Long Chim at Marina Bay Sands: Review of David Thompson's new Thai restaurant

Australian chef David Thompson, famous for his expertise in Thai cuisine, has made a foray into the casual dining scene with his new restaurant at Singapore's Marina Bay Sands, Long Chim.

Having dined at Thompson's Sailor's Thai restaurant in Sydney, I was keen to try Long Chim and secured a reservation for Friday night. I was worried that I had left the booking a bit late in the week (I called on Wednesday) after a friend had told me the earliest time slot she could get on the Friday of the week before was 10.00pm, but luckily they had a table for three.

Upon arriving at the restaurant, we were warmly greeted by the waitstaff and asked if we would like to have a drink at the bar first, or head straight to the table. While the bar looked nice, we opted for the latter, and were quickly shown to our table.

We began with ordering drinks and I decided to try the Thai Iced Tea (SG$8), a concoction containing ceylon black tea, housemade coconut milk, thai spices and orange flower water. You could definitely taste the spices, which our friend found overpowering, but I thought the drink was refreshing and quite pleasant. 

With the benefit of hindsight, we may have gotten a bit over-excited with the food ordering. For starters, we had the fish cakes (SG$16), crunchy prawn with herbs (SG$15) and chiang mai chicken relish with cabbage, chilli and mint (SG$14). 

I was slightly trepidatious about the fish cakes, having heard mixed reviews, but they turned out to be delicious and my favourite starter of the three - flavourful and not too spicy, with a light dipping sauce. The wait staff had warned us that the chiang mai chicken was very hot (spicy hot), but even so, the dish caught me by surprise. When I took my first bite of the moist chicken parcels wrapped in lettuce leaf, I did not notice the spiciness at first. It was only after I had devoured the whole thing that I could feel the searing chilli kick at the back of my mouth that left me calling for a bowl of white rice (much more effective than drinking water - a useful tip, courtesy of the hubby). Eat at your own risk!

For our mains, we tried the stir-fried squid with chillies, green peppercorns and basil (SG$24), stir-fried soft shell crab with curry powder and celery (SG$26), prin's noodles with sriracha, pork and prawns (SG$26), green curry of beef with chillies and thai basil with roti (SG$26), tom yum soup (SG$26), and a special order of prawn omelette. 

The main dishes were all of a good standard, and while I can't say that I was wow-ed, I thought the restaurant offered a great variety of delicious Thai-inspired flavours at a pretty affordable price.

The only disappointing dish was the green curry beef with roti. The curry for me lacked some punch, and the roti was nothing like the Malay Indian fluffy roti, but more like hard biscuits. 

Despite completely over-stuffing ourselves with the starters and mains, we felt it would be a shame to leave without ordering desserts, so we had the banana roti (SG$12), black sticky rice with pandanus noodle (SG$10), mango and sweet sticky rice (SG$13), fresh thai fruit (SG$14) and durian ice-cream with sesame wafer (SG$15) to share.

I was surprised that my pick of the desserts was the banana roti. Sweet, sticky and full of banana, the roti was crispy, thin and just plain yum. The wait staff's recommendation was the durian ice-cream, which had great presentation. While I personally do not enjoy the taste of durian (I tolerate it, and the smell, as my husband and extended family members love it), the ice-cream was decadently creamy and full of real fruit flavour. On the other hand, the black sticky rice with pandanus noodle felt a little like a lack-lustre attempt of cendol, and lacked real pandan flavour. 

Overall, I felt the quality of the food, value for money, service and ambience made dinner at Long Chim a very enjoyable affair. 

  1. Advanced bookings are recommended, particularly for Friday and Saturday nights.
  2. If you are bringing overseas guests, it's a good idea to tell them to bring their passports in case you decide to hit the tables at the casino below after dinner!

xx Amanda


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