Chef David Thompson, a renowned Australian celebrity gastronaut whose expertise is in Thai cuisine, is the brains behind Long Chim, which translates to ‘come and taste’ in Thai. To him, what’s most important is serving up authentic, classy Thai street food. The spicier the better, of course.
So you can expect nothing fusion or on the fancy molecular gastronomy level. Though, as Long Chim is situated within the casino atrium 2, with all the other celebrity chef restaurants, it is usually assumed that to dine there is probably an extravagant affair. However, you’ll be pleased to know that isn’t the case. Nope, you don’t have to fork out a couple hundred per person for dinner.
Another plus point of Long Chim – the bar. Helmed by head bartender Jay Gray, the cocktails are all Thai inspired and definitely unique. Choose from cocktails like a Thai Pisco to Bangkok Pain Killer that consists of dark and white rum, shirred with pineapple, mandarin and fresh coconut cream. Whatever the tipple, you’re in safe hands. Tried and tested.
Long Chim’s interior is perfect for a casual get together or a business luncheon with its warm atmosphere, inviting and laid back. You won’t ever feel pressured into being all sophisticated.
Chef David Thompson knows that interior decor matters just as much as the food in creating a better whole experience, so he included quintessentially Thai trinkets, like the street side food cart, Singha signboards and many more others to layer on the authenticity. Diners can fully immerse themselves in the atmosphere, and food.
Kopi Cocktail ($22). Stirred down and strong, it consists of bourbon, sweet vermouth, campari and cold pressed Thai kopi. On the nose, the orange peel gives a slight zest combined with the aroma of the coffee, on the palate it’s definitely intense and bitter, just the way I like it. I’d recommend getting this if you’re into something heavy, if not, start with a more refreshing Thai Pisco.
Grilled Pork Skewers ($14). It tastes a lot like satay, for obvious reasons. I like how it’s nicely char grilled, with slight burnt bits that gives aroma to the whole skewer. The meat retains all of its essence, being tender and juicy.
Chiang Mai Larp of Chicken with Northern Spices and Herbs ($16). Can I first mention how I underestimated the spiciness of this harmless looking leafy dish. The first bite into it and I could taste the heavy spices alongside the lemongrass hints.
Though it is spicy, it is done so in a way that could be enjoyed. The chicken is well seasoned and the cabbage brings in extra layers of texture, balancing the flavours. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend this.
Crunchy Prawn Cakes, Herbs, Shallots and Chillies ($16). Fried to a golden brown, the prawn cakes can prove to be rather addictive, especially as a drinking accompaniment. Lather on the lime and it offers complexity in its flavour, with it being more citrusy at first, before the savoury bit settling in.
Chive Cakes, Dark Soy Garlic and Chillies ($15). The chive cakes are a combination of soon kueh and gyoza, with the bottom being pan-fried to a crisp while the fillings remain soft. The dark soy garlic and chillies add an extra aroma, giving it a slight sweetness to the otherwise savoury dish.
Grilled Long Eggplant with Dried Prawns and Steamed Egg ($24). This definitely caught my eye with its interesting mix of ingredients. The grilled eggplant gives a smoky flavour, while the dressing adds an extra tang. The egg helps to offset the smokiness, making it a comforting dish that also stole my heart subsequently.
Baked Prawns with Glass Noodles ($30). The vermicelli is chewy and flavourful. It is slightly spicy with hints of lemongrass. The prawns on its own tend to be a little bland, but when dipped in the sour and tangy sauce, it is delectable. This would be a good dish to cleanse your palate in between other heartier dishes that are extremely rich in flavours.
Tilapia in Salt Crust ($34). The fish is chewy and fresh and the skin is crisply fried and crunchy. Extremely fleshy, it goes well with the spicy and sour sauce, which gives an overall delectable taste that is invigorating.
Green Curry of Chicken, Thai Eggplant and Chillies ($24). Here it is, the first of the heartier mains. Salty and strong in aroma, the Thai green curry is extremely robust in stock and spices, with a layer of coconut oil covering it. It definitely needs the vermicelli or a bowl of plain rice to balance the taste.
If you’re not a huge fan of overly greasy stuff, I’d suggest skipping this. With that said, the flavours are immensely intense.
Baby Squid Chillies, Green Peppercorns and Holy Basil ($26). The squid is also rather salty, basted in prawn paste-like sauce that is fragrant. The squid is soft and tender, also spicy and definitely warms your soul in a heartening manner. Get a bowl of rice to balance out the saltiness.
Siamese Watercress Garlic and Yellow Beans ($16). A break from the heavier dishes, the greens are stir fried nicely, giving my palate a refreshing change although the garlic adds some body.
Dtom Yum Super Chicken Wing and Feet with Lemongrass Lime and Chilli ($25). I was half expecting to douse myself with cups after cups of water when having this because tom yum is presumably spicy. Surprisingly, it’s exceedingly sour and not all that fiery. Clear and appetising, I’d suggest having this in between the heartier dishes to reset the palate with its sourness.
Banana Roti ($12). Commonly found alongside the streets of Thailand, it is usually dubbed as pancake but it is really a roti prata. It is crisply fried and lathered with sugar and condensed milk.
Extremely fragrant and sweet on the outside, the banana fillings are warm and caramelised till it is soft and aromatic. It combines well together to make it an extra decadent dessert that I can’t stop having.
Pandanus Layer Cake ($12). As the name suggests, it is much like the local colourful layered cake (kueh lapis) that we have, except that is it green and exceedingly rich in the pandan flavour. A lighter option for dessert as opposed to the banana roti, but hey they say go hard or go home.
Long Chim has definitely put in effort to delivering genuine street market Thai food. Though compared to the prices in Thailand, these are much more expensive but considering the location and quality of food coming from celebrity chef David Thompson himself, the prices are worth the while.
While some dishes are exceedingly robust, it can be easily balanced out with other lighter dishes or some rice. No fancy names and pseudo spiciness, Long Chim promises to excite your palate with their fierce flavours. Besides, with a crazy bar like theirs, I’d be well on my way down soon.
Expected damage: $60 – $70 per pax