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Jim Thompson: Thai in Singapore

Jim Thompson on Dempsey Hill

Jim Thompson

And another review from my recent Singapore trip – this time on a Thai place in the relatively new Dempsey Hill area:

Now Jim Thompson is a very beautifully done Thai restaurant, a bit outside of town. The Dempsey Hill area, close to Holland Village, used to be the Central Manpower Base and also housed former British barracks. Now it is home to a nice selection of restaurants and bars in a beautifully lush setting.

Jim Thompson, as you may know, has restaurants in other Asian cities as well and quoting from their website, here some background information on the company:

“Jim Thompson, the Thai Silk Company, was founded in Bangkok in 1950 by the American architect Jim Thompson and six Thai investors. Thompson disappeared mysteriously on vacation in Malaysia in 1967, but his initiative succeeded in reviving Thailand’s craft weaving industry. Today the Thai-owned firm is the world’s largest maker of hand-woven fabrics, with some 3,500 employees in Southeast Asia, Japan and Europe.”

“Inspired by the legendary hospitality offered by Jim Thompson himself at his Bangkok mansion, The Thai Silk Company began its food and beverage operations in 1997 at the Jim Thompson House Museum in Bangkok. There are now four Jim Thompson restaurants, bars and cafes in Thailand, as well as My Thai restaurant in Kuala Lumpur and 2 restaurants in Tokyo’s premier Ginza and Akasaka districts.”

The setting of the restaurant is impressive and the design absolutely beautiful – no surprise, they used a lot of Jim Thompson products.

The food is good. Not ideal for vegetarians – only two items on the menu were vegetarian and there wasn’t much creativity when the kitchen tried to come up with something additionally. My noodle dish had deep fried tofu and that was pretty much it.

However, from the looks of the dishes around me, the non-vegetarian options seemed more pleasing and if not for the food, the restaurant is definitely worth a visit for its design!

Sorry for the absence of a picture, but I couldn’t use any that were available and I didn’t bring my camera that night! However, for more info, you may want to visit their website at http://www.jimthompson.com/restaurants_bars/singapore.asp


Garibaldi: Italian in Singapore


Garibaldi - Italian Restaurant & Bar, Singapore

Garibaldi - Italian Restaurant & Bar, Singapore

Singapore was wonderful! Not as hot as I remembered it, clean and with fresh air – something special coming from beautiful, but slightly polluted Mumbai.

As promised here a review for a popular Italian restaurant close to the famous Raffles Hotel:

Garibaldi is very conveniently located, right in the center of the city, and therefore ideal for after work dinners. While Singapore is small, it is not very walkable, and a car (your own or a taxi) is highly recommended for transportation. Some may argue that the public transportation is great too, but after a nice dinner, I don’t want to hop on a bus or go onto the MRT.

Garibaldi is decorated rather minimalistically and kept in cooler colors. Personally I could do with a bit more warmth, but that is just me and the design is definitely tastefully done!

Roberto Galetti, the head chef of Garibaldi, does deserve mentioning! I didn’t have the pleasure to meet him and didn’t want to ask him to interrupt composing his creations, but I very much liked his food! Wonderful a la carte choices and very interesting additions from the daily specials.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that when I requested a change from said daily menu, I was offered not just one, but two choices! Both well thought through, and the one I had was lovingly done and very tasty!

The wines in beautiful Singapore tend to be on the pricey side – no change from India there – but Singapore restaurants tends to have a wider variety to choose from. We kept it reasonable, but if one wishes, there is the possibility to drop a significant amount of money on a bottle in this restaurant. A lovely Amarone from the ’70s for example can set you back over $2,000… Singapore dollars, but that is still a lot of money! The exchange rate is currently around 1 US$ to 1.35 S$…

However, even if you don’t want to break the bank for wine like that, you can find very good food for a fair price at Garibaldi. I definitely will go back for more next time!


Singapore

Singapore skyline

Singapore skyline

Singapore in the winter – a nice change of climate for anyone, who wants to escape European or Northern American cold!

Now I certainly don’t have that problem in India, but will still go and pay this beautiful little country a visit this week. While there I am going to check on the culinary landscape, which of course is expansive! I will report back with the highlights from my visit and share my insights on restaurants to visit.


Paola Trevisan, Italian curator

Paola Trevisan

Paola Trevisan

This is Paola Trevisan, a dear friend of mine and a wonderful curator!

She puts together a great exhibition every year in the late fall at Estense Castle in Ferrara, Italy. I participated in the exhibition in 2006 together with about 50 other artists from all over the world. Since then the exhibition has increased in numbers and visibility.

No wonder considering the location – take a look below – and the curator: Paola, you are a star!

Castello Estense in Ferrara

Castello Estense in Ferrara

And if you can’t make it to Ferrara in the late fall, how about Bologna in May? From the 8th through the 21st Paola is putting on “Little Treasures”, an exhibition focusing on artwork no bigger than 20 x 20 cm or 7.87 x 7.987″.

For more information on that event, please take a look at http://www.trevisanarte./eventi-eng.htm and for more info on Paola, her work and her artists, please check out http://www.trevisanarte.com and http://www.trevisan-international-art.com


Italian food in Casablanca

Casablanca

Casablanca

We spent our New Years in Casablanca, Morocco. I have to admit, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But having had the pleasure to visit, I highly recommend a trip to this interesting and exciting city in North Africa! And even my cravings for Italian food could be satisfied there. Not that I didn’t get my fair share of it in Venice. Or that the Moroccan cuisine in Casablanca isn’t fabulous. Or that they don’t have amazing French restaurants.

However, since I spent New Year’s Eve at Piazza and our New Year’s Day brunch at La Terrazza, which both happen to be Italian, I thought, I share my insights on those two restaurants:

Piazza restaurant in Casablanca

Piazza restaurant in Casablanca

Piazza is a lovely small restaurant that doesn’t advertise and also doesn’t have a website. I still found it through www.bestrestaurantsmaroc.com where it is listed. The owner and head chef is Hertzl Benmoha, a Moroccan-born Israeli, who speaks French. Not sure why Italian food is his cuisine of choice, but he prepares it amazingly well. We had a delightful dinner, the atmosphere was fabulous and the guests as well as the team there are tribute to a very well run, cozy restaurant. I am looking forward to a return the next time I am there and can only recommend this lovely place close to the center of the city.

La Terrazza restaurant in Casablanca

La Terrazza restaurant in Casablanca

Now La Terrazza is definitely in a different league than Piazza. Located directly at the beach as a part of the Tahiti Beach Club, this Italian restaurant is a real gem! The food is amazing, the service impeccable and the view breathtaking. Don’t miss this one for sure!!!

P.S. You also can find them on the www.bestrestaurantsmaroc.com website next to many other lovely places in this beautiful city.