Located on the green jungle hilltops of Labrador Nature Reserve, in a beautifully restored heritage building, diners at Tamarind Hill immediately feel enveloped by a sense of calm. After walking the grand stairway, acclimatise with a cool drink in their stylish front parlour with its polished concrete and timber floors, Persian rugs and high ceilings. Attention to detail is impeccable here, with a stunning white orchid centrepiece greeting guests into the expansive open bar and airy restaurant.
Thai street food
A new menu of authentic Thai street foods is on offer for lunch (served Monday to Saturday from 12-3pm), with over 65 dishes to choose from. Mix and match from ‘Small Bites’ designed for sharing including ‘Nam Prik’ relishes served with steamed vegetables, ‘Som Tam’ papaya salads, ‘Lab’ omnivorous salads, fragrant soups and ‘Frederico’s Favourites’, chosen by owner Federico Asaro, as well as grills, curries, omelettes, noodles and rice and even Thai-style burgers. Put it this way, you won’t leave hungry!
Italian-born Asaro is behind the extensive cellar, which includes 120 carefully selected wines from his home country and top-notch wineries around the globe. If a pre-lunch cocktail is more your thing, then you’re in luck because the bar staff are skilled mixologists and there’s a house-infused gin menu with flavours of the tropics including capsicum, vanilla, ginger, lemon and pandan. Non-drinkers can sip on deliciously refreshing Thai lemon or tamarind teas.
A restaurant menu for families and couples
Faced with such an extensive menu, we decide to order a little of everything, starting with the Yam Som Ooh, a fresh, zingy pomelo salad with prawns, roasted coconut, coriander leaves, chilli paste, fried shallots, peanuts and a tangy lime dressing; Phad Thai Talay, a spot-on rendition of everyone’s favourite Thai noodles with seafood, served with an omelette netting and Massaman Curry – melt in the mouth beef cubes, swimming in a rich coconut gravy with a side of rice. All the flavours are on point, but our highlight is the house speciality – Red Tom Yum soup with prawns, which blends sour, sweet, creamy and spicy flavours to perfection. Don’t miss it!
Dessert is light and palate-cleansing with options including pandan and coconut pudding, banana fritters, young coconut jelly and coconut ice-cream served with chopped peanut and jackfruit slivers. Looking to book a special dinner date? Tamarind gets even more romantic in the evening, when candles light the space. For families, a fun brunch is served each Sunday between 12-3pm with a Thai buffet ($60++ per person, $120++ with free flow wines, beers and selected cocktails).
After lunch, we take a stroll around the spacious grounds and get a sneak peek into the new Samadhi Retreats villa suites, converted from 1920’s era Black and White houses. The 20 villas, designed with romance in mind, are open for guests from early 2017. Think classic, elegant heritage styling, alongside modern creature comforts like deep plunge pools, WiFi and a colonial style private bar.
Psst: If you want to try the Thai Street Food flavours of Tamarind Hill right in the CBD, then head to their new outlet, Tamarind Kitchen, at the hip PasarBella food hall in Suntec City. 26 authentic dishes are on offer, designed by Executive Chef Wanthana Nikonsaen.
30 Labrador Villa Road
6278 6364 | tamarindrestaurants.com
3 Temasek Boulevard
#01-K30 PasarBella at Suntec City
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