Jim Thompson

An offshoot of the Thai silk company founded by legendary American businessman Jim Thompson, known as much for his silk as his mysterious disappearance in Cameron Highlands, Jim Thompson Thai restaurants are famous for their elegant, exotic décor; and honest-to-goodness delicious Thai food. The Singapore restaurant certainly lives up to this reputation. Occupying a spacious old barrack in Dempsey, the restaurant boasts a beautiful front yard with shady tables, lush greenery, a serene pool with water lilies and a discreet spirit house. Enter the restaurant and face a gorgeous mix of Thai, British colonial and modern décor with thick wooden tables and a ceiling that goes on forever. The restaurant space is very large, but clever layout and wide pillars mean that it is broken up into small sections, which allow privacy. The cultural mix in the décor is reflected in the staff too—on our evening there, we had servers from the original restaurant in Bangkok, as well as staff from Singapore and Myanmar—all of whom provided discreet, attentive service. With the décor and the service being so perfect, we hoped the food would be too. And while it was certainly delicious, it fell short of wow. Our starter sampler of mango salad, pomelo salad and chicken larb was the highlight, with the pomelo salad scoring top points for having just the right mix of tangy pomelo, sugar and coconut. The green chicken curry and snapper with garlic tasted good too, but we suspected were loaded with MSG. And all the dishes felt a little tame when you consider how fiery Thai stuff can be. Customers didn’t seem to mind though—the restaurant was humming busily the week night we were there. But it might have been the setting that drew them; and when we return it will primarily be for that.

If you’re craving Thai curries, papaya salad or just stir-fried pad ka prao (basil leaves and minced pork), this list of what is arguably the best Thai restaurants in Singapore got you covered.