At first brush, Thai-based Jim Thompson may appear to be just another homeware retailer in the Dempsey Hills lifestyle enclave, but the multi-hypenate chain actually houses a restaurant. Set in a beautiful black-and-white colonial, amongst lush gardens, and basking in the glow of twinkling lights, the restaurant is striking. But that's where the superlatives end.
Service was well-meaning, but inefficient and sluggish. The staff to customer ratio was higher than at Tamarind Hill, but service was slower at Jim Thompson.
The food was lackluster, far from authentic, and depressingly watered down, probably to indulge the large proportion of Caucasians frequenting the restaurant. Notwithstanding the abysmal fare, the restaurant was still a full-house on a mid-week evening. Packed with business-types. I think, Tamarind Hill would have left a far better impression on business associates.
A major bummer: the mosquitoes infesting the restaurant. I sat indoors, an air-conditioned but open-door-ed space, and still got bitten all over my legs.
The coriander-laced Goong Hom Sabai ($20) of mushy prawns swaddled in a rice paper and yellow egg noodles, was deep-fried to oblivion. The tasty plummy chilli dip did little to save the overdone appetizer.
The Khao Phad Nam Lieb ($20) of rice fried with black olives and minced chicken, sided by raw shallots, lime dice, cashews, and chillis, was one of two dishes that actually passed muster, this had a good amount of flavour and char.
The Gaeng Panang Neau ($24), a sumptuous panang curry with Australian beef tenderloin, coconut cream, and crushed peanuts, was also commendable, but I would have appreciated it served piping hot, instead of tepid.
The Phad Grapow Gai ($22), stir-fried minced chicken with straw mushrooms, garlic, birds eye chilli, and holy basil, should have been punchy but it was disappointingly vapid.
The Pla Ga Pong Daeng Thod Gra Tiem ($22), deep-fried red snapper fillets blanketed in an aromatic garlic sauce, was let down by the less than sparkling fresh fish. The muddy taste of the fish overwhelmed the lovely sauce.
Jim Thompson Thai Restaurant
45 Minden Road
Tel: 6475 6088
Open Mondays to Saturdays from 12noon to 12midnight
Sundays from 12.30pm to 11pm