I've been hunting high and low for a restaurant that gives me the flavours from Thailand - unadulterated and complex spices, big bold flavours, authentic stuff - and I think I've found it over here at Long Chim, David Thompson's relatively new restaurant at Marina Bay Sands.
The ambience was quite beautiful - the place was decorated to resemble a Thai resort of sorts, which made for a relaxing ambience.
For drinks - Thai milk tea's always a favourite; this one had the strong perfume of red roses. Not too strong either. Exquisite.
The menu is divided into starters on one side, and main dishes and noodles/rice dishes on the other. We decided to have a few main dishes to share, with a starter of the "aromatic beef skewer" that came highly recommended.
One of my favourite dishes at Thai restaurants is the Krap-pow, which is minced beef fried with Thai holy basil and topped with a fried egg. It's the quintessential Thai dish in my humble opinion, and one that's highly popular with many Thais (so I've heard). I've had pretty anaemic versions of the dish in many a Thai restaurant in Singapore, limp insipid versions that don't do any justice to the real thing. Not this one - the rendition here at Long Chim was excellent: lots of wok flavour, deliciously aromatic with lots of fresh holy basil. Excellent and certainly very delicious. (8.25/10)
The famous aromatic beef skewers were excellent. They were cooked to medium, and marinated with cumin and cardamom and other spices and grilled, resulting in tender meat with a complex spice flavour. Exquisite - extremely aromatic and flavourful with all the spices balancing well. It was so good that we ordered a second helping. (8.5/10)
Deep fried squid with sundried tomatoes was next - these were excellent as well; very tasty squid with loads of flavour from the umami, albeit a bit salty. Another winner. (8.25/10)
We had some noodles as well - these were smoky wok noodles with pork and prawns. These were fried very well, great wok hei, very smoky and aromatic. Loved the black sauce that coated the noodles perfectly. (8.5/10)
I am very partial to green curry, and the version over here at Long Chim was simply stunning. Green curry should have the perfect mix of spices to create a complexity of flavour which is tasty and leaves the palate wanting more, while being balanced to ensure that no flavour stands out and that the resulting blend is harmonious. The green curry at Long Chim was all that, and more. The curry was packed with fresh kaffir leaves and aromatic herbs throughout, resulting in a delicious, aromatic curry that was perfect for spooning over rice. (8.5/10)
Lastly - we had the Thai mango salad, which was pretty good as well albeit not as spicy due to my friend's dietary restrictions. Still, a perfectly good rendition. (8/10)
Long Chim is an excellent spot for some authentic Thai food and comparable to some of the top Bangkok restaurants. I am so glad David Thompson didn't try to tone down the flavours for the Singapore palate but has decided to keep the big bold flavours that I so love. Yummy. I'm dreaming of eating more food from the place - I'd have to go back soon and perhaps bring my family or something. Best Thai restaurant in Singapore, I think.