Saturday, October 22, 2016

Long Chim by David Thompson (Singapore, SINGAPORE) ★★★☆☆

Tonight we kicked off our Singapore trip with a casual dinner at Long Chim, the brainchild of celebrity chef David Thompson. Chef Thompson is the man behind award-winning Nahm in Bangkok, who has been a lock in the annual "Asia Best 50 Restaurants" award since the award debuted back in 2013. I had the pleasure of visiting this famed Thai restaurant in Bangkok 3 years ago when it was named the third best restaurant in all of Asia (A year later, it was named #1, best in Asia in 2014!) and vaguely remembered the lunch experience as a bit of a mixed bag. While I was impressed with some of Nahm's curry dishes, I wasn't totally convinced that they were the best curries I've ever had. But then I'm no expertise in Thai cuisine and would never be one!

To be brutally honest, I was a little worried during the start of this trip. I was pretty sure the mighty Typhoon Haima would have some impact on our first-day itinerary but turns out it never played a part in our flight schedule. We ended up arriving in Singapore right on schedule and after hitting a number of tourist attractions on the fly, we punctually showed up at this special dining section at the Marina Bay Sands where some of the celebrity chef restaurants reside.

Parked at the entrance of Long Chim is a pretty trendy (and dark) bar serving up some Thai inspired cocktails and drinks.

After all, this is a street-food inspired (Long Chim means ‘come and sample’) restaurant so unsurprisingly, décor inspired by Thai street stalls and food carts is in the cards here.

The dining room is modern and lively with a bunch of wooden decorations evoking a sense of comfort and warmth.

The food menu has a lot of traditional Thai dishes in store including some of the all-time street food favorites that we come to appreciate over the years.

Crunchy prawn cakes (SGD16) - I love prawn cakes but this was totally different than what I was expecting. Instead of the typical prawn cakes made with minced shrimp, they have these tiny little deep-fried shrimps with herbs, shallots and chillies. This felt a lot like having a calamari. Personally, I'm not a fan of this dish, especially with the over-the-top seasoning.

Siamese watercress (SGD16) - This was just morning glory stir-fried with chili, garlic and yellow beans. Not bad.

Pad Thai (SGD30) - I was all prepared to check out their charred noodles until I learnt from our server that their pad Thai is in fact a much more popular dish around here (comparing to the other noodles).

This was a pretty nice pad Thai with the usual suspects of prawns, peanuts and beansprouts. I thought the seasoning was a tad stronger than those from the streets of Bangkok as there was a very strong mix of spiciness, sweetness, acidity and bitterness in play. Interestingly enough, it was served with four kinds of condiments on the side including chili paste and sugar (I forgot what the other two were) as if we wanted additional flavors. I opted to add a tiny bit of sugar there to balance the bitterness.

Red curry of roast duck (SGD32) - A trip to Long Chim is not complete without checking out one of their curries. We had their red curry with succulent roast duck and it was easily the best dish of the evening.

Mango and sweet sticky rice (SGD14) - Everybody wanted some desserts so we just randomly picked out a pair to share among the four of us. Thai sweet sticky rice with mango, a classic Thai dessert, is always a welcome choice to wrap up a Thai dinner.

Palm sugar pudding with freshly shaved coconut (SGD15) - Another lovely dessert. This one, made with palm sugar, had this soft and sticky texture combining well with the fresh coconut shaves and coconut sauce.

We finished dinner a little ahead of schedule so we decided to take a slow walk back to our hotel.

Like my previous meal at Nahm, I wasn't blown away by any of the dishes tonight. They were all good hearty dishes (well most of them were; with the exception of the crunchy prawn cakes) but none of them really stood out enough to lure me back.

Food Rating: 5/10
Price: $$$
Address: 10 Bayfront Avenue, #02-02, Atrium 2 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Closest Metro Station: Bayfront
Tel: +65 6688-7299

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