David Thompson may hail from down under, but his love for Thai cuisine knows no bounds, manifesting itself in a prolific roll call of creations both on and off the plate. Besides hosting a television series on Thai food and culture, he has penned two encyclopedic tomes — Thai Food and Thai Street Food — that pay homage to his adopted cuisine. Not surprisingly, Nahm, his fine-dining outfit in Bangkok, clinched top honours at San Pellegrino's Asia's 50 Best Restaurants awards last year. This year, Thompson makes his way to Singapore by way of Long Chim, a restaurant that turns the spotlight on the glorious hot mess that is Thai street food.
Thompson isn't one to serve up watered-down renditions of dishes from the Thai gastronomical canon. As with the food we tried at Nahm, the dishes at Long Chim are unapologetically bold and fiery where it needs to be (if you thought chilli padi was blistering, fresh Thai scud chilli will send you off the Scoville scale). While the heat can get unbearable at times, his dishes are otherwise well balanced — equal parts sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. A prime example of this delicate balancing act is evidenced in the chicken larb, an appetiser of minced chicken amped up with fresh mint, aromatic lemongrass, cumin, and coriander.
The pad thai here is excellent, masterfully fried and glistening with a sweet and spicy sauce. Thompson also turns out wonderful renditions of Thai curries and we recommend an order of the robust coconut and turmeric curry with mashed prawns.
For dessert, there's the ubiquitous mango and sticky rice, but save your calories for fluffy roti prata crowned with condensed milk and warm bananas. Love durian ice cream? Thompson's creamy, pungent take on this divisive fruit is pure heaven – or hell, depending on which side of the camp you're on.
Long Chim. The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. Atrium 2. #L2-02. Tel: 6688 7299