I’ve been a fan of David Thompson for a long time. Ever since I went to Sailor’s Thai in Sydney over 10 years ago where we were served beef carpaccio in a form of yum (thai beef salad). I remember then thinking how non-traditional it seemed (I usually have it with grilled beef) but how absolutely delicious it was. I then went to Nahm in Bangkok the year it opened – another winner! And last year after Long Chim opened, I had the pleasure of watching David Thompson do a cooking demonstration at the Epicurean Market. He made a simple, clear chicken soup that we got to taste and it was beautifully flavoured, the type of thing I would love to drink bowlfuls of.
Long Chim is located at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. There is no need to walk through the casino area. Long Chim can be found by going up the “secret” elevators from The Shoppes to the 2nd story in Atrium 2. I had a giggle at the cheap red stools at the front. Against the colourful murals of the entry, they were a reminder that street food in its truest form is eaten roadside, perched on plastic stools, slurping down noodles or hand held, drippy goodies with the heat and smells of Thailand all around. Walking through to our table with the groovy music playing, cool air conditioning and beautiful furnishing felt a bit special in comparison to the streets of Bangkok. But, for those of you who know me, I’m a bit of a princess so this was totally fine. I was also happy when the prices were not so sky high to the point of being ridiculous ($15+ or so for snacks and $30+ for mains).
So aside to this, my date to most dinners is a vegetarian. The Vegetarian has been one all his life and that means when eating out, I tend to eat double because I’m trying his food plus having my own. The unfairness of this situation is hard to live with but what can I do. We opted for 2 vegetarian starters, the spring rolls and the shallot pancakes both of which were reminiscent of those I’ve had in Thailand though much more refined.
I decided not to order a noodle dish, though the selection was impressive. I almost got the Kao Soi (Chiangmai style noodles) but in the end I got the lamb ribs with chilli and coconut. The Vegetarian got stir fried morning glory and vegetarian, southern style curry, which I of course had to taste too.
Lamb ribs started on the sweet side but as I got into it, the savoury meat combined with the slightly spicy and sweet sauce became less and less syrupy and more complex in flavour with interesting layers of texture from hard bone to soft, melting meat to slightly crunchy toasted coconut. This was served with pickled cucumbers. I was v happy. Starting off with spoon and fork (like they do in Thailand) and finally ditching that for fingers and gnawing the meat right off the bones. Sticky fingers were the result but I was happy to lick them clean. (Sorry to other patrons who thought they were there for something more sophisticated and instead saw me with a bone in my mouth!)
So on to dessert. I got the palm sugar pudding with fresh coconut and The Vegetarian got the Thai coffee ice cream. Both were super sweet. On a hot, sweltering day, the cold ice cream would have been exactly what was called for. The pudding (recommended by the waitress) was sticky, gooey and covered with shavings of fresh coconut and some coconut milk which helped to counter the sweet of the pud. Both were yummy but having been stuffed full of everything else, we weren’t able to finish.
Long Chim provided excellent service, a cool vibe and really tasty food much like you’d expect on the streets of Bangkok, but in a sophisticated setting.
To book tables please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 6688 7299
Images supplied by Long Chim at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands