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Jan 5, 2009 11:36 PM

Singapore - Jim Thompson Thai

Jim Thompson (Thailand) has just opened its newest restaurant at dining enclave Dempsey Hill. Lavish, spectacular dining hall filled with Jim Thompson's home collection furnishings.

Foodwise, it stuck to pretty much standard fare. We ordered:
- Yam som o - pomelo salad, average-tasting;
- Som tam - green mango salad: the Thai cooks inexplicably went berserk with the chillis here: it was so hot, our tongues were scalded - we stuck to the yam som o afterwards;
- Red curry with beef tenderloin - pretty unspectacular, although it's rich, with liberal portions of beef slices, eggplants & also pea-egglants (ma khuea phueng);
- Khai luk koei - "son-in-law's eggs", which are hard-boiled then fried eggs, with tamarind dressing. Well-executed but very simple dish;
- Kai Yarng - Isarn-style barbecued chicken, again another dish which is lacking in taste or fragrance;
- Fried kai lan vegetables with oyster sauce.
- Pad Thai noodles.

For such a sumptious restaurant, the dishes all felt strangely flat. We can't taste/smell any fish sauce (nam pla) at all. Clientele are mainly Westerners, with nary a Thai in sight.

Service staff are all pretty new, and doesn't seem very familiar with the menu or the names of the dishes yet (our waitress mixed up "yam som o" & "som tam" when she served us).

Hopefully, these are just teething problems & Jim Thompson can get its act together - in order to warrant its astronomical prices at least. Else, it's back to Golden Mile (Little Thailand) in Beach Road for me.

Jim Thompson
45 Minden Road
Dempsey Hill
Tel: 6475 6088

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  1. I was at Jim Thompson for dinner last night. Food is delicious & the decor/ambience is great. But their prices are just too high - $5 for a plate of white rice?!!!

    4 Replies
    1. re: M_Gomez

      I know it's gonna be hard to justify expensive rice. I agree with you that S$5 for a bowl of white rice is exhorbitant (I paid RM10 for a similar portion at KL's Gulai House in Carcosa Seri Negara). But a Thai friend, when told of the price at JIm Thompson, quipped that "it must be hom mali rice". True enough, when I looked at Jim Thompson's menu the next time I was there, it did mention that the rice served was "hom mali", supposedly the most exclusive/highest quality Thai rice, with a natural jasmine-like fragrance.

      1. re: klyeoh

        The words 'Hom Mali' by themselves do not indicate any special rice. They simply mean 'jasmine scented' which is the standard Thai rice. I have heard of a couple strains of specialty Thai rices but none that would justify a restaurant price of $5 a bowl.

        1. re: ThaiNut

          Agreed, Jim Thompson is really overcharging! Besides, Hom Mali, if it is indeed trademarked by Thailand, is really only 1,000km away from Singapore! I think the exhorbitant rentals at Dempsey Hill is to be blamed for such high prices charged by all the restaurants there.

          1. re: ThaiNut

            Oh yes, I meant Thai hom mali. There's been a lot of controversy over attempts by the Thai govt to trademark hom mali:


      2. Try having some glutinous rice with som tam (btw, nice to hear about a mango version, most use green papaya). It's a classic pairing and the rice cleans away the heat.

        1 Reply
        1. re: limster

          Yummy, glutinous with som tam sounds very North-East Thai or Laotian. There is a restaurant in Sixth Avenue Bukit Timah called E-sarn that specializes in this regional cuisine.

        2. Placemark:

          Jim Thompson Restaurant
          Minden Rd, Singapore, Singapore 24, SG

          1. Had lunch there last week and it's still as good as any Thai restaurant in Singapore. We had some very good pla sam rod or fish in sweet n sour sauce, green chicken curry and pineapple rice. My wife especially loved the curry. But I think the prices are too high!