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 as a form of yum (thai beef salad). I remember then thinking how non traditional it seemed (being used to the grilled version) but how tasty it was. I then went to Nahm in Bangkok the year it opened. Another winner! And last year after Long Chim had opened, I had the pleasure of watching David Thompson do a cooking demonstration at the Epicurean Market. At that time, I wanted to go try out Long Chim but a part of me held back because the idea of spending $30 for a pad thai sounded ludicrous! Especially with Bangkok being so close by.
Anyway, Long Chim was still was on my list of places to go try one day, maybe… So this year when I found the Eat Singapore Book, I happily realised that I would be “forced” to go.
When we finally found Long Chim, up the elevators to the 2nd story in Atrium 2, I had a giggle at the cheap red stools sat at the front. Against the colourful murals of the entry, they were a reminder that street food at 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 and beautiful furnishing felt a bit special for the type of meal we were going to have. 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). But I was reminded that I could almost get the same for 30 baht (or 1 dollar).
So aside to this, my date to most dinners is a vegetarian. Hubby dearest 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. (This was after the waitresses introduced herself and declared it was Italian cuisine… Um. Was I in the wrong spot? She immediately corrected herself and knew all about the menu and best things to order. Love it when they do! I also must say that I was impressed that everyone who was there knew about the Eat Singapore Book and exactly what to do with it… well almost. But still, I had been expecting blank stares and calling around for managers, etc. But using the book was mostly hassle free.) Sorry for the side trip… The starters were good. I love shallot pancakes in thailand so these ones were good, though buying them in the food stalls in Thailand are really my preferred option.
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 with rice. Vego got the stir fried morning glory and vegetarian, southern style curry, which I of course had to taste too.
Lamb ribs started on the too sweet side but as I got into it, the savoury meat combined with the slightly spicy and sweet sauce became less and less sweet and more complex in flavour and interesting with the 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!)
(Apologies for the photo. It was a tad dark in there. Great for the mood, not so great for photo taking!)
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.
All in all, a great experience and fans of David Thompson should go and try Long Chim. I did miss the streets of Bangkok a little bit though.