Many pairs of eyes on Long Chim at Marina Bay Sands, helmed by celebrity chef David Thompson whose Nahm was awarded first in San Pellegrino’s Asia’s Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014 and 13th on World’s 100 Best Restaurants 2014
It may thrill some people that the Asia’s Best Restaurant Chef could be cooking you some fried Pad Thai. (Okay, opps, Nahm dropped to 7th place in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015)
Nahm in London was also the first Thai restaurant ever to get the coveted Michelin star. But to be frank, I was not that convinced when Nahm Bangkok was awarded the best in Asia, as I wasn’t thoroughly impressed by my meal there.
“Long Chim” means “come and taste” in Thai, and surprisingly, in fact very surprisingly, the restaurant has opened in the direction of offering affordable unpretentious street food.
What you can expect is “arh-arn-jaan-dtiao” single-plate foods, rather than those suitable for communal dining.
I looked at the prices of the menu, and was well, both pleased and relieved.
In a country which was just ranked “The World’s Most Expensive City”, in MBS where some of the country’s most expensive restaurants are, and located at the atrium where the very expensive Waku Ghin is just next door, items at Long Chim were surprisingly in the range of $10-$20. Thumbs up.
We were sure that Chef David Thompson personally cooked up this plate of Thai Fried Kway Teow ($19), as we observed him stirring up a storm in the live kitchen.
Simple dish, yet almost sensational. Though some critics would say it is not possible to appreciate street food in a restaurant (there is some truth in that), but this fried rice noodle with pork, prawns and siracha sauce was lip-smacking delicious, smothering with ‘wok hei’, and tasted like an elevated version of this familiar street food.
Spice lovers could watch up for the Chiang Mai Chicken Larp with Cabbage, Chilli and Mint ($10). We went “phet mak mak” and broke out in sweat on our foreheads after a few bite. No, it wasn’t the aircon.
That feeling of ‘delightful pain’, stinging sensation in the tongue… the spicier, the more we want to overcome it.
The Grilled Squid Gorlae ($10) also tasted unadulterated and straight forward, nothing gimmicky as you might expect in other celebrity chef’s restaurants, with taste that reflected the characteristics of Thai cuisine – spicy, salty, intense at the same time.
My regret was that I could have been more adventurous with the dessert choice. The Mango Sticky Rice ($10) was safe, and tasted safe. Not that it was any bad.
This meal at Long Chim reversed my initiation impression of Nahm. Well, I shouldn’t really be comparing since their menu and direction are both rather different. Long Chim, along with Adrift By David Myers (MBS), makes two bright sparks at MBS.
A very good meal. However, we have read some negative reviews during the soft launch phase – too salty, too spicy. The challenge for Long Chim would be for the team to excel even if Chef David Thompson is not there.
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, #02-02, Atrium 2, 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018955 (Bayfront MRT)
Directions: Located at MBS Shoppes “Atrium” above the Casino, near Waku Ghin and Imperial Treasure. Take the lift next to the “Hermes” store on the first floor, or from the Casino entrance next to Prada at B1.
Tel: +65 6688 7299
Opening Hours: 6pm – 10pm