Perched on a hill in leafy Labrador Park, the Thai restaurant Tamarind Hill feels like a world away from the density of Singapore. Along with the nearby boutique hotel Villa Samadhi, this dining and lodging complex is part of Samadhi Retreats and indeed being here – even if you don’t stay overnight – is akin to being in a retreat. There’s little of the noise or endless chatter here that one would come to expect when dining in a restaurant. The presence of both outdoor and indoor seating areas means that it’s usually possible to find a cozy and intimate area to dine. I was given a welcome drink as I entered as well as the ala carte menu. The menu at Tamarind Hill ticks the right boxes where an upscale Thai restaurant is concerned with the usual suspects such as curry, tom yum and fish cakes going alongside some pleasant surprises such as wagyu beef in the meat section.
The nice thing about Tamarind Hill is that they offer combination platters of their most popular dishes in order to allow diners to sample as much as possible. This is perfect for those dining as a couple, where the capacity to try the house specialties may otherwise be limited. I started the meal with the Tamarind Hill Platter (S$28) as appetizers. It fittingly serves two, with two pieces of Poached Tiger Prawns Wrapped With Salmon, Apple and Herb Fresh Rolls and another appetizer from the ala carte menu to go along with it.
The Tom Kha Gai (S$26) was especially flavorful, with the succulent and milky coconut flavor palpable against the mildly sour broth.
One of the recommended dishes to order is the Steamed Whole Sea Bass with Thai Herbs, Lime Juice, Garlic and Fresh Chili (S$59). It’s quite a big portion so make sure to come with an appetite. The fish is naturally flavored with a variety of herbs and is also slightly sour. The coriander brings out an added fragrance. It goes well with rice, especially with the light sauce and chopped bits of garlic, chili and other spices to go along with it.
Not something I’d expect to find in a Thai restaurant but I enjoyed the Grilled Tenderloin with Foie Gras (S$58) nonetheless. The beef was cooked to medium rare with the meat achieving an almost perfect degree of tenderness. It’s also topped with some seriously sinful foie gras for an added luxury. The plate also came with some fried lotus root on the side which I did not appreciate as much.
Similar to how I started the meal, I ended through another sample platter. The Tamarind Dessert Platter (S$24) runs through four types of desserts. The likes of the Pumpkin Custard brought back memories of Cambodia where it is also considered a local dessert while the Taro Cake had a nice texture. There’s also a small portion of mango sticky rice here though I think this dish is better appreciated as a full order rather than a sampler. Among the four, I preferred the Water Chestnut which came with a scoop of ice cream.
Overall, I enjoyed my time at Tamarind Hill. The experience here is as much about the venue as it is about the food and drink. As an added tip, I do recommend dining here in the day during lunch time. This is when guests can fully appreciate the beautiful interiors of the place as well as take a bit of time to walk around the park. I dropped by Villa Samadhi afterwards and was quite smitten with the languid vibe of the place.
30 Labrador Villa
Phone: +65 6278 6364