Internationally revered Thai food maestro David Thompson, will open a new London restaurant in central London’s Chinatown, Eater London understands.
As first reported by Big Hospitality, Thompson will open Long Chim, which according to the restaurant’s Instagram bio means “come and taste” (the food of modern Bangkok), “a casual Thai restaurant format.” There are branches of Long Chim in Syndey and Perth, Australia.
Eater understands that while the location has not been officially revealed, a site in or close to the Central Cross development managed by Shaftesbury in Chinatown is under consideration.
Dishes at Long Chim include aromatic, complex dishes, which balance sweet, sour, bitter, and salty components in the the likes of Chiang Mai hung leh curry of pork belly and ming kham — betel leaf with dried prawn, toasted coconut, lime, ginger, and peanuts. Grilled meat dishes are served with spicy dipping sauces on what is likely to be a menu designed to be ordered sharing-style.
In the U.K., Thompson is best known for Nahm, his Thai fine-dining restaurant at the Halkin hotel in Mayfair, which in 2001 was the first Thai restaurant in Europe to earn a Michelin star — receiving it within six months of opening. Nahm lost its star in 2011, and closed a year later when Thompson moved to Bangkok to concentrate on Nahm there. It won its own star in 2017, with Thompson departing — after 18 years — in 2018.
Thompson is also known to have inspired a generation of non-Thai chefs in London who have themselves gone on to open their own successful restaurants in a category sometimes referred to as “Nu-Thai” — they including Som Saa, Smoking Goat, Kiln, and Farang. Som Saa’s founders, the chefs Andy Oliver and Mark Dobbie worked under Thompson at Nahm in London, and have regularly credited him for his role in their own development as chefs.
More soon on what could become one of the biggest restaurant openings in 2022.