There are Thai restaurants, and then there is “The” Thai Restaurant. For me, Jim Thompson, Singapore falls in the latter category. The food here is amazing, I’ve loved almost everything I’ve had here. They have an exclusive vegetarian menu, that also offers a myriad of delectable vegan Thai delicacies. 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 and vegans, and for us, it falls among our pick of The 8 best Thai Restaurants in Singapore for Vegetarian and Vegans.
Jim Thompson’s 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.
Start with Drinks
The wine list is extensive, and they have a wide selection of cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages including traditional Siamese herbal drinks. Start with an off-beat drink that you likely 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 at Jim Thompson
The Vegetarian Menu at Jim Thompson is vast and offers the widest selection of veg dishes that I’ve ever seen in a Thai restaurant. What’s even better is that most of the dishes on the vegetarian menu are vegan. The food here 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.
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 for my taste buds. Fresh pomelo, tossed with fried garlic and shallots and dressed with roasted peanuts, roasted coconut and a sweet chilli dressing, results in a dish that pleases greatly with its melange of flavours. Green Mango Salad and Green Papaya Salad both delight the palette as well.
A popular veg appetiser here is Thod Man Khao-Phod (S$20) – are deep-fried corn cakes served with a sweet chilli dip – which didn’t find much favour with me. In fact, I found them to be quite average.
Moving on to the mains, my top picks would be Phad Thai Noodles (S$22) – among the best I’ve 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!
And if you’re looking for more options for vegetarian Thai dining, here is our list of some of the Top Thai Restaurants in Singapore for Vegetarians.
Jim Thompson: 45 Minden Road, Dempsey Rd, Singapore 248817 P: +65 6475 6088. Website