Vegetarian Friendly Factor –
Kid Friendly Factor –
There are Thai restaurants, and then there is “The” Thai Restaurant. For me, Jim Thompson, Singapore falls in the latter category. As a vegetarian, I’ve often faced the problem of restricted food choices at Asian restaurants. With Jim Thompson, that is not an issue. Not only is Jim Thompson one of the best Thai restaurants in Singapore, it also offers a vast all-vegetarian menu that is a treat for veggie starved souls. And the food served is actually vegetarian, without any hint of fish oil, oyster sauce or the like.
The dishes here are simply amazing, with a myriad of delectable Thai delicacies served. Perhaps it’s the assortment of spices and the profusion of flavours. Perhaps it’s the contrasting textures and the delicate aromas. Or perhaps its all of that added on to the plethora of veggies they use in every dish. Whatever it is, the restaurant finds favour with many vegetarians.
Location & Ambience
Jim Thompson Thai restaurant is situated in Dempsey Hill, in a heritage bungalow, with stunning architecture and dazzling interiors. The interiors are decorated with contemporary Thai arts and crafts, and hand loomed Thai silk furnishings. There is also an outdoor wooden deck with a water feature, for a memorable al-fresco dining experience. The service is quite good and there are often traditional dance performances in the evenings.
All of this coupled with the finest Thai food, make this a great fine dining choice for vegetarians. The food served at Jim Thompson, Singapore is an appealing mix of traditional and contemporary, and they can accommodate spice-preferences. By default, the food usually isn’t too spicy (which works in my favour) but if you have a fiery palette, let them know so they can adjust spice levels accordingly.
The wine list is extensive, and they have a wide selection of cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages including traditional Siamese herbal drinks. Start your off beat food adventure right here with something you usually won’t get elsewhere; like the Siam Sunray (S$26). Aptly called “Thailand in a Glass”, the Siam Sunray hints at delicate flavours of Thai spices like lemongrass, ginger, kaffir lime and even red chilli. Must try! The Thompson Mojito (S$26), prepared with lemongrass infused vodka is also worth a try.
Vegetarian Food Selection
The Vegetarian Menu is vast and offers the widest selection of dishes that I’ve ever seen in a Thai restaurant. Here’s a low down on some of the vegetarian dishes I have tried here, and several of them are vegan.
Salads, Soups & Appetizers
For me, starting a Thai meal with a soup and salad is a must. But boy, if I had a dollar for every time I had to send back the salad at a Thai restaurant, I would have, well, around 25 dollars by now. And don’t even get me started on the soups. Mostly, I can clearly smell or taste the fish sauce/oyster sauce, despite their saying it is sans seafood. Yes, I am that sensitive to any hint of meat or seafood that I can smell it from a mile away.
As far as the soups at Jim Thompson go, vegetarians can’t go wrong with either Tom Yam or Tom Kha Pak (S$20). While the Tom Yam has a spicy tomato and galangal base, the creamy looking Tom Kha Pak has a coconut-galangal base and is slightly sweet-ish. Both the soups are flavoured with mixed vegetables, lemongrass and chillies, and both are excellent.
The salads are all excellent too and it’s hard to choose a clear winner, we usually rotate the mango, pomelo and papaya salads on our visits. Yam Som O (S$20) aka Pomelo Salad is simply perfect. Fresh pomelo is tossed with fried garlic and shallots and dressed with roasted peanuts, roasted coconut and a sweet chilli dressing, resulting in a dish that pleases greatly with its melange of flavours. Green Mango Salad and Green Papaya Salad both delight the palette as well.
We usually skip the appetizers and move on to the mains after soup and salad, so haven’t really tried too many. On one occasion, I did try the Thod Man Khao-Phod (S$20) – are deep-fried corn cakes served with a sweet chilli dip – and found them to be average.
Mains & Sides
Moving on to the mains, my top picks would be Phad Thai Noodles (S$22) – the best I’ve ever had; Gaeng Khew (Green Curry, S$22) and Gaeng Phed (Red Curry). I have tried the Gaeng Mussaman (S$20), which is Musamman curry with potatoes, onions and peanuts but it didn’t wow me so I stick with the green and red curries.
From the vegetable-dishes, I quite like the Tau-Hu Phad Priew Wan (S$20) which is a dish of stir-fried tofu and vegetables in a sweet and sour sauce (just on one occasion, I found it to a bit too sweet). You can also go for the simple yet tasty Phad Broccoli or choose from one of the many other vegetable-dishes they serve.
The Mango Sticky Rice is scrumptious and repeatedly finds its way onto our table post-dinner. If you want to try something different, go for Som-Chun (S$12) – a mix of fresh oranges topped with lychees, shredded raw mango, sliced ginger, toasted coconut and roasted peanuts, served in ginger syrup – tasty, healthier and different from any dessert I’ve ever had.
All in all, Jim Thompson ranks pretty highly on my list of favourites. It’s a great place to go with friends or for a business dinner, but it’s best for date night. If you haven’t been here yet, definitely make a reservation soon. Happy Dining!
Jim Thompson: 45 Minden Road, Dempsey Rd, Singapore 248817 P: +65 6475 6088
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