Erin Lyons

One of St Andrews’ best kept secrets, Thai restaurant Nahm- Jim, has reached the semi final of ‘Ramsay’s Best Restaurant’, Gordon Ramsay’s new Channel 4 show.

In an episode that aired 12 October Nahm-Jim saw off fierce competition from exclusive London Thai restaurant Mango Tree, and will now battle it out against the other remaining restaurants, each representing a category of cuisine in the UK.

Opening in 2002, Nahm-Jim is run by husband and wife team Bee and Sandy Mitchell, who after moving to St Andrews quickly spotted a gap in the market for a traditional Thai restaurant. Bee, originally from Thailand, strives for authentic flavours and has ingredients flown in weekly from the markets of Bangkok. The restaurant’s signature dish however embraces their Scottish surroundings and is a Thai Scottish Highland haggis with fresh chilli and basil, served on a Thai omelette.

This is not the first time the restaurant’s skill has been recognised outside St Andrews’ student and resident population. Nahm-Jim was voted the no. 1 Thai restaurant in the UK by the Sunday times in 2008. The food was described as “a mouth-watering array of every possible Thai dish imaginable, served to the highest and most detailed standard.” Happy customers include the likes of Sean Connery, Hugh Grant and Samuel L Jackson.

Despite Ramsay’s somewhat infamous temper, when he and 30 diners descended upon St Andrews for filming during the summer, the Mitchells say the experience couldn’t have gone better.

“People have found it nerve-racking and stressful, I’ve seen that on TV, but for us it was the opposite.” explained Sandy. “We got ticked off for serving up too quickly.”

The restaurant faced three challenges, the final taking place at Ramsay’s flagship restaurant in London, making Bee the first female chef to cook there. Ramsay praised Nahm Jim’s combination of “Great Thai classics,” with “fantastically inventive, original dishes.”

Not satisfied with Nahm-Jim’s success the pair have recently opened up a new restaurant, The Grange, in Gleneagles. If they can replicate Nahm- Jim’s standards it seems certain they’re on to another winner.

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