yeah, the lunch is great value. Considering you can easily spend much more in similar upscale places.

Good idea. All my trips to Bangkok had always been too short and jam-packed. Maybe I should actually go live there! :grin:


Are the stalls okay with ordering in English? I have not been to BKK for many years, the mister isn’t too keen - so we always ended up in Japan and HK every year. He likes the food in both countries. And of course, lots of places to shoot scenery. :sweat_smile:

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