The Place Located at the peak of Labrador Nature Reserve, Tamarind Hill Singapore has been around for the last decade and dishing out authentic Thai food. Part of the Samadhi Retreats group, Tamarind Hill is the group’s only restaurant in Singapore, with another four restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Taking on a 19th century black-&-white bungalow building, the space has been transformed into a luxe restaurant focusing on Thai cuisine. A short walk from Labrador Park MRT Station, and up the slopes of Labrador Nature Reserve, this may not be a walk for the folks without some active cells. That said, the space is gorgeous and feels like we were transported to Thailand!
The Food With a keen focus on Thai cuisine, specifically Northern Thai food, the kitchen of Tamarind Hill is under the charge of Executive Chef Wanthana Nikonsaen from the Kalasin Province in Northern Thailand. Expect a more refined take of Thai food here, with the spicy tones managed down, and smaller portions. For a couple, perhaps 3 to 4 selections from its extensive menu will suffice. Starting with the salad options, the Roasted Duck Breast Salad (S$22) is our top pick. The roasted duck is tossed with lychee, cherry tomatoes and finished with fresh herbs. Rather simple mix and dressing here, but the refreshing sweet juice of the fruits render this a rather light and enjoyable appetiser.
Another favourite of our meal at Tamarind Hill, the Fish Salad (S$25) mix up slices of Ocean-farmed Barramundi fish from our local farms, and tossed with Thai herbs, tamarind sauce and roasted chilli and rice powder. The salad is refreshing and a good option to entice your appetite. Good to note that the fish is from a sustainable source too.
Was recommended to go for their Scallop Tempura (S$28), and despite our scepticism on deep-frying fresh produce, we decided to go ahead with it. The result is an enjoyable take on scallops, with the fresh jus going well with its crisp exterior, the Phanaeng Curry and fried Eggplant. Phanaeng Curry is a variation of Thai Red curry, typically sweeter and less spicy.
We hardly visit any Thai restaurant without trying its Tom Yum soup, a dish synonymous with Thai cuisine. The Clear Tom Yum (S$30) soup here is done with Tiger Prawns, Barramundi fish and Squid. I have to warn you of the spiciness of the soup here, and you should definitely prepare an order of quick remedy such as diary-based drinks or starch such as rice to manage.
Perhaps one of the few Burmese mains on the menu, the Burmese-style Beef (S$30) is basically Braised Beef Shank with Shan-style tomato curry paste. Frankly, this is our first tasting of Burmese food, having not been to Myanmar, where we find the curry on a sweeter profile with a very manageable level of spiciness.
This is an interesting carbs, the Tom Yum Fried Rice with Ocean Farmed Barramundi (S$15) will intrigue most foodies. While the spice of the Tom Yum is on point, it lacks the other flavour profiles of Tom Yum as a whole. An added sourness flavour profile will perhaps enhance this dish further.
Rants Its location ain’t the most convenient, although if you are seeking a hidden venue for a private occasion, Tamarind Hill will be an ideal option. Do note that children below the age of 14 are not allowed in the restaurant. And no, they do not serve up Thai Milk Tea here, much to my disappointment.
Will I Return Again? For a refined take on Thai cuisine, Tamarind Hill is quite the spot to head to. That said, we still find the price point relatively high, despite its fresh ingredients and delectable dishes.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
Tamarind Hill Singapore
30 Labrador Villa Road
Tel: +65 6278 6364
Sunday to Thursday: 12pm to 3pm; 6.30pm to 11pm
Friday, Saturday and Public Holidays: 12pm to 3pm; 6.30pm to 12midnight
Ranted by The Rantee