October 11, 2012

T is for...

…Tamarind Hill.
There were so many T restaurants to choose from during Restaurant Week but I wanted something Asian since my boy doesn’t appreciate ang moh food.

I liked the sound of Tamarind Hill because it served contemporary Thai. The fact that it’s new, set in a colonial house in Labrador Park and looked romantic on its website didn’t hurt either.

Met the boy at his office and we drove to Alexandra for our 6.30pm reservation. The place was easy enough to find, and I had a good idea of what to expect since Wai Leng had dined there earlier in the week and had given me the lowdown.
It was a lovely experience. Set atop a slope, the entrance is lined with lots of candles exuding a romantic feel so I think it's a great place for dates and special occasions. The hostess was warm and friendly and the service staff attentive and eager to please.
A lemongrass drink was served upon arrival, and it was a pleasant drink - not too overpowering with the lemongrass.

The menu was made up of 4 courses i.e. Tamarind Platter for 2 comprising Thai fish cake, soft shell crab, and an orange chicken combination; Tom Yam Martini; choice of pork tendorloin phranang curry, seafood yellow curry or stir fried duck with basil and ended with a dessert platter.
Though the starter portions were small, they whet my appetite for more. The fish cake was a tad bland but I could live with it. The soft shell crab was fried to perfection, not too oily and not overcooked.

The tom yam martini I think some people will either love or hate. Nick is not a fan of cold soups and his request to replace his with something hot was granted with a plain tom yam broth.
I stuck with the chilled soup, I quite enjoyed the salty tangy savoury cold chicken-based broth, especially when combined with the bits of kaffir lime leaves lining the rim. It's not spicy at all, the tom yam flavour is very subtle.
We opted for the seafood yellow curry and pork tendorloin phranang for our mains, and they were served with a fried fruit rice. The pork curry was spicy and 'lemak', and the portion generous. The pork was very tender and as nice as it was, 2 of us struggled to finish it.
The seafood curry was more an assam-type gravy and laden with pineapples. It was nice too, the seafood cooked just right and being lighter, it was a nice contrast with the heavier pork dish.
Dessert was nothing to shout about though, just an assortment of red bean, kiwi and coconut jellies...very average. Overall though I think the restaurant is a gem and I would definitely try to go back, if not for dinner, then to have a drink at the gorgeous bar area!

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