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Long Chim, Singapore

Joanna Hall

Where Is It: Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

Why Go: Unpretentious Thai street food at affordable prices.

Best For: Any time of day and any occasion, for couples seeking a romantic dinner or friends catching up. It’s all about the food.

Three Things We Loved: The sleek venue, the convenient location, the impressive choice of dishes.

The Ultimate Factor: Exquisite cuisine at every turn.


When it comes to fine dining in Singapore, visitors are spoiled for choice. From fabulous hawker markets and ethnic cuisines, to venues with a view and chefs with Michelin stars, it’s a food buff’s city which truly has it all. On a recent trip to Singapore I got to sample several high profile restaurants, of which the new Long Chim was one. Located in the swanky Marina Bay Sands shopping, dining and entertainment complex, it’s the brain chid of the Australian chef and restaurateur, David Thompson, who is famous for a love of, and expertise in, creating stylish yet simple Thai food. Thompson is behind a string of much-loved restaurants across the globe, and this new offering in Singapore, which has just turned one year old, more than lives up to its name “long chim” which translates to “come and taste” in Thai. It’s also highly affordable in a city which is home to some of the world’s most expensive eateries, and as a bonus you’ll often see David in the kitchen cooking up a storm.

The Marina Bay Sands complex is ultra modern and a bit out-of-this-world, and the decor of Long Chim, which nestles in a corner on the second floor, embraces this sense of style with it dimly lit interiors and lashings of wood, including asymmetric wooden ceilings, a highly polished wooden floor, and a pleasing colour palate of golds and blacks. Tables are arranged in various combinations, seating anything from two to six or more, and there are seats at the bar beside the open kitchen stations if you have to wait to be seated (which they tell me happens a lot at night and in particular on weekends), allowing you to survey what’s cooking and further whet your appetite. It’s sleek yet casual, and the kind of place where your nostrils are filled with the alluring aromas of Thai spices as you walk through the door, adding to the anticipation of the meal to come.

The Menu And Wine List:

The menu has an impressive lineup of Thai dishes which range from classics to classics with a modern twist. Appetisers range from simple pork and prawn Spring Rolls and Fish Cakes with cucumber relish, to Cured Pork Fritters with peanuts and ginger and Wagyu Beef Skewers. Moving on to noodles you can opt for a classic Pad Thai with prawns to a Prawn and Fish Dumpling Laksa, and there’s a good range of salads and stir fries, making use of local seafood delicacies including scallops, baby squid and soft shell crab. Lovers of curries will enjoy the traditional Green Curry Chicken or Red Curry of Roast Duck, along with simply grilled chicken or lamb ribs, Roast Duck with Fried Rice and Braised Por Hock With Five Spice.

The staff is also happy to make recommendations. For example, Kanom Jin Noodles are classic lunchtime noodles served with curry-like sauces and a basket of vegetables, while at night spicier dishes come under the spotlight, including Pat bai grapao, a pungent stir-fry of beef with holy basil, garlic and chillies. There are also dishes which remind Thais of their homeland, including a gentle Sour Orange Curry of snakehead fish, which is not commonly seen outside of Thailand. And if you’re feeling adventurous and love spicy food, Long Chim’s notorious standout Larp Chiang Mai. A northern take on the Thai classic, it is fragrant, spicy and includes minced chicken and a grenade of spices including three types of pepper and dried chilli, served with cabbage leaves.

When it comes to drinks, wine is always an expensive option in Singapore making it the ideal time to test a cocktail or two. The cocktails at Long Chim are as good as the food, with standout ones to look out for including a Thai Pisco, which is a combination of dry vermouth, Chilean brandy, watermelon and plum bitters. Made from dark and white rum shirred with pineapple, mandarin and fresh coconut cream, a BPK (aka Bangkok Pain Killer) does exactly what it promises, or if you prefer, try a Tor Kor Mule, which has a kick of vodka infused with kaffir lime, yuzu syrup and ginger beer, and is the perfect drink to take you into the late night.

What We Enjoyed:

Although Long Chim serves single dishes usually to be enjoyed by one person, my friend and I found that it was still easy to share, besides the “gap kaon” dishes, which are eaten with rice shared family style. Choosing wasn’t easy, however, especially with a dining companion who doesn’t eat beef or pork, but after much deliberation we opted to start with classic Vegetarian Spring Rolls, crispy yet light and cooked to perfection, and Thai Fish Cakes with a delicious cucumber relish. Also part of our lineup, in a vain attempt to be healthy, was a Shredded Cucumber salad, made with fragrant shrimp paste, tomato and peanuts, and which proved to be a huge hit with us both. For our mains, we opted a Deep Fried Sea Bass which three flavoured sauce, which was lightly crispy on the outside but tender and juicy in the middle, and a delicious Soft Shell Crab, flavoured with curry powder, celery and onions, and accompanied by jasmine rice. As we were visiting at lunchtime, we skipped wine in favour of a  refreshing and hydrating Thai Basil Lemonade hydrated thai basil seed, lemon, honey & rose water - it’s also a fabulous palate cleanser between dishes. However, checking out the wine list (for another time), there was an impressive lineup of options including sparkling and champagne, white wines from Germany, France, Portugal and Australia, reserve reds, and reds from Australia, Italy and Spain.

The Verdict:

Singapore has become one of the world’s most expensive cities, and is home to a lineup of esteemed dining venues which usually come with a high price tag. What’s refreshing about Long Chim is a combination of top notch culinary quality with an unusual affordability. Whether you stop by for quick lunch while exploring Marina Bay Sands’ shops, or you’re after a romantic dinner or special occasion dinner for two, as the saying goes you get what you pay for. At this lovely restaurant you won't be disappointed by the service, the cuisine or the setting; the only dilemma will choosing which of the mouthwatering dishes to savour and share.

Long Chim Singapore

Long Chim is located at Atrium 2, L2-02, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, +65 6688 7299,

Getting To Singapore

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